Former Teaching Fellow Uses Tools He Learned About at Eagle Rock

Tyler Holmberg has been away from the Eagle Rock campus for more than a decade now, but this former Public Allies teaching fellow still retains Eagle Rock’s philosophy that the student comes first in the education equation.

Tyler HolmbergTy was our 2004/2005 Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Human Performance. His passions ranged from teaching and working with young people to agriculture and carpentry. While he was with us, Ty focused this combined energies on a class called Green Thumb Bums.

In the late summer of 2005, when his fellowship came to an end, Ty packed up his year’s worth of belonging and — armed with Eagle Rock’s educational values that include learner-centered classrooms conducted in small democratic spaces where student voices are honored and respected — headed to Philadelphia. There he reconnected with his passion for carpentry, using that craft to build houses as a part of his service with AmeriCorps. Following that two-year stint, Ty rejoined the education community, enrolling in one of the first cohorts of the Philadelphia Teaching Fellowship, which is now part of The New Teacher Project (TNTP). (For anyone who may be interested, TNTP currently offers teaching fellowships in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Nashville, New York City, New Orleans, Nevada and Michigan).

After becoming certified as a science teacher in Pennsylvania, Ty taught 7th grade science at a public school in south Philadelphia. Public school, you say? Yes, Ty said he found it necessary to become a part of the public school system in order to fully understand what was broken so he could Continue reading…

House Retreats Convene to Re-energize Students and Staff Alike

On-campus housing at Eagle Rock means much more than a place to hang your hat or fall asleep. It’s a culture within a culture, with students building an intimate identity around one of our half dozen houses and then expanding that identity and familiarity to include the entire school. By concentrating on building a positive community and culture within the houses, these positive efforts encompass the larger Eagle Rock community and campus life.

Because one thing our houses do is promote camaraderie, team spirit, good-natured competition and a sense of belonging.

That being said, sometimes it’s difficult to return from a break and immediately recapture that feeling of oneness that was there when you last walked out the front door. Thus, the advent of the Eagle Rock House Retreat, which let us reconnect with our fellow housemates and spend some time focused on the culture of each individual house.

Below is a recap of the activities that highlighted our latest House Retreats in mid-September:

Aspen House: In addition to preparing several meals and enjoying delicious food, members of Aspen House went go-carting, bowling and teamed up for laser tag at Boodocks. They wound down their retreat with a move in comfy recliners at the Flatirons AMC theater in nearby Broomfield, Colo.

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Juniper House: Things got off to a festive start for Juniper House residents with a barbecue at Lake Estes complete with a campfire with s’mores. Students created a house mandala with a statement written by each student about their roots, following by personal learning plans. What followed was some Ultimate Frisbee training and a photo scavenger hunt at Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 2015/16 Public Allies Fellows Arrive on Campus

For Christi Kelston, this month brings a fresh crop of Public Allies Fellows — the first to start under her direction since she became Eagle Rock’s new director of Public Allies this past spring.

Christi joins everyone else here at Eagle Rock in welcoming our 12 new Public Allies Fellows. Funded by AmeriCorps, Public Allies believes that everyone leads, and that everyone can work to inspire others to believe in themselves, step up to the plate, and take action.

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Here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we’ve been active participants in Public Allies, hosting a dozen Fellows for a year of service at our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo. In fact, we’ve sponsored more than 150 Public Allies to date, with the number successfully completing the program in the upper 90th percentile. As a result, Eagle Rock’s program is the most successful in the nation when in comes to retention of our Fellows.

Take a look at the profiles below, and if you happen to spot one of these Public Allies at a conference or training, be sure to say hello and ask them about their Eagle Rock experience.

Here are a few fun facts about each of our new Fellows:

  • Monserrat Alvarez, Outdoor Education Teaching Fellow: While studying religious and nonprofit studies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., “Monse” also worked with the outdoor programs through the university. Most recently, she worked the summer season with North Carolina Outward Bound School at its Table Rock base camp. Raised in Raleigh, Monse loves backcountry adventure, cooking up her grandmother’s recipes and spending her free time with her mom and little brother.
  • Ally Bolger, Science Teaching Fellow: This New Jersey native studied geology and Russian at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. This summer, Ally led backpacking trips across Europe with Apogee Adventures. In her free time she takes part in long-distance bicycle tours, skiing in all its forms, hiking, exploring new places, spending time with people, cooking and eating ice cream.
  • Maya Edery, Society & Cultures Teaching Fellow: Raised just outside of Detroit, Maya studied women, gender & sexuality, as well as anthropology/sociology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. This past summer, she traveled to Brazil with Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s New Director of Public Allies Has Walked These Hills Before

Christi Kramer Eagle RockOur new director of Public Allies is no stranger to our mountainside campus, having served as the curriculum fellow back in 2008 and 2009.

In fact, for the past 15-plus years, Christi Kelston has worked with nonprofits that challenge traditional concepts of education and youth development. At Eagle Rock, she will be supporting and overseeing a dozen Public Allies fellows through their year of service, leadership and personal development. And with her guidance, we expect these fellows to become members of a new generation of leaders in education reform, inspiring change in educational and non-profit organizations across the nation.

As director of public allies at Eagle Rock, Christi also serves on the Professional Development Center (PDC) team reporting to our director of Professional Development (Michael Soguero) and to Public Allies’ Chief Operating Officer (Cris Ros Dukler).

Prior to rejoining the Eagle Rock team, Christi was the program director of quality improvement at Family League of Baltimore, where she oversaw the quality, implementation, evaluation and tracking of professional development and technical assistance. Family League provides its services to community partners from Baltimore City public schools, afterschool programs and community organizations.

Working with Baltimore community schools, Christi said she was fortunate to be able to dedicate her experience and talents in support of Continue reading…