Faculty & Staff

Adam Hirt
Maintenance Manager  
Adam has lived and worked at Steamboat Mountain School for six years and is excited as ever to be a part of the school community. Born and raised in Colorado, he truly enjoys everything the state has to offer including camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing. During winter months, Adam loves to go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snow cave camping, ice climbing, and snowmobiling. His diverse life experiences include employment ranging from Security Officer for high tech industrial buildings, Park Ranger at Eldorado Canyon State Park, Insurance Adjuster in Nashville, TN, to a residential/commercial Electrician. In his spare time Adam likes to work with wood. He has built several kayaks, an arbor for his sister’s wedding, and escapes to Taos, NM to continue building his cabin. He occasionally strums the guitar and is attempting to learn the banjo. Adam loves to learn new things and strives to keep a positive outlook on life.
hirta@steamboatmountainschool.org

Adam Hirt

Maintenance Manager

Andy Barnes
Chef
California School of Culinary Arts 
Andy Barnes was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin on the Mississippi River. He began pursuing his culinary passion in Madison, where he worked in several different farm-to-table restaurants and he graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts. Since moving to Steamboat Springs, Andy has been exploring outdoor activities including: hiking; biking; fishing; hockey; and snowboarding. Andy’s excitement and commitment for food shows in every bite we take.
barnesa@steamboatmountainschool.org

Andy Barnes

Chef
California School of Culinary Arts

Kaiti Kinshella
Spanish I, II, III, Girls’ Dorm RH
B.A., Gonzaga University, M.A. Colorado College 
Kaiti Kinshella was born and raised in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. After spending her childhood years exploring the wonderful Rocky Mountains, she decided to try another state on for size. She packed up and moved to Spokane, Washington to attend Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga, she enjoyed a plethora of classes that landed her with an English Literature major and a double minor in Spanish and Religious Studies. During her college years, she adventured around the vast natural world that the North West has to offer, leading climbing, rafting and backpacking trips for the outdoors program at Gonzaga. In her third year, she spent five months studying at Centro de Lenguas Modernas in Granada, Spain. In Granada, she fell in love with the Spanish language (and churros con chocolate). After graduating, Kaiti moved back to Colorado (where she belongs) to pursue a Master’s in Teaching at Colorado College. During the first half of her Master’s program, she took classes at CC while teaching high school students both English literature and the Spanish language at a local public high school. During the second half of the program, she was the Spanish apprentice at High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado. As an apprentice, she wore many hats: teaching Spanish, acting as the head of a cabin of students, and leading multi-week ski and backpack trips in the Rocky Mountains and the Canyons of Utah. Kaiti is thrilled to now be working at Steamboat Mountain School as a Spanish teacher. This position molds together two areas of her life that are not easily combined in other educational settings: exploration within the classroom and exploration outside of the classroom. When she is not adventuring or teaching, Kaiti adores a good yoga session, intense Harry Potter discussions, and dabbling in ceramics.

Kaiti Kinshella

Spanish I, II, III, Girls’ Dorm RH
B.A., Gonzaga University, M.A. Colorado College

Brian Smith
Dean of Students, Calculus I, II
B.S. Illinois Wesleyan University, M.A. University of Northern Colorado  
As the Dean of Students, Brian Smith strongly believes in a community’s ability to teach character development to the students at Steamboat Mountain School. In addition to his Dean of Students responsibilities, Brian is a Calculus I and II teacher, and is committed to exercising in the Steamboat Mountain School classroom the topic of his Masters of Mathematics research project: How to help students more efficiently and effectively communicate in mathematics. He is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University who joined Steamboat Mountain School in 2000 as a teaching/dorm fellow. He spent five years as a dorm parent in addition to his teaching duties. He has also taught Physics, Programming, & Computer Basics. Mr. Smith has led Steamboat Mountain School GIS trips to Costa Rica, Mongolia, China, and South Africa. He has also led many outdoor experiential trips for canoeing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding, aligning his outdoor passions with his job. A member of the Steamboat Rugby Club, Mr. Smith played Division III football in college and coached middle and high school wrestling for five years. His twin boys were born in 2015.
smithb@steamboatmountainschool.org

Brian Smith

Dean of Students, Calculus I, II
B.S. Illinois Wesleyan University, M.A. University of Northern Colorado

Brick Root
Chemistry, Physics, Algebra II, Precalculus
Dartmouth College  
Having grown up in Colorado, Brick is at home in the Rockies. Hiking, biking, and backcountry skiing fill his seasons. Brick taught math and science here at the school for 20 years before taking a seven year “sabbatical” during which he pursued several dreams. Included were a season at a field camp in central Antarctica, a summer on the fjords in Alaska and most recently a year of teaching math and science in the country of Bhutan. After earning a degree from Dartmouth College he worked for several years in outdoor recreation leading trips, running a cross country ski center, and exploring opportunities in the natural world. Brick has spent significant time on all seven continents, led seven GIS trips abroad along with countless other outdoor trips. He consistently participated in professional development opportunities during his two decades of teaching. This lifetime of experience has well prepared Brick to help Steamboat Mountain School students develop the intellectual and global perspectives, which are the school’s mission.
rootb@steamboatmountainschool.org

Brick Root

Chemistry, Physics, Algebra II, Precalculus
Dartmouth College

Erin Gilbertson Davis
Academic Dean, English
B.A. Whitman College 
Having grown up in Steamboat and graduated from Steamboat Springs High School, Erin “Gilbo” Davis has long been fascinated by Steamboat Mountain School and was thrilled to be hired in 2004 to teach French. Since then, she has held many various positions at our school. She has her degree in French Language and Literature and has spent much time abroad living, guiding bicycle tours, and admiring art. Mrs. Davis has traveled the globe extensively in Europe, the Americas and Asia, Africa, and Central America, many times chaperoning Steamboat Mountain School Global Immersion Studies trips. The former collegiate alpine ski racer has coached local SSWSC youth for 10 years, and is an avid mountain bike rider. She also loves playing her cello, good design, practicing yoga, skiing, and fresh air. Currently, alongside her husband Tom, she is working on her life’s work and biggest adventure yet, raising two adorable children: Henry and Felicity.
davise@steamboatmountainschool.org

Erin Gilbertson Davis

Academic Dean, English
B.A. Whitman College

Gina Wither
Biology, A & P, Competitive Ski & Snowboard Program Coordinator, Director of Alumni Relations
B.S. Illinois Wesleyan University 
Gina Wither plays multiple roles at Steamboat Mountain School. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1999, Gina joined our staff and has been here ever since. She teaches Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, works as liaison for the school’s Competitive Ski & Ride Program with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC), and is the Director of Alumni Relations. She lives on campus with her husband Scott, and their young son Owen. Mrs. Wither is a member of the professional juggling troupe “We’re Not Clowns” and will neither confirm nor deny that she can juggle while wake surfing. On winter mornings, she loves to sled down the hill to school from the Lockwood Faculty House. She loves skiing, riding bikes, playing cribbage, reading, cooking and baking, and the Green Bay Packers.
witherg@steamboatmountainschool.org

Gina Wither

Biology, A & P, Competitive Ski & Snowboard Program Coordinator, Director of Alumni Relations
B.S. Illinois Wesleyan University

Jaudz Liu
Mandarin Chinese Teacher
B.A. Soochow University, Taipei Taiwan, Taipei Language Institute certified Mandarin Chinese teacher  
Jaudz loves traveling and learning different languages. She grew up in Taipei Taiwan, and she put her passion for philosophy, art, and dance into teaching and designing marching band shows and traditional Asian drumming performances. The groups she taught have attended multiple international events around the world and won many awards. In 2012 Jaudz moved to Steamboat Springs, where she has continued her passion for working with high school students. In her spare time, Jaudz enjoys hiking with her husband, doing yoga, participating in the Steamboat Dance Theater, and pursuing knowledge of the mind-body connection. Jaudz teaches Chinese both at Steamboat Mountain School and in the larger Steamboat community.
liuj@steamboatmountainschool.org

Jaudz Liu

Mandarin Chinese Teacher
B.A. Soochow University, Taipei Taiwan, Taipei Language Institute certified Mandarin Chinese teacher

John Morse, P ’21
English
B.A. Oberlin College, M.A. Middlebury College (Bread Loaf School of English) 
English teacher John Morse likes to combine his joy for learning in the classroom with an appreciation for the mountains and deserts of the West. As an avid mountain biker and former ski instructor, he is part of the reason his students learn to enjoy the combination as well. After graduating from Oberlin, Mr. Morse received a DeWitt-Wallace scholarship to attend Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English for his Master’s degree, which included the opportunity to study Shakespeare at Oxford. Prior to joining the faculty at Steamboat Mountain School, Mr. Morse attended NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School) in Patagonia, taught high school in rural Alaska, and managed a ski and bike shop. He enjoys spending time with his family, immersing himself in books, learning about neuroscience and its connections to education, and (when time permits) trying his hand at freelance writing and copy-editing.
morsej@steamboatmountainschool.org

John Morse, P ’21

English
B.A. Oberlin College, M.A. Middlebury College (Bread Loaf School of English)

Marta M. Miskolczy, P ’20
Director of Marketing and Advancement
B.S. University of Vermont, M.A. Columbia University 
After directing admissions and enrollment at Santa Fe Prep for 14 years, Marta and her family relocated to Steamboat Springs for their next school/life adventure. Marta has embraced the challenge of marketing, fundraising and recruiting for Steamboat Mountain School. As a fourth generation graduate of independent schools, she likes the combination of academics and adventure that the school provides. She has been working hard to tie the school to the greater resource of Steamboat Springs by starting and hosting Artwalk, helping foster the new Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP), and strengthening ties to the greater community. When she is not at work, she can be found supporting her high school aged son (SMS class of 2020) in his varied pursuits: Mandarin lessons, golf, lacrosse, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and work as a junior ski patroller at Ski Santa Fe during school breaks.
marta@steamboatmountainschool.org

Marta M. Miskolczy, P ’20

Director of Marketing and Advancement
B.S. University of Vermont, M.A. Columbia University

Margi Missling-Root
Director of Experiential Education, Boys’ Dorm RH
B.S. Montana State University 
We call her “Margi,” as she considers “Mrs. Missling-Root” too formal. Margi has 35 years of experience in outdoor education, and her specialty is educating high school students about the natural world. She has been a naturalist, backcountry instructor, guide and since 1978, and she has led a foreign trip for Steamboat Mountain School almost every year, 24 in all. There are few continents Margi has not traveled thoroughly. The programs she manages include outdoor activities of all kinds, camping, foreign travel, and community service.
Margi feels the tops of mountains and the shores of foreign locales feed the minds and souls of our students. Having a keen interest in plants, she is a master gardener and also the school’s landscape designer. Margi is a firm believer in the mind body connection; she studies natural healing and meditation. She raised her son, Bridger (Steamboat Mountain School `07) on campus, has trained service dogs, and plants trees and gardens wherever the earth needs enrichment. She loves to sing, play the guitar, meditate, garden, garden, garden, hike, backcountry ski, snowshoe, and take walks with her very smart dog, Lorax. Margi educates students and guides the Experiential Education Program with this quote by Luther Standing Bear. “The old Lakotas were wise. They knew that a person’s heart away from nature would become hard. They knew that a lack of respect for growing and living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. So they kept their youth close to the earth’s softening influence.”
margi@steamboatmountainschool.org

Margi Missling-Root

Director of Experiential Education, Boys’ Dorm RH
B.S. Montana State University

Meg Morse, P ’21
Head of School
B.A. Trinity College, M.A. Middlebury College (Bread Loaf School of English)  
After teaching at Westminster School in Connecticut and The Bishop’s School in California, Meg Morse came to Steamboat Mountain School in the fall of 1999 to serve as math and English teacher and college counselor. After twelve years of college counseling, she transitioned to the role of Academic Dean. In 2013 Meg became the Head of School and continued to teach Algebra II. Meg received her graduate degree in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and spent two of her five Bread Loaf summers studying Shakespeare at its Oxford University campus. Meg has spent her years as a high-school educator running dorms, teaching all levels of English and most levels of math, and coaching field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. Having led the Vietnam/Cambodia Global Immersion Studies trip four times, she is the school’s resident expert on Southeast Asia. In her free time, Meg loves to cook, knit, read, spend time with her son (SMS class of 2021), and tackle puzzles and play games as a way to improve brain flexibility.
morsem@steamboatmountainschool.org

Meg Morse, P ’21

Head of School
B.A. Trinity College, M.A. Middlebury College (Bread Loaf School of English)

