HaeJohn Medley

HaeJohn is the Art Instructional Specialist at Eagle Rock. His focus is to help young people understand, appreciate, and create artwork with the idea that it’s more than pretty pictures. Art is creativity, communication, problem-solving, and progress.  HaeJohn was born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, NV. Being raised by his Korean mother and American father helped him understand the world between cultures and how they influence each other. He started his Eagle Rock experience in 2004 as a students teacher and a year later, was awarded the Public Allies Visual Arts Fellowship at Eagle Rock. Since completing his fellowship, HaeJohn has been a freelance artist, public high school art teacher, K-8 private school art teacher, and in-home private instructor. During this time HaeJohn was also a part of the CCSD Art Education Standards Team, student council advisor, and Nobel Learning’s National Teacher of the Year semi-finalist. HaeJohn Graduated from Hastings College with a degree in K-12 art education with an emphasis in Ceramics and Psychology. HaeJohn currently resides in Spruce House accompanied by his dog Turbo.

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I’m really moved by people making tough decisions to better something that doesn’t directly impact them.

Students inspire me when they take charge of their success and joy.

Rosie Jacobs

Rosie is a Public Allies Fellow from Somerville, Massachusetts, who recently graduated from Earlham College with a BA in Environmental Sustainability. Growing up hiking in the White Mountains, attending sleep away camps, and having unstructured play in her backyard, helped to nourish Rosie’s enthusiasm for the outdoors. After spending some time in Mysuru, India, teaching english and entrepreneurship classes as well as teaching outdoor education on the Whanganui River in New Zealand, Rosie is excited to continue learning and creating with youth. She enjoys sharing her passions for film, baking, storytelling, and backpacking. Rosie hopes to use her time at Eagle Rock to explore her interest in alternative education and to build authentic relationships with those around her.

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Students inspire me when they get adults to play.

Tara Jewell

Tara Jewell is our Literature and Literacy Instructional Specialist. Tara is a graduate of Eagle Rock School and has been working in education, on and off, for over 20 years. Tara has worked as a camp counselor, a school secretary, a special education crisis intervention specialist, a middle school humanities teacher, a health teacher, a youth advisor, an admissions associate, a high school placement counselor, and as a school director. Tara earned her undergraduate degree in English, Literature and Criticism, and her Master’s degree in Teaching both from the University of Massachusetts. She lives on campus with her partner, Megan, and their teenage daughter, Keeilah.

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Students inspire me when they learn to become fierce advocates for themselves and others. 



Mitaali Taskar

Originally from New Jersey, Mitaali moved to Montréal for university. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from McGill University. Her high school and university careers have been focused on science outreach and education in various forms. In high school, Mitaali worked on community engagement with STEAM through the local robotics team. She coordinated events for peers, children, and sponsors to emphasize the importance of STEAM education and its role in our future. In university, Mitaali focused on science outreach through clubs and initiatives on campus. In her time volunteering with Let’s Talk Science McGill, she reached out to students of all ages through classroom science demonstrations, museum activities, symposiums, and festival booths. She also co-facilitated the Broad Science Youth Radio Journalism Workshop, which taught local elementary students how to interview a McGill researcher on radio. Along with her time volunteering, she attended many workshops for cultivating Science Communication skills in different media and participated in a research project aimed at understanding youth-led inquiry on topics in science.

After university, Mitaali became the 2020/2021 Public Allies fellow at Eagle Rock. Here, she focused on sharing her culture and teaching math, research, and bioethics. As a second-year fellow, she hopes to continue deepening the relationships she has made at Eagle Rock and leave an impactful and sustainable mark.

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I’m really moved by passion and curiosity, especially in tangential thoughts.


Izy Lyon

Izy was born and raised in Northwest Montana and recently earned her Bachelor of Philosophy from The University of Montana. She has a passion for law and wants to create a career dedicated to making legal justice accessible to those who are often overlooked by the justice system. Throughout high school and college, she held various mentorship positions ranging from camp counselor to resident assistant and developed a love of working with, and learning from, young people. An advocate of civic engagement, Izy also participated in student government and campus clubs dedicated to environmental stewardship while earning her degree. In her time off, you will find her hiking, biking, backpacking, paddle boarding, climbing, or doing anything else that happens in the mountains.

