Akeem Cheek

Akeem Cheek is the Information Technology And Facilities Maintenance Associate. The position is a hybrid between maintaining the physical campus and its digital infrastructure. He has been working in schools and community organizations for many years. He has worked as a school bus driver and in after-school programming. He honed his IT skills by being a natural tinkerer and working in a small family business. He worked for two community-based organizations supporting black farmers in North Carolina before coming to Eagle Rock. He has a BA in History from North Carolina Central University and has completed coursework in clinical psychology.


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My rock is my family and extended family.

I’m really moved by students who have strong character, are driven, and are purposeful.

Hayden Webster

Growing up Hayden struggled in the traditional school setting, which is why if you went back in time and told he worked at a High school and that he was HAPPY to be doing it… He would be flabbergasted. Being a curious and outspoken young kid generally gave him the label of “defiant” to the authority figures in his life at the time. Thankfully for the rest of us He has refined those traits that once got him into trouble and has used them to propel him into his own path. While all the other friends in his life were out going to college getting degrees they never truly cared about. He went exploring… climbing, biking, and skiing around the country and internationally. These experiences paired with therapy, deep introspection, and a variety of hardships along the way set him up to become a passionate, patient and caring community member. Starting his work with youth at the age of 17 he learned through direct experience how to engage, connect, push, and inspire the students he works for. Creating his own unique style along the way.  In his personal time when he’s not outside, he enjoys playing chess, reading graphic novels/comics, watching survivor, or leaving his half-full coffee mug somewhere random to find days later.


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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is the dining lodge … I mean working with the students

Brad Brandewie

Brad is part of our Operations or “Rockin Ops” Team. He has a degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Cincinnati. Brad moved out west after college and began his first career as a corporate trainer and software tester.

After meeting the love of his life, he left the Front Range of Colorado to support his wife’s career as an ecologist in places like Silverton Colorado, Stanley Idaho, and Sequoia National Park. During this time he started a software training company and worked as a large format printer reproducing artwork.

When he and his wife welcomed their second child, Brad left the computer world to become a stay-at-home parent. Five years later, when his kids started school, he became a tour guide in Sequoia National Park. This led him to the realization that he preferred a career that involved more human interaction, so when he moved back to Colorado he became a substitute teacher, which eventually led him to Eagle Rock. Now he spends his days supporting the staff and students on campus and absorbing their positive energy.

When he’s not at work, you’re likely to find him in the mountains, enjoying a bike ride or rock climbing with his family.


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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is the supportive and friendly mindset of the staff and students.

Caitlin Welsh

Caitlin joins Eagle Rock School as Special Projects Coordinator where she works to create opportunities for students to learn horticulture, maintain the school’s mountain bike fleet for community use, and collaborate with staff to guide students’ off-campus learning experiences through the Real World Learning program. Having grown up among the deciduous forests and freshwater lakes of Michigan, she has found joy exploring the unique natural environment she has called home while also working to protect and share those places with others as an educator and environmental steward through organizations like AmeriCorps (Massachusetts), San Joaquin Outdoor School (California), Summer in the City (Detroit), AIM Academy (Pennsylvania), and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Most recently she spent 5 years supporting avian conservation as an assistant bird bander, educator, and curriculum consultant for Willistown Conservation Trust in Newtown Square, PA. This is also where she put her years of experience weeding and tending her mother’s extensive gardens to use as a farm worker for the community-supported agriculture program at Rushton Farm. Caitlin earned her bachelor’s from Indiana University and a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in advocacy and education. When she’s not coddling seedlings and counting wrenches, Caitlin enjoys riding her bike, romping with her dog, Kelly, getting to know the local wildlife, baking banana muffins for the Juniper House family, and reading the next epic fantasy series.


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I really love helping others find joy, wonder, and fulfillment in the outdoors.

Shawna Perales

Shawna is originally from Nebraska and also spent time in Colorado while growing up. After receiving her Associate of Arts Degree, her path of secondary education took her to New Mexico, where she graduated from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. After Graduation, she spent time in Albuquerque and Taos where she grew her career in Hotel and Hospitality Management and over the years and realized how this industry really fed her servant’s heart. Her Hospitality Career continued as a Director of Sales for Kessler Collection, a boutique luxury brand of hotels, but wrapped up in 2020 when she began homeschooling her son, Oliver. With Oli back in school, Shawna joined the Eagle Rock Team supporting Finance and Operations. She, her husband Josán, and son Oliver reside as House Parents of Pinon.


