Keystone Science School is an incredibly special place. Its location in Keystone, its community of people, and its mission to inspire curiosity and critical thinking through the lens of science make it so. Since 1976, the School has offered interactive, experiential educational programs. This year, as the organization re-emerged from the pandemic stressors, the School offered programs at full capacity and gratefully welcomed more than 1,200 campers to campus this summer.
The School is poised for its next chapter of growth, innovation, memories, and laughter. It is only because of its stability and success that I feel confident that now is the time for a transition in leadership. After nearly 16 years as Keystone Science School’s Executive Director, I have decided to step aside to make room for a new leader by the end of 2022.
I came to KSS as a wide-eyed and energized outdoor educator with the goal to build the organization into a sustainable and strong organization that could impact thousands of young people and teachers in the outdoors; a place that drew the best talent to teach students; a nonprofit with a family of supporters. In my time here, we’ve achieved much more than I ever thought possible. There is much to be proud of:
- We’ve grown our impact from 2,500 (2007) students served per year to more than 8,000 (2019);
- Our programs have served more than 300 local youth each year, helping working families and strengthening our community;
- We’ve built a strong fundraising infrastructure that includes individuals (thank you!), foundations, and businesses;
- We’ve fundraised roughly $7.3M to fund three capital campaigns to construct new teaching spaces, office space, dining/cooking facilities, and employee housing on campus;
- Thanks to our supportive donors, we were able to successfully build an independent nonprofit, entering our tenth year in 2023;
- We successfully emerged from a pandemic that threatened our existence – with a financial picture that is stronger than ever before;
- We have incredible staff and board members: folks who are smart, invested in the mission, and who will always make the KSS magic.
The platform I envisioned 16 years ago is now a reality. We’ve come a long way and I’m proud to have been a part of this chapter in the School’s 46-year history. I am honored to have been able to contribute to Bob Craig’s (founder) original idea to bring science to young people in an outdoor setting. Now, the Science School is poised for its next chapter of growth, innovation, memories, and laughter.
It is time to make room for the next leader to take the helm and make their mark, to propel KSS into its bright future, and to lead this team to places they may not have ever imagined. With the energized and engaged board, the passionate staff team, and our supportive community, I have no doubt the transition will be smooth.
I’ll be staying in Summit County and plan to continue to find ways to engage with the community. Thank you for being a part of my journey.