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Students inspire me when they make brave choices to create the life they want.


Carolyn Plein

Carolyn (she/her/hers) is a 2nd year Public Allies Fellow concentrating in Health, Wellness, & Counseling. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Texas when she was in high school. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with a minor in Philosophy. Carolyn first discovered her passion for working with youth during her time in the teen leadership program at YMCA Camp Loma Mar. She later went on to be a staff member at camps in various positions and most recently worked as a Teen Leadership Program Director. During her time at UT Austin, Carolyn enjoyed participating in intramural basketball and student legislative organizations and worked with youth in various settings, including teaching coding to elementary-aged children and working with the YMCA of Austin. Carolyn joined Eagle Rock in ER-82 as a Health, Wellness, and Counseling Fellow and is excited to embark on a second year. She looks forward to continuing to discover new ways to engage and empower youth, and in particular for youth to feel empowered to take ownership and excitement over their own unique health and wellness journeys.

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I’m really moved by the power of community


Annie Kelston

Annie works as the Student Services Program Specialist and Explore Week Coordinator at Eagle Rock. This means that on any given day, you can catch her facilitating team building initiatives, leading restorative circles, whipping up deliciousness with Culinary Enrichment students, helping student leaders implement campus-wide events, overseeing Explore Week classes, and having dozens of conversations. Prior to Eagle Rock, Annie studied nursing, spent 4 years facilitating outdoor education and team building experiences for folks of all ages and backgrounds, and most recently worked as a DONA certified birth doula and opened a center for birth education and family wellness in the Baltimore area. Annie’s background in direct individual, family and group support prepared her incredibly well for the variety of support and care she offers to Eagle Rock students on a daily basis. Annie loves adventuring with her wife and dog, making things, and having intense conversations.

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Students inspire me when they choose to leave what they know to move somewhere new and reclaim their lives.

Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack

Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack is our Human Performance and Outdoor Education Program Manager. Eliza is responsible for course directing and facilitating the wilderness orientation course each trimester, overseeing risk management of outdoor experiences, managing and supporting outdoor education staff, maintaining our Association for Experiential Education (AEE) accreditation, developing and implementing curriculum to improve outdoor education at Eagle Rock and beyond, and supporting students throughout their journey at Eagle Rock School. Eliza, originally from New York City, developed a passion for wilderness travel as a little girl exploring with her family and canoe tripping. Her passion for inclusive and alternative education was fostered from her experience in the public school system in New York. After leaving NY, Eliza earned her bachelor’s degree at Colorado College where she studied Sociology and ran their outdoor leader training program. Eliza first joined the Eagle Rock team in January of 2012 as a wilderness instructor and subsequently served as the Public Allies Fellow in Outdoor Education at ER in 2012-2013. She has worked for several wilderness therapy and outdoor education programs leading up to 48-day wilderness courses. Eliza is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT), Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) for rock climbing, holds an AIARE I avalanche safety certification, as well as a Swift Water Rescue certification. She is an avid outdoors-woman, cook, and crafter.

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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is that I learn and grow as much as our students are challenged to.


From Cushing, Oklahoma
Aspen House
Fourth Trimester Student

A Typical Saturday

My schedule really depends on a few different things. I may be engaged in Service Saturday, jobs, personal time, and going off campus.

  • 7:30 am: I wake up and start getting ready.
  • 8:00 am: Breakfast starts in the lodge. After I eat, I head home to Aspen to shower and finish getting ready.
  • 9:00 am: Gathering begins. After Gathering on Saturdays, we do service projects on campus and sometimes in Denver.
  • 12:30 pm: Lunch is ready in the lodge. After lunch, we have free time for a while; I usually will rest, work out in the Human Performance Center (HPC). Drumming is a huge passion of mine, so sometimes I go to the Schoolhouse to play the drums there.
  • 6:00 pm: Dinner is ready in the lodge. Afterward, we have evening activities and free time. Buildings close at 10:00 pm.
  • 10:30 pm: House curfew.
  • 11:00 pm: Wing curfew, which is usually my time to relax and get ready for bed.