Board Members

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Mountain Middle School is fortunate to have a highly talented Board of Directors who are passionate about project-based learning.

MMS Logo 2018 (1)

Erin Patla, President



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Jim and Ian Opera House (1)

Jim McCarthy, Member

08/21/19 – 08/21/22

Jim McCarthy is pleased to serve on the Mountain Middle School Board.  Jim graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Auburn University.

Jim served in the United States Air Force as a Civil Engineering Officer for 33 years.  Upon retiring from the Air Force, Jim led construction management teams working on multimillion dollar projects for the US government in the fields of chemical demilitarization, embassy construction, environmental cleanup, and geotechnical engineering.

Jim had the pleasure of serving on the MMS Board when the school was in its infancy.  He was instrumental in establishing the foundation from which the school has built it current success.  He has lived in Durango since 2003 with his wife and his 16-year old son, an MMS graduate.


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Nicole Perino, Board Secretary


Nicole moved to Durango with her family as a teenager. She quickly fell in love with the community and the bountiful recreation opportunities. After graduating from DHS, Nicole attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where she graduated with a BA in International Affairs. She worked in retail management and in sales for a national builder in the Denver area until 2006 when she returned to Durango.   She’s been a Realtor since then, leading her own team as a top producing broker. Nicole is passionate about helping empower humans to live their best lives by developing their why. She and her husband Jeff enjoy work together designing and building homes for clients and themselves. They have two young children, Vivienne and Hugo. Together they love to go on river trips and go camping with friends and family. Most of the time you can find them working and playing on their Florida river “mini-farm” along with their two cats and Eddie the dog.

Ben Thompson, Member

5//20/2020 – 5/20/2023

Ben Thompson