Beth Ellis is the Learning Resource instructional specialist and Aspen house parent along with her partner, Janet. In her decade at Eagle Rock, Beth has taught a number of classes, participated with restorative justice and discipline committees and worked on the professional development team for instructors. She’s also headed affinity groups and our gay/straight alliance, and generally helped staff and students work through technological, personal, curricular and design issues.
Below are some other tidbits about this active and valued Eagle Rock staffer:
Eagle Rock: What else do you do here at Eagle Rock?
Beth: My job is perfect for me because I get to do so many different things – I’m always learning and challenged. I’m currently working in collaboration with the Estes Valley Public Library to integrate our collections and share our resources.
Eagle Rock: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock?
Beth: Before Eagle Rock, I was working as a freelance graphic designer for Catt Lyon Design. And I was a community organizer for the Environmental Community Organization (ECO) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Weeks before I arrived at Eagle Rock, I won a national design award from the Society of Environmental Graphic Design for my work on the Eagle’s Stadium in Philadelphia (see: Monumental Scrims). And the day I arrived at Eagle Rock, the softball team with whom I played in Cincinnati was vying for a national championship.
Eagle Rock: What attracted you to Eagle Rock?
Beth: My work in Cincinnati with communities that were struggling with industry in their neighborhoods helped me understand how education can empower people to know and advocate for their rights. I saw a direct correlation with an educational system that wasn’t serving the community’s needs and its ability to take action against industrial polluters. Although I never saw myself as a teacher, I could very clearly see the need for everyone to have access to an education. I could also see some people did not have the same opportunities for education based on their location, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Eagle Rock was a place that was not perpetuating the biased educational systems that I’d experienced in Cincinnati, and I wanted to know more about it.
Eagle Rock: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Beth: In my spare time, I like to read, cook, bike and make things. I love sports that involve eye-hand coordination and catching and throwing balls — basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball. I enjoy learning new things, and I’m constantly trying to understand who I am and who I want to be in the world. Mostly I just like to hang out with Janet and Lucy the dog.
Eagle Rock: What reality TV should you be on and why would you win or be kicked off?
Beth: I despise reality TV. I hate watching people make bad decisions. It’s like listening to nails scratch a chalkboard.
Eagle Rock: What’s your all-time favorite Eagle Rock success story?
Beth: I think success comes in all different shapes and sizes at Eagle Rock — it’s difficult to choose any one story because I believe all students that make the decision and sacrifice to come to Eagle Rock are a success. Any student who completes Eagle Rock’s 25-day wilderness course is a success. Any student who works out differences with a wing mate is a success. Those attending Eagle Rock have chosen to look deeply at themselves. And that is success.
Eagle Rock: What’s one thing not many people know about you?
Beth: I’m a cat person. Don’t tell Lucy. Or Janet.