Eagle Rock School Summer Break Means Saying Goodbye and Hello

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To date, it’s been an incredibly busy month here at Eagle Rock, what with the graduation of five Eagle Rock School students on Aug. 5, our end of the trimester staff meeting on Aug. 9, bidding farewell to nine of our Public Allies fellows on Aug. 12, and then shortly thereafter saying goodbye to four of our staffers.


So a break in the schedule is well deserved and welcome. However, while students and some of the staff will be taking some time off, our Professional Development Center (PDC) staff remains on the job, working in California, the Ohio Valley, and Boulder. Look for the PDC’s latest update here on the blog soon.

Meanwhile, here’s the game plan beginning early next month:

  1. We welcome nine new Eagle Rock Public Allies teaching fellows the first week of September, and it promises to be the most diverse group of fellows to date. We’ve got three coming from California, two from New Jersey, and one each from Ohio, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Washington state.
  2. In addition to our nine new Public Allies teaching fellows, we’ll also be welcoming a new world languages instructional specialist, an interim science instructional specialist, an outdoor education adjunct instructional specialist and a new director students and an associate director of students. We’ll have a detailed post about these folks shortly.
  3. Our first staff meeting for the fall 2016 trimester will be held on Monday, Sept. 12, and veteran students return to campus on Sunday, Sept. 18. A total of 18 new Eagle Rock School students — officially dubbed ER 70 (the 70th such group of new students to arrive at Eagle Rock since our founding in the early-1990s) — arrive on campus on Saturday, Sept. 24. This group will pack up and depart on their Eagle Rock Wilderness Course about a week later.

In addition to the departing grads and Public Allies fellows this summer, we’re also losing an Eagle Rock treasure — Philbert Smith — who arrived on campus nearly 23 years ago.

Philbert retires as Director of Students after putting his heart and soul into this school over nearly two decades of attending to students’ family issues, behavioral actions, health and mental needs. He and his wife will be traveling and taking some lifelong classes in retirement.

Other staff changes that occurred at end of the last trimester include:

  • Science Instructional Specialist and Aspen House Parent Janet Johnson has joined the staff at the RiseUp Community School in Denver, Colo.
  • Outdoor Education Adjunct Instructional Specialist Matt Bynum is headed to graduate school at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo.
  • Bridgid Scanlon, World Languages Instructional Specialist, will travel abroad as part of the newest class of Fulbright Student Program award winners beginning in the fall.
  • Finally, Public Allies fellows Brett Youngerman (Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Literacy And Literature), Helen Higgins (Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Math) and Joi Ward (Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Health, Wellness & Counseling) will return as second-year fellows in similar roles.

Meanwhile, parents or other community members interested in contacting an Eagle Rock staff member during summer break — you are encouraged to send an email to that person. Many of us check email during summer break and will respond to queries based on availability.

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