Bibi Gnagno

Bibi Gnagno is our Dean of Restorative Practices. She is responsible for the design and implementation of the Restorative Practices Program here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development. Bibi is a champion for education and social justice having previously worked on equity at the intersections of race, gender, social economic class, and sexual orientation at Duke University. An expert in the field, she has created experiential programming and training that focused on community engagement, civic involvement, women’s empowerment, men’s engagement, and activism. Ms. Gnagno’s prior experience includes work in the legal field in Atlanta, Georgia, Paris, France, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast specifically centering issues pertaining to social justice. Her focus has included looking at how policy affects the society we live in, depending on our identities. Bibi Gnagno holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and French from Smith College. Her Master’s Degree was earned in French Language and Civilization from the Paris campus of New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science and her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Ms. Gnagno received a Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship in Public Policy where she worked in the field and conducted research for the Ministry of Justice in Côte d’Ivoire, on gender-based violence in relation to women’s access to justice. Ms. Gnagno is deeply fascinated by how the concept of restorative practices can transform education and the world at large. She is also a trained mindfulness teacher who has led training and workshop facilitation at the higher education and corporate level. Bibi is also a filmmaker who loves a good green juice, West African dance class, spending time with friends/family, and traveling.

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Students inspire me when they trust themselves to make mistakes, learn from them and embrace their own stories and gifts.

Jordan Cerna

Jordan Cerna is one-third of Eagle Rock’s Outdoor Education Department, where we are charged with organizing and facilitating outdoor experiences for students and staff. For the better part of the last decade, Jordan has fostered a career and passion in experiential and outdoor education. This “spark” for outdoor expeditions began in 2012 when he was on a river trip abroad. He realized that people are at the heart of a successful expedition. When people are willing to work together, ask for help, navigate interpersonal conflict, and take ownership of their own learning, beautiful things can happen. Since then, Jordan has consistently sought out the natural world as a sanctuary and classroom. Through working with Eagle Rock School and the National Outdoor Leadership School, Jordan has spent over 150 weeks in the field co-leading outdoor expeditions. In 2023, he now seeks out a more balanced life where he plans to foster relationships in Estes Park, return to finding joy in personal trips, and nest in his home off-campus.

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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is the access to the landscape that surrounds our campus.

Mark Rutberg

Mark Rutberg is Eagle Rock’s Human Performance & Athletics Coordinator. Mark is responsible for creating and implementing a vision around empowering students to lead healthy lifestyles. Prior to joining Eagle Rock, Mark spent 6 years at Sanborn Western Camps, most recently as a director for the camp’s summer residential adventure program in Colorado. He grew up in New York and has a B.S. in Kinesiology and Pedagogy from the University of New Hampshire, where he also played football. After university, Mark worked as an athletic director and educator in New York City for 4 years prior to moving to Europe to teach at an American International School in the Netherlands. Mark holds a Masters Degree in Health Education, a certificate as a K-12 teacher, a level 2 ropes course instructor, a single pitch climbing instructor, and Wilderness First Responder. He has also participated in a NOLS 30-day outdoor educator mountaineering course. Mark finds passion in helping youth discover their potential and self-worth. As someone who struggled in traditional academic settings, Mark uncovered his own confidence and sense of self-worth through experiential education and team sports throughout his academic career and, more recently, through outdoor education. Mark and his partner Sara are Piñon houseparents and they live on campus with their dog Jerry.

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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is the effort put into creating a sense of belonging and the ability for both staff and students to be part of something bigger than themselves.

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, L.S.W., is our Health & Wellness Counselor.  As a member of the Health & Wellness Team, Eliza supports students in finding success at Eagle Rock in relation to their wellbeing both for the whole student body and with more targeted interventions and support when needed. Specifically, Eliza supports students in navigating their mental health and wellbeing through psychoeducation, individual counseling, group spaces, family conferences, and other individualized support offerings. She helps coordinate student mental health care through both internal and external resources and serves as an advocate for students in their journey.  Eliza helps facilitate the personal growth rite of passage process throughout students’ time at Eagle Rock—supporting students in honing their social emotional learning capacities starting with the wilderness orientation course and continuing through to graduation.  She also supports ERS staff through professional development and group spaces. As part of the Health and Wellness team, Eliza collaborates with our School Nurse, Health and Wellness Fellows, Director of Health and Wellness, and interdisciplinary teams in effort to provide holistic support for ERS students. Eliza is a DORA Licensed Social Worker as well as a DOE licensed School Social Worker. In addition, Eliza serves as a House Team member in Aspen House and as an advisor for students in that house. 

While she grew up on Lenape land in New York City, Eliza has called the Ute, Arapahoe, and Cheyenne land of Colorado home for the past fifteen years (with stints in Alaska, Oregon, and California).  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado College where she studied Sociology, her masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and is a licensed social worker in the state of Colorado.  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 then worked for several wilderness therapy programs facilitating therapeutic extended expeditions. She came back to ERS in 2016 and was our Outdoor Education Program Manager 2017-2022.  She is a dog mama, a proud sister and daughter, an avid outdoors-woman, a cook, an artist, and a 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.

Mike Dunn

Mike Dunn is a progressive education activist and leader. He has been working with youth in outdoor, independent, and charter schools for more than 15 years as a teacher, counselor, and program director. Mike started his work in Detroit as a Big Picture advisor and joined the Eagle Rock community in 2008-09 as a Service-Learning teaching fellow with Public Allies. After the fellowship, he moved to Philadelphia to help open a re-engagement Big Picture high school called el Centro de Estudiantes. He then transitioned to AIM Academy in Conshohocken, PA to work with students who have language-based learning differences. At AIM, Mike was a History teacher, varsity soccer coach, leadership cohort facilitator, and Director of College Counseling. He served on the Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling’s Executive Committee as the chair of its Inclusion, Access, and Success committee and as a college advisor for the Franklin Institute’s STEM Scholars program, both in service of helping historically underrepresented groups of students access postsecondary learning opportunities. In 2021, Mike completed his Doctorate of Education from Northeastern University and teaches an education entrepreneurship course at his alma mater to graduate students. Mike loves spending time with his partner and their amazing dog Kelly, often with coffee.

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My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is its commitment to empowering students to uncover their personal agency and make active decisions in their lives.

I really love every opportunity I get to learn something new from inspiring people I encounter in my everyday life.

Nia Dawson

Nia Dawson is our Student Services Program Manager. She is a member of the student support team and works closely with students and staff to develop sustainable opportunities for partnership. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nia began her career in youth services working with the YMCA. She left the sunshine of the west to attend Syracuse University in New York where she completed her bachelors degree in social work (BSW). Her interest in out of school time programming led her to focus on after school services where she spent the next 20 years developing and managing programs for organizations on both coasts like the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, ACORN NY and most recently Harlem Children’s Zone. She is dedicated to developing youth as leaders and supporting adults in true collaboration with young people.

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My rock is my family.  They hold me up with I’m down, and hold me down when things come up.

Students inspire me when they believe in themselves and overcome obstacles.

Courthney Russell, Jr.

Courthney Russell, Jr. is our residential life program coordinator. Courthney is responsible for fostering a safe and secure environment within the Eagle Rock community. He is a key member of the student services team and coordinates activities for students with staff and houseparents. Courthney was born in Fort Knox, lived in the US Virgin Islands for a time, and eventually moved to East Atlanta, an underserved community devoid of options. His neighborhood taught him survival skills, but his family wanted more for him and made education a priority. Unfortunately, Courthney didn’t always share this priority. By the time he graduated from high school, his tendency toward stereotypical behavior had him on a collision course with incarceration or death. In a last-ditch effort, he applied to medical school and was surprised to be accepted. There he found a passion that was unquenchable and made the choice to dedicate his life to humanity. The road wasn’t easy. He experienced homelessness which meant juggling the responsibilities of being a student and the realities of living on the street. As a result, he shifted his perspective and set his life in a new direction. He graduated in 2011 with a medical degree and a new mission: to leverage his knowledge in a non-traditional way to become an authentic, determined, humble leader by example. Because of his past, Courthney is uniquely qualified to serve the Eagle Rock community.

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My rock is my belief that everyone can be great.

I really love “community”.

I’m really moved by people that live a life of service through authenticity and courage.

My favorite thing about Eagle Rock is how open and welcoming this community is to new and innovative ways to love.

Students inspire me when they begin to visualize how important their future is regardless of their pasts.