Mountain Middle School is fortunate to have a highly talented Board of Directors who are passionate about project-based learning.
Heather Otter, Board President
01/20/16 – 01/20/19
Heather is originally from Wyoming. Durango has been her home since the late 80’s. She started her career as a high school social studies teacher and later developed an interest in adult learning. This lead to owning a business with her husband Steve called The Durango Computer Classroom. She had fun helping individuals and teams work with hardware and software but mostly she just liked helping people learn new ways of doing things. Eventually, she was recruited to manage employee training and development for one of her clients. Heather spent the next ten years in the oil and gas industry building teams that lead the way in learning and leadership. Now, Heather works for Region 9 Economic Development District. She loves traveling around Southwest Colorado and working with local governments, businesses and schools on community projects.
Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Heather, her husband Steve, and their son Mack loves to mountain bike, play cards, watch movies and eat pizza on Friday nights, get outdoors and take road trips in their old van.
LeeAnn Vallejos, Vice President
08/17/16 – 08/17/19
A Colorado native, LeeAnn has called Durango home since 2000. A graduate of Fort Lewis College, LeeAnn spent the bulk of her career (20+) years as an executive director of a handful of national and local not for profit organizations, advocating to increase the educational performance of minority students.
Committed to supporting public education LeeAnn has volunteered her time and expertise to countless working groups and committees within the 9R School District. Two years ago LeeAnn changed course and opened STITCH, a boutique quilt shop with her husband Mark.
LeeAnn spends her spare time enjoying the great outdoors with the men in her life; son Aiden, husband Mark and dog Max.
Royce Tranum, Secretary
09/21/16 – 09/21/19
Royce was born and raised in the US Virgin Islands, but Durango has been her home since 2001. She has worked in community mental health and school social work for over 20 years. Currently she is head of the School Social Work department for the San Juan Board of Cooperative Education Services.
Royce is passionate about community partnership and building relationships. She has been involved with many non-profit organizations, community collaboration teams, panels and focus groups bringing people and organizations together to support children and families in the Four Corners.
Royce graduated from Emory University with a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education and also holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the University of California, Berkeley. You can often find Royce and her children, Grace (10) and Elliot (8) outside – running, skiing, hiking, camping, and traveling!
Heather McGlasson, Member
Heather McGlasson has over 20 years of construction industry experience working for some of the largest general contractors in the world. She and her husband, Jamison have owned and operated G2 Contractors, LLC since 2009, focusing on state and federal park projects from Texas to Utah.
Moving to Durango in 2015 was a personal choice driven by the quality of education available for their sons, Jackson (attending MMS) and Filip, as well as the opportunity for outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking.
Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Webster University in the Netherlands and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business. Heather is an active member of the Professional Women’s Network, La Plata Economic Alliance, Durango High Noon Rotary Club, and Western Colorado Contractors Association.
Jennifer Rider, Member
Jennifer Rider, Member
Jennifer Rider is the Instructional Design and Development Specialist at Fort Lewis College. She has been teaching for the past 15 years, and the beginning of her passion for working with kids started while she was in the Peace Corps in Honduras working with local schools on topics related to nutrition and the environment. She has taught high school Spanish in Durango and Glenwood Springs as well as teacher education courses at Fort Lewis College. Her experience living among Latin American cultures is vast, including a Fulbright Teacher Exchange in Mexico and leading various student trips to South America. Jen is passionate about multicultural and multilingual education as well as emerging educational technology. She holds a M.A. in Linguistically Diverse Education, a M.A. in Spanish Linguistics, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Learning Technologies.
Jen loves playing in the mountains with her husband Warren and their daughter Willa (8), most of the time on a raft, skis, or bikes. They also spend evenings in their vegetable garden or biking around town, enjoying the fun of living in Durango.
Jason Austin, Board Treasurer
Jason Austin SFO, MBA
Jason is an experienced school finance and operations specialist. He has worked in public and private sectors, with over eight years as an administrator in public schools. Hailing from the great state of Wisconsin (GO PACKERS), Jason and his family moved to Durango in 2013 to fulfill the role as CFO for Durango School District 9-R. Currently he is the Senior Vice President of Operations for Bank of the San Juans.
Jason is very passionate about education and providing the best opportunities for children in our community. He volunteers for numerous organizations including, DEVO, Purgatory Ski Team, Durango Swim Club and Durango Early Learning Center. He is proudly serving as the Board Treasurer of Durango Early Learning Center and United Way of Southwest Colorado Finance Committee member . Jason also enjoys time with his family, listening to music, and playing in the great outdoors.
Jason holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science in Finance, from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. In addition, he earned and maintains his School Business Administrator license in the State of Wisconsin and is a Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO).