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 for more than two decades. Heather has seventeen years of experience in the field of learning and development. She started her career as a high school social studies teacher and later developed an interest in adult learning.
For the past twelve years she has been practicing in the areas of training, development, leadership, and program implementation in the private and public sector. Eight of the twelve years were spent developing and managing technical training programs and leadership development programs for oil and gas companies. Her reporting structures included both Human Resources and Operations giving her a well-rounded view of organizational culture and needs. She is passionate about translating organizational needs into measurable outcomes and believes in the power of people and relationships as a means to that end.
Heather holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. and a Masters degree in Education from Leslie University, Cambridge, MA. Heather, her husband Steve, and their son Mack love to mountain bike, play cards, do jigsaw puzzles, cheer the Broncos, and fuss with each other about screen-time and age-appropriate video games.
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!
Tyson E. Brimhall CPA , Board Treasurer
11/18/15 – 11/18/18
Tyson has extensive financial services and consulting experience in both public and private accounting. During his years working in various divisions of Big Four accounting firms in Arizona and Northern California, he teamed with clients from multiple industries to meet their assurance and tax needs, as well as consulted in the areas of technology and accounting system design, implementation and operation. He is currently the owner of Animas Tax Solutions, LLC, a financial services firm focused on helping taxpayers with IRS tax problems through representation, planning and compliance, in addition to general business consulting.
Tyson is passionate about education and is often found running the trails around Durango, Colorado. He enjoys funky and weird music and being outdoors doing activities such as skiing, camping, and golf.
Tyson holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Anderson School of Management at The University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the College of Business at New Mexico State University. He is licensed as a certified public accountant (CPA) in the state of Colorado.
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 has been teaching for the past 15 years. 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 currently teaches in the Department of Teacher Education at Fort Lewis College. Prior to joining Fort Lewis, Jen spent nine years teaching Spanish as a second language and Spanish for native speakers at Durango High School and Glenwood Springs High School. Her experience living among Latin American cultures is vast, including a Fulbright Teacher Exchange in Mexico and two years in Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer in agriculture. Jen has led various student trips to South America, and is passionate about multicultural and multilingual education.
She holds a M.A. in Spanish from New Mexico State University, and a M.A. in Linguistically Diverse Education from Adams State University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at New Mexico State University, with a focus in educational learning technologies and social justice issues in education. She plans to complete her degree in October 2017.
Jen loves playing in the mountains with her husband Warren and their daughter Willa (7), 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.