New House Parents Settling in at Ponderosa House and Spruce House

We’re not sure if it’s the result of good luck, or skill, or just longtime experience, but it seems every time we have the need for a new house parent for one of our six student housing complexes here at Eagle Rock School, we always end up with staff members who are perfectly suited for the role.

Each of the six houses within our on-campus Living Village accommodates up to a dozen co-eds in two separate sleeping wings, with common areas and shared community values being the focus in between. And our house parents are there to support the community, act as a sounding board, make sure the house chores are done, and so, so, so much more.

That being said, we are proud to introduce new house parents taking over this trimester at Ponderosa and Spruce.

Elizabeth Rivera and Carlos Perez are new house parents at Ponderosa House but not new to Eagle Rock. This married couple arrived in Estes Park in the fall of 2017 from Miami, where Elizabeth worked in the hotel and hospitality industry for more than two decades, and Carlos served as a cook at a variety of Italian, American, and Latin restaurants for more than 15 years.

Elizabeth is originally from Lima, Peru, and Carlos hails from Maracay, Venezuela. At Eagle Rock, Elizabeth is a business office administrative assistant, assisting parents and students with Continue reading…

House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 3 Latest Grads Have Big Plans Following Graduation

If you work at Eagle Rock, there’s always a lot to celebrate and be thankful for, especially at this time of the year. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving on our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., many of our students, staff, faculty and administrators are making plans for the upcoming Winter Trimester Break (Dec. 18, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019).

But before parting ways until the New Year, there’s one more major year-end celebration on the calendar. This Friday, Dec. 14, the Eagle Rock community will gather or go online to celebrate the high school graduation of three more Eagle Rock School students.

Eagle Rock School Dec 2018 Graduates

In particular, it’s Spencer Lanier, Hailee Williams, and Itxel Nava-Barron’s turn to take to the stage at our Human Performance Center — beginning at 4 p.m. (Mountain Time) — to accept their high school diplomas. For the folks at home, you can follow along online via the livestream that’ll be made available exclusively through the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center page on Facebook.

As you’ll learn by reading the entries below, one of our new graduates says his immediately plans call for enrolling in a community college and completing his college prerequisites before taking classes at a four-year college or university in starting in 2020. Our other two grads say they’re going to grab their scissors and combs and take on cosmetology classes in order to learn hairstyling, with one expressing interest in buying an Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School’s Latest Trimester Graduation Features 3 Graduates

A huge event for us this Friday at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center is the graduation of three members of our student body. This is the latest of what is nearing 100 trimesters of pomp and circumstance, and it will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. Mountain Time on the Eagle Rock Facebook Page.

Eagle Rock is a unique school, in that we put our full focus on teaching youth through an alternative form of education, with an emphasis on supporting students who come here from a diverse and underserved background.

Graduation Photo Eagle Rock School August 2018

Our students arrive from all corners of the country to reengage themselves in their own education via a trimester system that culminates in their biggest achievement — graduation. This Friday, we are proud to support our three latest graduates as they walk onstage in our Human Performance Center to receive their diplomas, in full view of fellow students, families, administrators, teachers and staff.

We recently asked these grads-to-be to sit down and write out a short biography about themselves, including their involvement at Eagle Rock School, their short- and long-term goals, and any advice they might want to leave for those who follow.

Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading…

Intern from Princeton Seeks and Finds a Purpose at Eagle Rock School

Jason_Bateman_Eagle_Rock_SchoolEditor’s Note: Jason Bateman — not to be confused with the star of the television sitcom Arrested Development and the Netflix’s series Ozark — is a Princeton University student who is interning with us as part of Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). This program operates in the belief that community service is essential to the welfare of society. More than 800 Princeton University undergraduates have participated in the program since its inception. A dozen such ‘Princetonians’ have served as interns since our school opened back in the early 1990s. Below, Jason describes his recent arrival at Eagle Rock and what he has learned so far from the experience, while to the right we see a photo of Jason (L) alongside Eagle Rock’s first head of school, Robert Burkhardt (a Princeton Univ. grad) and current Eagle Rock Director of Curriculum, Sarah Bertucci (who first arrived at Eagle Rock in 1994 as our very first PICS intern).

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What is it, exactly, that I do — and am doing — here at Eagle Rock?
By Jason Bateman

It’s a question I asked myself — and several of my supervisors — when I arrived on the Eagle Rock campus last month. What was my role? What was my purpose? What was I going to do with this incredible opportunity?

What I discovered was that what I needed to do was hunt down aspects of this educational community that most interested me, and then I needed to figure out which of my talents would best be of use to the students and staff members here at Eagle Rock.

To be honest, this unanticipated quest to find purpose has been among the most rewarding and challenging experiences I’ve faced outside of the classroom.

In the past, I’ve actively applied myself to everything from electrical engineering and computer science to education policy and data science. I’ve taken classes on human rights and urban development as well as classes on Spanish film.

But what I discovered when I arrived here is Continue reading…