Steamboat Mountain School cultivates the intellect and imagination of young minds, so that students grow their curiosity, discover their potential, contribute meaningfully to their community, and engage in a dynamic, global society .

~ Adopted by the Steamboat Mountain School Board of Trustees, January, 2022


Our students are:

Courageous in Action

When presented with challenges, our students both accept and offer support to strengthen their resilience and develop the confidence they need to take risks.

Vigorous in Learning

Our students find their voices by developing their independent thinking skills so that they can collaborate productively in an increasingly connected world.

Purposeful in Exploring

Our students bring the world into the classroom and the classroom into the world, stepping forward into global citizenship as they experience, appreciate, and engage with the world around them.

Our students learn:

The Power of Connectedness

Through their relationships within the school community and beyond, our students develop empathy based on mutual respect, honesty, and open-mindedness and demonstrate a sense of responsibility for the larger community.

The Impact of Wholeness

Our students embark on the two human journeys: inwards to explore self and outwards to engage with the world. By developing a deep understanding of who they are and who they are becoming, our students increase their meaningful impact on the world.

Our school believes in:

Thriving through Contrast

Our school intentionally embraces the dynamic equilibrium between contrasting principles by:

  • providing our students with challenge and offering them support
  • developing independent thought and encouraging collaboration
  • bringing the world into the classroom and bringing the classroom into the world
  • focusing on our school community and connecting with the global community
  • fostering self-awareness and inspiring broader impact

A Brief History:

In 1946, Lowell Whiteman started a summer camp for boys on his property just outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After suggestions from parents, Whiteman opened a small boarding institution, Whiteman-Gaylord School, with twenty-one students, high hopes, and no money. From its inception, the school was college preparatory, while also incorporating foreign travel and outdoor education. Lowell found that he could house and feed faculty and students much more cheaply, and avoid “mud season,” if he moved the school to Mexico in the spring.

In its early years, The Lowell Whiteman School (LWS) flourished under dedicated staff, witnessing notable improvements in facilities and programs. During its initial eleven years, LWS expanded its facilities and ventured abroad for its first European trip to Blanes, Spain, in 1962. In 1963, the institution underwent a name change to The Lowell Whiteman School and underwent an expansion that included additional classrooms, a library, and a garage. Over two decades, headmaster John Whittum provided stable leadership, fostering academic enhancement and growth in the outdoor program. In a pivotal turn of events, a devastating fire engulfed the Lodge on February 9, 1977, wiping out classrooms, offices, the library, and more. Despite financial challenges, local support rallied to rebuild, even welcoming day students to the program. The school surged forward in rejuvenation, erecting new buildings, expanding the library, and constructing a boy’s dorm and gymnasium. Integrating competitive skiing into its offerings and merging with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in 1986, LWS harnessed local resources for its ski program. Throughout the ensuing decades, The Lowell Whiteman School experienced variability with enrollment and financial stability. In 2014, the school changed its name to Steamboat Mountain School to move away from name confusion and to improve brand recognition. Further, 2014 also marks the start of Meg Morse’s tenure as head of school. Meg brought the school through a challenging leadership transition and lean enrollment 6 years to enroll more mission-appropriate families. In 2018, Meg Morse and Samantha Coyne Donnel, head of school at Emerald Mountain School, began conversations with their boards about developing a strategic partnership. Located in downtown Steamboat Springs, Emerald Mountain School, was a K-8 community school, serving approximately 60 children. The evolution of the school began in 1993 when a small group of families tapped Nancy Spillane to establish the Lowell Whiteman Primary School. These founders created a school committed to educating the whole child. By nurturing the mind and spirit, they believed the environment created for the school would inspire a child to become a critical thinker, a problem solver, and a life-long learner while attaining a solid academic foundation. Students were grouped in multi-age classrooms taught by subject-experts. The school was renamed Emerald Mountain School in August of 2012 to alleviate confusion with the Lowell Whiteman School. In 2018 members of the Steamboat Mountain School board worked on a joint task force with members of the Emerald Mountain School board along with their heads of school to explore a strategic partnership. As conversations developed, the task force began seriously considering a merger. The schools hired a merger consultant, and after two years of reviewing the possibility, talking with key stakeholders, and conversations with ACIS, the schools merged. In January 2021, the school submitted the new articles of incorporation with the state of Colorado. After joining the business operations of the school, a taskforce of constituents from both campuses worked together to develop core principles for the new K-12 school. The core principles guide all decision-making and evaluation of programs as we unify the campuses. The board then utilized the work from the stakeholders to revise the school’s mission and vision statements.