Eagle Rock Staff and Instructors Share Their Vacation Plans

We checked in with a number of Eagle Rock staff members and faculty to find out what they are up to during the trimester break that started last week and ends in early-September — and some of their activities are more exciting than you might think.

These dedicated faculty and administrators are taking to the summer heat by attending bicycling competitions at altitudes of more than 10,000 feet; canoeing in the Yukon Territory; attending music festivals with an endless string of bands; and even spending time on a volcanic island.

"Concepcion from finca" by David Ansley - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Concepcion_from_finca.JPG#/media/File:Concepcion_from_finca.JPG

“Concepcion from finca” by David Ansley – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons.

Below, in no particular order, is an offering of “What I’m Doing on My Summer (Trimester) Break,” summed up by 10 Eagle Rock staff and faculty members:

Brighid Scanlon, our instructional specialist in world languages, is in Nicaragua to spend some time on Isla de Ometepe, a volcanic island (see image above). She plans to do lots of yoga and hiking while staying in an international community on the island.

Jesse Beightol, our instructional specialist in outdoor education is spending his break canoeing the Snake River in the Yukon Territory. He and Jack Hilbrich, a 2014-15 Public Allies Fellow in Outdoor Education who returns to us as a contract instructor this fall, are driving to Whitehorse and then flying to the river. They are spending about 18 days whitewater canoeing. This article from The New York Times (Far, Maybe Too Far, Into the Yukon) covers where they are and what they’re doing.

Dan Condon, associate director of professional development, is heading off to Aspen to watch Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge. He says it’s like a United States version of the Tour De France — only much steeper.

Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, our instructional specialist in music said her plans include Continue reading…

Explore Week Adds New Meaning to the Term ‘Alternative Education’

Jimmy_FrickeyThis week at Eagle Rock School, we find ourselves once again immersed in Explore Week, a thrice annual offering of lectures, classroom experiences and events that have little to do with credits or curriculum leading to a high school diploma, and everything to do with engaging students in their own education.

This special week enables Eagle Rock School students the opportunity to look at different job choices, hobbies, art and music, trending exercise regimens and outdoor activities they may have never experienced in the past.

So, instead of wondering if you’d maybe like to take up rock climbing as a pastime, Explore Week gets you past the “future planning stage” and onto the mountainside, learning the ropes and helping each other reach the peak.

Explore Week is also an opportunity during this — an intentional week on the School’s schedule — for many of our instructors to catch up on future schoolwork. Meanwhile, students explore alternative learning options, with many of the instructors coming from outside the Eagle Rock faculty family.

Below is an offering of this week’s “classroom” opportunities that already have students doing everything from writing songs to creating their own robot:

Robotics
Instructors: Jacob Guggenheim and Daniela DiGiamcomo

Students in this Explore Week course create their own robot under the watchful eyes of MIT Engineer Jacob Guggenheim and University of Colorado Boulder Learning Scientist Daniela DiGiamcomo. Here, students are exploring the fascinating field of engineering by learning how to program and going on visits with local design experts. Taking a deep dive into the life cycle of design and iteration, they are constructing robots and navigating them through mazes and challenges that the class created and will showcase for the final day’s presentations.

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About the Instructors: Jacob is a first year masters student in mechanical engineering at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He originally became interested in engineering — and robotics in particular — when he joined his high school’s first robotics team. What really hooked Jacob into robotics was the ability to take a problem (how to kick a soccer ball) and build something that could do it. During college he sought out projects and research that would continue to allow him to tinker and play with new systems. Today he applies this same mindset —though backed with a significant amount of math and theory — to automating single cell micromanipulation.

Daniela is a third year doctoral candidate in educational psychology and learning sciences and ethnic studies. She is working as a research assistant for the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning Research Network as well as for the Ford Foundation’s “More and Better Learning Time” national initiatives. Daniela is a graduate instructor for Continue reading…

Meet The Team: Brighid Scanlon, Eagle Rock World Languages Instructional Specialist

Brighid-Scanlon-Eagle-RockOur featured Eagle Rock educator this time around is Brighid Scanlon, who joined us a couple of years ago and jumped in feet first. Starting out as a Public Allies teaching fellow in world languages, she taught Portuguese and Spanish as well as music and theater.

