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D U R E … L U D I T E



H A R D … P L A Y



Meet Our New Team!


Outdoor Trips


Montessori — Mud be Gone!


Around the School


Parents Association


TMS Ski Academy


New Board Member


About TMS, Contact Us



Meet Our New Team!

Outdoor Education Trips

Meet our New Team! With 24 years of combined experience working at the Mountain School, Interim Head of School, Karen Walker and Interim Associate Head of School, Andy Shoff make a perfect team to lead the organization through transition.

Karen Walker grew up in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, graduating from Harrisburg Academy in Harrisburg, PA before receiving her BA in Classical Studies KAREN WALKER from Middlebury College and a MA in English from Bread Loaf School of English. For seven years Karen taught English literature and remedial English at the Kildonan School in Amenia, New York. Following her move to Telluride, she, along with mountain guide husband, Peter, ran their family business — Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures, which features inn-to-inn treks through the Alps. A son, Branford, was born in 1995, and from the minute Karen walked through the door at the Montessori with him, she was in love with the school and the Montessori way. Branford is all grown up and currently attending Bard College. With Karen as new Lower School Head, Montessori and Mountain School merged in 2004, and in 2010 Karen was promoted to Associate Head of School.

Andy Shoff grew up in Ohio where he attended the University School, a private school for boys. Andy attended Colorado College, majoring in environmental ANDY SHOFF geology and serving as chair of the outing club. Andy has a Master’s Degree in Private School Leadership through the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University. Prior to moving to Telluride, he taught English and computer literacy with his wife, Emily, in Tanzania. His teaching experience also includes three years at the Arbor School in Portland, Oregon, where he taught math and science. Additionally, he has led science field trips for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and backcountry trips for Wilderness Ventures, a wilderness-based teen adventure program. Andy has 2 young daughters currently attending the Mountain School, Siri and Quincy. Andy is in his 12th year at the Mountain School and has served as Dean of Studies since 2005.

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Counting their lucky stars‌ The first and second grade class experienced a fantastic multi-part trip this year. The group began with a stargazing overnight during which students learned the parts of a telescope, identified a couple of constellations, and viewed Saturn. After gazing at the Lawson fields, the class returned to their classroom to spend the night at school. The following morning, Ashley Boling shared local history and students learned about mining, early settlers and the name change that ultimately made this town Telluride. The second part of the outdoor education included a jeep tour up Imogene to the Tomboy Mine area. Students enjoyed a beautiful fall day, learned more about early mining, and had a snowball fight in the snow.



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Extreme Weather Adventure This fall the third and fourth grade class set out on a three-day camping, hiking and canoeing trip in the Telluride area. The goals of the trip were to gain experience working together as a group and to have fun! The group gained trust in each other as they hiked the 6 mile round trip trail to Hope Lake, canoed at Alta Lakes, learned how to cook on camp stoves, and slept in tents at Priest Lake. The group experienced all types of weather during the three days that they were in the field including high winds, brilliant sunshine, rain, sleet, snow and hail! The class kept a positive attitude throughout the trip and had a lot of fun too!



WE MADE IT! page 4


Desert adventures from Grand Junction to Green River and finally, Goblin Valley. The fifth and sixth grade classes recently traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado as well as Green River and Goblin Valley Utah, to explore the history and geology of the region. In Grand Junction students set sail on a canoeing adventure down the Colorado River. Though rainy and cold students perfected their paddle strokes, developed their teamwork skills, and got a glimpse of river life. While in Green River, students explored the John Wesley Powell Museum and learned about the trials and tribulations of the first people to paddle down the Green and Colorado River. At the museum, students gathered information about the early river runners and their equipment, and later shared their newfound knowledge with their classmates. The trip to the museum was a great compliment to our canoe trip on the Colorado River. Students were amazed to see how far rafting technology has come since the early river days. We concluded our desert adventure exploring the monster-like formations in Goblin State Park. These goblins inspired our imagination for exploring, sketching, playing, and journaling. Our time spent amidst the goblins highlighted the TMS core value love for learning. The days at Goblin Valley were filled with curiosity and joy. Students spent hours exploring and hiking through the goblins, asking questions, forming hypotheses, learning about the geology of the formations, and sharing their ideas and interests with their classmates. We spent the evenings journaling and reading in tents by headlamp, sharing stories, cooking, exploring our surroundings in the darkness, and stargazing.




Survival and leadership skills in Lizard Head wilderness. Early this fall, the 7th and 8th grade students travelled to local Lizard Head wilderness to practice outdoor survival skills and leadership skills. Despite the wet and cold weather conditions, the students remained in high spirits and enjoyed a set of challenges that put their ability to thrive in the backcountry to the test. Students learned how to tie an array of useful knots, make survival shelters, build strong fires with limited amount of matches (or dry wood as it turned out), and cook on camp stoves. For many, a highlight of the trip was participating in an orienteering course. Using a compass and map and their keen observations, small groups of students navigated their way through pine forests, open meadows, and damp marshes to locate clues in an ultimate obstacle course. As a culminating trip activity, students participated in a CPR/AED and First Aid Course lead by local E.M.T.s. In order to gain certification, students practiced CPR and operating an AED in simulated exercises. The course helped students feel more confident in their ability to respond to emergency situations in our community and out in the wilderness. Overall, students not only learned basic backcountry living and survival skills on this experience, they developed more confidence as young leaders in the wilderness.