Nikki Durkan
Biology, Environmental Science, Geography
B.A. University of Colorado – Boulder 
Her research on the effects of logging in Routt National Forest as a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder may have spurred Ms. Durkan’s interest in Steamboat Springs and its alpine ecosystem. As the Environmental Science and Biology teacher, Ms. Durkan’s diverse field experience also spans beyond the woods to waters. She worked previously as a naturalist for the Pacific Whale Foundation, becoming an expert on reef ecology, local marine mammals such as the Humpback Whale, the geology of the Hawaiian Islands, and local green sea turtles. Following a coral reef ecology course with field experience diving in Cozumel, she received her SCUBA certification and also learned to free-dive up to 40+ feet for extended periods of time. During the summer of 2015, Ms. Durkan spent three weeks aboard the NOAA ship Oscar Dyson working with scientists monitoring Alaskan pollock populations as part of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program. Her science classes can be found all over campus, collecting water and soil samples, planting seedlings to prevent erosion, and monitoring wetlands. Ms. Durkan studied abroad in Italy and has traveled throughout Europe, Central America, and Asia. Her travels inspired her to enroll in a variety of humanities courses in college and ignited a passion for learning and teaching about the diverse ecosystems and cultures of our world. She strives to generate this same excitement in the geography course and GIS program. Ms. Durkan and her husband Josh Smullin (SSWSC Nordic Coach), welcomed their son, Simi, to the world in May 2017. Ms. Durkan is an avid skier, whether it’s cross-country, alpine, or snowboarding and she loves to hike and bike in the summertime.
durkann@steamboatmountainschool.org

Nikki Durkan

Biology, Environmental Science, Geography
B.A. University of Colorado – Boulder

Pearson Alspach
Director of Admissions
B.S. University of Vermont 
After graduating from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in communication, Pearson ventured out West to Lander, Wyo. to work for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in their Marketing department. During her tenure at NOLS, she traveled throughout the U.S. to talk to potential NOLS students in all different venues. While living in Wyoming, she took advantage of the open spaces and never missed an opportunity for a new adventure, be it rock climbing, cycling, running, or skiing.
Pearson found Steamboat Mountain School to be the perfect opportunity to continue to promote “top of the line” education to potential students. Since arriving in Steamboat Springs she has grown her family with two little boys, Walker and Jay and is part of the biggest adventure yet, parenting. With this new perspective, Pearson continues to learn and loves welcoming new families to the dynamic life at Steamboat Mountain School.
alspachp@steamboatmountainschool.org

Pearson Alspach

Director of Admissions
B.S. University of Vermont

Robbie Tesar
History Teacher, Boys’ Dorm RA
B.A. Connecticut College, M.A. Naropa University 
Robbie has an MA in Contemplative Religions from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and a BA in American Studies and U.S History from Connecticut College. While at Conn, Robbie was an integral member of the Camel hockey team. After matriculation, Robbie began his teaching career at Vermont Academy. He is a NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester graduate and has led numerous 40+ day canoe expeditions in Northern Canada for Camp Keewaydin. At Steamboat Mountain School, he teaches World History, U.S History, and Global Issues. Robbie lives on campus in Elizabeth Hall with his wife Alice, their son Brooks, and their dogs- Patterson and Midge. He enjoys the practice of fly fishing, the guitar stylings of Jerry Garcia, and the telemark turn. In the summer months, Robbie guides fishing trips for Steamboat Flyfisher.
Certifications: WFR, AIARE II, 50 hrs Colorado River Guide, Mental Health First Aid
tesarr@steamboatmountainschool.org

Robbie Tesar

History Teacher, Boys’ Dorm RA
B.A. Connecticut College, M.A. Naropa University

Sierra Hillman-Kroll
Art
B.S. University of Vermont 
Sierra Hillman-Kroll received a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Vermont in 2014, where she focused on pursuing her own artistic endeavors, while developing the necessary skills to nurture the creativity of young artists. Upon graduating, Sierra taught a class of preschool students in Burlington, Vermont, integrating creative hands on learning inside and outside the classroom. After a thrilling summer exploring the States in search of art, culture, friends, and outdoor adventures, Sierra moved to Steamboat in 2015, where she teaches children’s art classes at Make Studio and coaches snowboarding for SSWSC. This year Sierra will be teaching Art, fostering rich and rewarding artistic experiences.

Sierra Hillman-Kroll

Art
B.S. University of Vermont

Andy Weynand, P ’21
Business Manager
B.A. University of Texas at Austin  
Andy joined Steamboat Mountain School in 2017, after a rewarding career in the hospitality industry. Andy started his career as a bellboy, where he learned to hustle, serve, and persevere. He worked his way up the ranks to become the Vice President of Operations for the east coast with Wyndham. In Steamboat Springs, he led many large condominium resorts as General Manager. Andy brings a deep understanding of successful business practices, extensive hiring and mentoring experience, as well as a strong financial acumen. In his role as the Business Manager, Andy’s goal is to provide stable financial management as well as consistent reporting to the Board of Trustees, parents and faculty of the school. In addition, he is committed to the concepts of sound property management, faculty support and financial stability. Andy has been a resident of Steamboat Springs since 1992 with his wife Jayme, his son Chase (SMS class of 2020) and daughter Catcher. As a family, they are passionate environmentalists, conservationists, volunteers, archers and active pursuers of all things Colorado.