Brighid also designed a Telenovela Spanish course, directed our Spring 2013 musical RENT, taught a Brazilian singing class, co-directed In the Heights (Spring 2014) and The Vagina Monologues (Summer 2014), worked in the Improv Ensemble, and is helped design an Arabic course and Spring Awakening and this trimester is teaching a Gender and Violence course. Oh yeah, she’s also a Ponderosa House parent, which she unabashedly terms the best house.

Is there more? You bet there is!

Eagle Rock: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock? 

Brighid Scanlon: Previous to Eagle Rock, I worked on my master’s degree and taught college Spanish courses at the University of Delaware. In the summers, I headed south, backpacking around Peru and leading international service programs for high school students in Costa Rica through Global Leadership Adventures. I also worked at a multimedia design center where I assisted people with design, video and digital music projects.

ER: What attracted you to Eagle Rock? 

Brighid: When I was in high school, I didn’t have a ton of positive relationships with adults. I found my high school classes to be pretty mundane. When I discovered the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Theatre Students Dare to Present ‘Spring Awakening’

Spring-AwakeningFar be it for Eagle Rock School’s Music and Performance Department to turn and walk away from the edgier side of musical theater. In fact, if you take a look at past performances, the department has produced and presented such controversial programs as Urinetown and Rent.

So it’s no surprise at all that Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon — our Music & Performance Instructional Specialist — has chosen to push the boundaries even further this year, offering up a presentation of Spring Awakening.

The production will be staged at the Rialto Theatre in Loveland (Colo.) beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, with two more showings in the days that follow — Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m., and Friday, April 3, also at 7 p.m. The cost of admission is at the discretion of the audience member, but keep in mind that proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Fund — a cause that’s near and dear to all Eagle Rock students. The theater is located at 228 East 4th Street in Loveland.

And while this performance is definitely not suitable for children, there won’t be any body exposure and the overt sexuality is somewhat toned down. However, the show still contains plenty of adult content.

Here at Eagle Rock, we’re fortunate to have such a supportive administration. Spring Awakening tackles some really weighty issues that are very relatable to a lot of our students.

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With book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening is by turns irreverent, poignant, boisterous and thoughtful. The authors made the unlikely decision to Continue reading…

New Faculty And Staff Members Join Our Ranks

We’re not exactly a revolving door here at Eagle Rock, but staff members do come and go on occasion, as was the case this summer when we said farewell to last year’s Public Allies Fellows and a handful of staff members.

And now we’re turning around and tossing down the welcome mat for eight new full-time staffers — some of whom we already know who have taken on new positions, and some who are brand new to our mountain side high school.

Without further ado, let’s introduce our new staff members, in no particular order:

Brighid_Scanlon_Eagle_RockBrighid Scanlon, World Languages Instructional Specialist, Ponderosa House Parent

Brighid has a Master of Arts degree in foreign language pedagogy (Spanish focus) from the University of Delaware Newark, Del., and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the same institution in Spanish studies and mass communication.

Recent Eagle Rockers will recall that Brighid was the World Languages Fellow two years ago, and this past year was the interim performance and music instructor after Ike Leslie moved on. She will be co-house parenting this year with second-year Public Allies Science Fellow, Sara Benge.

Dan-Hoffman-Eagle-RockDan Hoffman, Language Arts Instructional Specialist

Dan received his teaching certification in secondary education and social studies From Prescott College after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Some of you will recognize Dan from his year as the Eagle Rock/Public Allies Societies and Cultures Fellow in 2009-10. Dan returns to Eagle Rock having worked at Voyager Academy High School in Durham N.C., as a curriculum specialist and social studies teacher.

Dan will join the Ponderosa House team.

Diego-Duran-Medina-Eagle-RockDiego Duran-Medina, Societies Cultures Instructional Specialist

Diego’s impressive creds include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University; a Masters of Arts degree from New York University; and, a Masters of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Columbia, he studied educational administration at The Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership.

Diego has extensive experience with independent schools, having worked at the Punahou School  (Honolulu, HI) and The Edmund Burke School (Washington, DC).

He will join the Juniper House Team.

Stephanie Dixon, Registrar and Life After Eagle Rock Counselor

Stephanie worked for five years as a career and post-secondary counselor and teacher in the high-need Denver Public Schools that featured a diverse population of young people between 14 and 24 years of age — most with multiple obstacles to educational success.

She was also a Continue reading…