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Shawna is inspired by her family and by making people happy so being able to serve the Eagle Rock community from an operations standpoint brings her much joy.

Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett is a Colorado native and culinary veteran with 20+ years of experience in the industry. At 18, Chris attended New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, where he earned his AOS degree in Culinary Arts. For most of his early career, Chris specialized in upscale French cuisine,  Mediterranean, and “New Style American Cuisine”, honing his skills and building his repertoire in some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, as well as Denver. From Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Brasserie in the Venetian, and Daniel Boulud’s DB Brasserie in the Wynn, to Denver’s Rioja, Bistro Vendome, and Elway’s to name a few, Chris gained a solid foundation. In 2014, Chris became the only chef to be selected for Sister Cities International’s international Chef exchange program which took him to Brest, Bretagne France to stage within a couple restaurants/resorts as well as shadow instructors and present to Students at the Fenelon School of Culinary Arts. Upon his return, Chris set his sights on learning Asian cuisines and earned his way from part time line cook to Executive chef of Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro within a year. Not only earning new skills but also earning the restaurant a feature on the Travel Channel’s hit show “Food Paradise”. After 3 years as Executive chef there, he expanded to Japanese, becoming executive Sous chef at Ototo Den (of the Sushi Den family of restaurants) training in the intricacies of Japanese cuisine before turning his sights on global street food, helping open Street Feud in 2019. In 2021, Chris saw an opportunity arise to join the kitchen team at Eagle Rock, and made it his mission to become part of the team, where he has been able to use his years of experience in multiple cuisines to help not only provide ERS students and staff with balanced meals but also give expose them to flavors and cuisines they may not have tried before.


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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is getting to work with such a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, as well as cooking for such a diverse group of students.

 

Sandy Rivera

Sandy Rivera is the Human Resources and Administration Manager and is responsible for the benefits, new hire orientations, risk management, student insurances and assisting with other special projects such as the ER 25th anniversary. She moved from Hollywood, California, where for the past 8 years she worked as a Benefits Manager, Worker’s Compensation Coordinator, and Safety Officer for Jay Nolan Community Services. JNCS is a non-profit organization that assists individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities. She is an Eagle Rock graduate and is super excited to be back into the community that helped her as a student. Sandy was studying Business Management at the University of Redlands in California and will continue her education here at Colorado State University.  She loves all animals and all mediums of art. She continues to help the ERS community and the student body in many creative ways and she loves every crazy minute of it!


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My favorite part of Eagle Rock is the students, the hardworking staff and the nature.

Students inspire me when they find their voice in the community.

Christi Kelston

Christi works part-time directly supporting Megan Rebeiro (our head of school), with a variety of projects. Before this role, Christi served as the director of Public Allies Eagle Rock from 2015-2020. For the past 15-plus years, Christi has worked with nonprofits that challenge traditional concepts of education and youth development. Prior to rejoining the Eagle Rock team (she was a fellow in 2008-9), Christi was the program director of quality improvement at Family League of Baltimore, where she oversaw the quality and implementation of professional development for community schools in Baltimore. Christi’s earlier professional experiences included teaching both in and out of the classroom, facilitating team-building and ropes course programs, and training and leading a staff of up to 50 outdoor educators. She has held academic and residential positions at a summer enrichment program for gifted students, directed a 10-week summer day camp, and served as acting executive director of Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, Md. Christi was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., then moved to a small town in North Carolina when her parents began directing a girls’ residential summer camp. From age nine to 18, Christi lived in Baltimore County, Md. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative non-fiction writing. Christi and her wife Annie are Lodgepole houseparents; they live on campus with their daughter Tallulah and their dog Fern.


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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is student voice in leadership and decision making.

William “Ed” Perry

Ed is one of ourchef/instructors. He is responsible for supervising student KP teams in meal preparation and cleanup. Ed has been professionally cooking and running kitchens for more than 40 years. He has also owned and operated two food-related businesses. Ed lives in Loveland with his wife, Anneke, and four of his six children. The other two children are college graduates who live in Massachusetts and Washington State.


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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is working with teens.

I really love cooking for an appreciative audience.