The Unexpected Experience In true Mountain School fashion, the Upper School began their school year outside. On Sunday September 8th, teachers Craig Wasserman and Jesse McTigue left the TMS parking lot for southern Utah with twelve students and a perfectly planned trip. The plan: Lead a 5-day, vehicle-supported, 80-mile, bike trip on the White Rim Trail outside of Moab, Utah. The White Rim is an isolated stretch of dirt road that runs on a canyon rim above the Colorado and Green Rivers. What better place for students to set goals for the school year, reflect on a sense of place and self, explore group dynamics and recalibrate themselves back into the Mountain School community after a summer away? There was only one variable that the leaders did not factor into the logistics of the trip. Over two inches of rain in less than two days. The rain made for a mystical experience as wisps of clouds danced around the backdrop of red rock spirals and the dry washes of the desert floor filled with rowdy rivers that cascaded over the canyon rim.


Although beautiful, the rain made the road impassable and conditions in the canyon unstable. On day three, Craig and Jesse determined it was no longer safe to be in the canyon and led the students on a 5-mile hike to the upper rim. It was a disappointment to have to leave the trip, but it was also an amazing learning experience about making responsible decisions in the outdoors. The experience connected the students to themes prevalent in their assigned summer reading, Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, in a way only experiential education can. Craig, Jesse and all of the students hope to have the opportunity to repeat the trip, with better weather, in the coming years.

THE GLORY page 7

Mud Be Gone! The Montessori playground had a big problem. Mud! It took only 5 days to get the problem solved thanks to the quick thinking of trustees, Andy Krueger and Michael Bradley. It took an afternoon of hard work to cover the playground completely in woodchips. The Kindergartners fondly named the newly covered playground “Woodchip World.� Thanks to Andy Krueger, Michael Bradley, Sage Martin, Karen Walker and Alex Martin who helped distribute these woodchips. Student help came from Shandy Strand, Albert Rolfs, Sam Galbo, and Cody Krueger. Thank you to Tyler Shultz and Mark Allen who donated all of the woodchips. Now our Montessori students have a place to play!

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Around the School

Upper School Critical Thinking Retreat TMS teacher 1st woman to finish race! TMS teacher, Jesse McTigue participated in the Just for Kids Foundation Fundraiser, Mountains to Desert Race. This was a grueling and rewarding 133 mile race. Congratulations to Jesse for being the first woman to finish the race! Just for Kids Foundation is a generous supporter of Telluride Mountain School.

Last fall the Upper School began an initiative to implement two critical thinking retreats to introduce high school freshmen and sophomores to higher order, critical thinking skills required in their high school classes. The first retreat in the fall of 2012 focused on reading and writing, and the second, completed this past October 2013 focused on speaking and listening. Mountain School teachers participated in a workshop to teach them specific methodology to lead Paideia seminars — a collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated by open-ended and specific questions that lead students to explore a specific text, image, map or graph. In a Padeia seminar, students meta-cognitively focus on the their role in the discussion as well as the content they are discussing. This fall upper school students and teachers spent a night at the High Camp Hut. Away from the distractions of computers and cell phones they dove into the material and ideas presented long after the discussions ended. After the exciting introduction to the seminar format, teachers have been implementing them into their classes back on campus.

STUDENT PHILANTHROPY For the month of NOVEMBER, 6th grade student Sophia Bridger will be collecting non-perishable food for her non-profit, Kids Aid. Kids Aid is a Colorado Non-Profit Corporation founded to provide services to needy kids in Montrose, Olathe and Ridgway. School meals are the only source of good, nutritious, food during the week for many kids in these communities. Kid’s Aid provides backpacks filled with food to children who would usually go hungry on weekends. Working with the schools directly, food is given to the schools then passed out to the children on Friday before they leave for the weekend. The privacy of the family and the child are protected. Let’s support Sophia and make her food drive a success!

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Parents’ Association Creating Community, Raising Funds, Adding Value!

The Parents’ Association events are off to a successful start in 2013! For more information Jessica Galbo, President Kendall Cieciuch, Vice President

THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY December 5th from 5-7pm in the Great Room. Bring a friend and share what a fabulous Telluride Mountain School commuity we have!

HOLIDAY DESSERT CONTEST The winners of both the parent and student contest are announced at the Annual Holiday Party.

UPCOMING PA EVENTS Moms Mixer Donuts for Dads Friday Night at the Movies

ONGOING PA EVENTS Wednesday Teacher Lunch Friday Student Pizza Lunch

RECENT PA EVENTS Fall Class Suppers Winter Gear Swap

Thank you to our Parents Association for a smashing success at our 2013 fundraiser!

SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR ANNUAL FUNDRAISER Friday Night at the Movies Friday, May 16, 2014! Friday Night at the Movies theme ideas are being accepted by the Parents’ Association. Contact Jessica Galbo for more information at

PARENT EDUCATION Supporting Your Child’s Academic Growth: Tips, Tools, and Support Thursday, November 14 3:15 - 4:00 pm in the Great Room Do you ever have struggles with your child over homework? Does it feel like there is a lot to juggle after school? Does the time between the end of school and bedtime sometimes feel like a huge blur? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please, join us! Various strategies you can use at home to help make after school time productive and peaceful and fun. This is also a great opportunity to connect with other parents and hear what works for them. There will be a staff member outside to supervise your children during this time.

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D U R E ‌ L U D I T E



H A R D ‌ P L A Y


Photo credit/aerial flip: Nori Lupfer

By adding new programmatic elements to our Upper School curriculum geared specifically toward the student-athlete, skiers and riders are empowered to pursue athletic excellence while maintaining a challenging academic program that promotes critical thinking, aesthetic expression, and ethical behavior.

Student-Athletes are valued at Telluride Mountain School. Beginning this winter, Telluride Mountain School is partnering with the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club to offer student-athletes the combination of a rigorous academic program with the intensive on-snow training that has traditionally been a path to U.S. Ski Team and NCAA glory. Small class size and low student-teacher ratios allow for maximum flexibility in scheduling classes, assignments, assessments, papers, projects and more. Telluride Mountain School accommodates student-athletes by creating individualized academic plans during the winter season that allow for training, competition, and travel while they prepare for college through compelling academic classes. Telluride Mountain School uses technology that allows for productive interaction while students are on the road. Teachers provide pre- and post-trip counseling and personal attention for academic success. Student-athletes needing to fulfill additional graduation requirements have one-on-one, guided on-line or blended learning, and summer options available as needed. Academic and athletic excellence are equally promoted through creative scheduling and programming. Telluride Mountain School allows student-athletes to compete at the highest levels without missing out on exceptional academic experience. LEARN MORE ONLINE> To learn more contact: Jenny Page, Ski Academy Program Director (970) 729-0913, email:

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MISSION Telluride Mountain School delivers a program of challenging academics that promotes critical thinking, aesthetic expression and ethical behavior, while encompassing a commitment to community service, global citizenship and engagement with the natural environment. The school culture embraces independence, personal responsibility, compassion, curiosity and joy.

Trond competed in the 1983 World Championships, and in the 1984 Olympics and was the first and only athlete ever to win the Decathlon in both NCAA Division I and II (in the same year). He made NCAA All American Athlete in track and field five times. He also did a year of military service in the Norwegian Army.

CORE VALUES RESPECT We honor self and community, and value that which is different.

Trond worked in NYC from 1986 to 1993, first with Smith Barney in their investment banking business as an equities analyst and subsequently as an international/global equities portfolio manager at Scudder, Stevens & Clark. He moved to Boston to join Wellington Management in 1993 and was made partner of the firm in 1994 where he was head and co-head of international equities.

LOVE OF LEARNING We foster lasting curiosity, creativity and passion in a challenging

and safe environment. RESPONSIBILITY We understand the impact of personal actions, and uphold service

as an integral part of scholarship and citizenship. INTEGRITY We adhere to values and ethics that enable us to approach our studies

and lives with courage, pride, honesty and empathy.

Trond is interested in international development with a focus on making aid more efficient and how to use aid to empower its recipients. Over the last few years, he has spent on average one month per year working on a CARE sponsored charitable microfinance project in sub-Saharan Africa, being hopeful that his private sector expertise can be utilized in the not-for-profit charitable sector. Trond, his wife Pia, and their daughter, Laila, (currently attending TMS) moved from Boston to Telluride in 2010 in search of a fabulous place to live (and found it!). Trond also has two grown daughters, Anne and Christina. Other than spending time with his family, his current interests include travel, investing money, skiing, kite surfing and creating and enjoying art.

board of trustees

advisory trustees

Michael Bradley, President Mary Johnson, Vice President Miles Welch, Treasurer Grace Engbring, Secretary Lynn Holbert Seth Cagin Harley Brooke-Hitching Andy Krueger Ted Rolfs Trond Skramstad Karen Walker, Interim Head of School

Anne Brown Mark Burchill Virginia Egger Tim Erdman George Gage Dale Halton Carl Hobert Richard Kearney Grant McCargo Casey McManemin Susie Schaefer 200 San Miguel River Drive Telluride, CO 81435-8924 Tel: 970.728.1969


parents ’ association

Jessica Galbo, President Kendall Cieciuch, V. President

Special Thanks! Telluride Mountain School would like to recognize and thank the Telluride Institute and the Zoline Family for it’s continued generosity in accommodating parking for our Ski PE program in the Strong House Studio Parking lot. Thank you for supporting the Mountain School community!

Telluride Mountain School Fall/Winter News 2013