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Leadership Team

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Mike Adler - Director & Lead Field Instructor

Mike began working at the Colorado Outdoor Education Center in 2014 as a counselor at Big Spring Ranch for Boys. During his time with us, Mike has been a counselor, field instructor, assistant director, and director in both the Sanborn Western Camps summer camp program and the High Trails Outdoor Education Center school program. Additionally, Mike has been an instructor with the Colorado Outward Bound School and ski instructor at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. He received a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan and is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Avalanche Safety Level 1, and ACI Top Rope Climbing Instructor.

Following a passion for the outdoors and life-long pursuit of learning, Mike has developed a knack for taking on new adventures and teaching others along the way. If you ask him what his favorite outdoor pursuit is, you’ll watch as he struggles to wade through a long list of past adventures and exciting new projects. Mostly, you can find him skiing, climbing, biking, hiking, sorting through gear, or pouring over a map of a new route. For Mike, the best days outside are when he can teach someone new skills to promote their own independence and comfort.

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Sarah Adler - Director & Lead Field Instructor

Sarah began her career with COEC in the Fall of 2013, working as an instructor at High Trails Outdoor Education Center. After many seasons instructing and serving as assistant director, she became the director of HTOEC in 2017. Sarah earned a B.A. in History at Kenyon College while serving as the outdoor program president. Sarah has also worked as a trip leader for Overland Summers, a ski instructor for Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and an instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School. Her certifications include: Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Avalanche Safety Level 1, and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.

The importance that outdoor organizations give to community and the endless opportunities for personal growth have consistently drawn Sarah to the outdoors. Taking part in many transformative experiences for herself and others motivates Sarah to continue working to bring people together and pursue adventures big and small. Sarah sees the outdoors as a classroom where we can learn about ourselves, each other, and the world around us. From a place of welcoming and acceptance, the outdoors has become a playground for Sarah to push herself and take on challenges on the rock, on skis, and on trails of any kind.

Matty Cook- Student Support

Matty currently co-directs the boys summer camp program at Sanborn Western Camps, and will provide mental, emotional, and social health support for participants in the Sanborn Gap Semester. He holds a BS in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work. Matty began his outdoor education career at Hole in the Wall Gang camp in 1991 as a counselor. In 2001, he was hired as the Camp Director and ran that program until he took a job with Teton Valley Ranch Camp as their executive director in 2015.

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