Andy Weynand, P ’21

Business Manager
B.A. University of Texas at Austin

Kevin Hopsicker
Spanish I and IV, Boys’ Dorm Assistant to the RA, Admin. Assistant
B.A. Middlebury College  
Kevin is an East Coast native recently thrown into the grandeur of the big and wild West. It’s a good match. He graduated from Middlebury College in the spring of 2018 with a major in Economics and a minor in Spanish. At Middlebury, Kevin captained the varsity football team and worked in the Office of Sustainability. He also fell in love with everything Vermont: hiking, biking, cliff jumping and, of course, skiing. After graduation, Kevin spent a year in Madrid, Spain (where he previously had studied abroad), both teaching language and history, and improving his Spanish. On his own time, Kevin enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, writing creatively, exploring the outdoors, trying new sports and getting lost in great literature. He is excited to bring some Spanish culture to the Rockies and call Steamboat home.

Kevin Hopsicker

Spanish I and IV, Boys’ Dorm Assistant to the RA, Admin. Assistant
B.A. Middlebury College

Brady Findell
College Counselor, American Literature, Geopolitical Studies
B.A. St. John’s College, M.F.A. DePaul University 
Brady Findell grew up in Steamboat Springs and is a proud graduate of Steamboat Mountain School. He earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe where he studied philosophy, literature, and the history of math and science through close reading and discussion of the Great Books of the Western canon. Whenever his face wasn’t buried in old books, Brady was an active member of Atalaya Search and Rescue and took advantage of the desert southwest by going skiing in Taos, ice climbing in Ouray, canyoneering in Utah, and backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. After graduation, Brady worked for The Road Less Traveled, an adventure travel company for teens. He led SCUBA diving trips in the Florida keys where he and his students worked with the Coral Restoration Foundation to reintroduce staghorn coral to the barrier reefs off Key Largo. From 2013-2015, Brady taught World History, US History, and Honors Physics at Steamboat Mountain School before leaving to earn an M.F.A. in Filmmaking from DePaul University. Brady is excited to be back again to teach Junior English and Geopolitical Studies and to take students on adventures in the great outdoors.

Brady Findell

College Counselor, American Literature, Geopolitical Studies
B.A. St. John’s College, M.F.A. DePaul University

Alice Tesar
Director of Marketing
 B.A. College of Saint Benedict
Born and raised in the land of 10,000 lakes Alice was drawn to Steamboat Springs, CO by the Yampa Valley’s trout streams. As Steamboat Mountain School’s Director of Marketing, Alice channels the focus and the flow required for river life to tell the stories of our school’s culture both locally and internationally. After graduating from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota with a degree in Environmental Studies, Alice jumped into the world of advertising working with nonprofits, health & wellness companies, and natural & organic food brands like Urban Organics, Earthbound Organics, and Lundberg Family Farms. Her passion for telling the stories of communities with meaning brought her to Steamboat Mountain School, a community that teaches it’s students that life should be lived through stewardship and adventure. If Alice isn’t trying to help you tell your story she’s usually writing hers. She enjoys angling, skiing, and writing about a life lived out of doors. Alice lives on campus with her partner, Robbie Tesar and their young son, Brooks. Brooks can usually be found around campus with a hockey stick or fly rod in tow.

Alice Tesar

Director of Marketing

Andy Pratt
Director of Technology, Graphics

Andy graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. He has most recently worked in the Denver area as a Mobile and Web Application Developer. He is active in the local music and theater community, and is a member of the comedy juggling troupe We’re Not Clowns. Andy loves to bike, backpack and ski. This is his 3rd time working at the school and he’s excited to be back.

Andy Pratt

Director of Technology, Graphics

Emily Spangler
Geometry, Algebra II, Admin. Assistant

Emily Spangler

Geometry, Algebra II, Admin. Assistant

Logan McKee
Maintenance, Residential Program

Logan McKee

Maintenance, Residential Program

Ruben Ramos
Assistant Chef

Ruben Ramos

Assistant Chef