Faculty and Staff

Daniel Coey – Director      Contact Me

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Dan was born and raised in Ohio. He moved to Durango in the late 1970’s and in 1980 took a job with CTA as the maintenance man. He showed his dedication to the school by keeping it in shape and by his love for the students. Dan’s excellent relationship and dedication to the students earned him the position of Dean of Students in 1986. In 1994, he was hired as the Director of the school, with the backing of the entire faculty. Dan has made CTA his life’s work, and is responsible for helping CTA evolve into the thriving school it is today.







Ian Altman – Admissions Counseling/Rock Climbing     Contact Me

Ian was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where he lived until he was fifteen years old.  In ninth grade, he moved to New Hampshire to attend a boarding school with similar ideals to CTA, where he quickly found his love for the outdoors and its teachings. After graduating high school, he moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue his undergraduate degree from Lewis and Clark College. While at Lewis and Clark,  he discovered his talents for the ceramic arts and he later received his BA from Fort Lewis College in Fine Arts and Environmental Studies. While in college, Ian began working with adolescents throughout the summer months as a rock climbing instructor for Longacre Expeditions. After leading trips for Longacre for three summers, he was next hired as a dorm parent and rock climbing instructor for CTA. In 2001, Ian became the full-time art teacher with CTA and he lived and worked on campus for eight years before heading back to school to pursue his Masters in Social Work. After receiving his MSW from the University of Denver in 2012, Ian returned to CTA in the role of Admissions Counselor and Recruiter for all prospective students. Ian continues to lead CTA’s accomplished rock climbing program and is currently working towards his clinical license in social work with the State of Colorado.



Eric Maxwell – Math   Contact Me

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Eric is an Arizona native who was born and raised in a small mountain town. Upon graduating high school, he attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University earning a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a private pilot’s license. His first job was as an air breathing propulsion engineer for Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division at the China Lake naval base in Ridgecrest, CA. After deciding that this wasn’t his calling, he returned to tutoring math and physics (his job while in college) at the college level before teaching math for a year at a public high school in Arizona and finally becoming a math teacher at CTA. He coached football and track and field at the high school varsity level for 5 years and 3 years respectively. He also has several years of snowboarding experience and was an instructor for one season.





Ciara Dunne- Aesthetics and Visual Arts    Contact Me

Ciara was born in Greeley, Colorado but spent 3 years living in County Kerry, Ireland as a young lass because of her father and his family hail from Dublin.  At the age of 8, she settled back in Parker, Colorado and finished out grade school with a strong aptitude for artistic expression.  Ciara has a special interest in drawing, painting, and book binding but has a vast range of experience with many different mediums including performance-based arts. Ciara spent her first year of undergrad at the University of Colorado, Boulder as an art major and then transferred to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she finished her BA in Multidisciplinary Arts.  Ciara has been teaching painting classes in Olympia, Washington for three years and is thrilled to be working her dream job as a high school art teacher at CTA. Ciara enjoys trail running, hiking, and dancing and she has traveled the US and Europe extensively, collaborating with artist collectives in many different cities.






George Foster– Science      Contact Me


Though George claims to be a Colorado local, he didn’t move to the small town of Silverton until 6 months of age.  He was raised in the mountains above CTA and has developed a strong link to the San Juans through a lifetime of climbing, skiing, and fishing.  His interest in sharing knowledge and connection was sparked while studying abroad in India and working at the Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center through his undergraduate program in Environmental Communication.  During this program, he was able to conduct education research and teach science in the rural classrooms of Northern Kenya.  Returning to the states he became accredited in secondary science education at Western State University and taught in his hometown of Silverton for two years.  Seeking a path to share his land-based education philosophies he worked as a wilderness therapy field guide in Utah helping adults discover and follow new life paths through outdoor adventure.  He is excited to settle into an intimate community where he can share his love for the outdoors and help students develop a holistic understanding and appreciation of the systems that drive our Earth.




Paige Schonher – Humanities       Contact Me

Paige was born in Kansas but grew up mostly in Colorado.  She attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she studied philosophy and education and received her teacher’s license in secondary-level history.  She has studied abroad in Spain, interned in Chile, and lived in Scotland while studying for her master’s in philosophy at the University of St Andrews.  After spending time as a camp counselor and a nanny, she is excited to return to teaching at CTA.






Halie Wilson- English       Contact Me


Halie split her childhood between the Western NY countryside and the beaches of NJ. She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she studied both Writing and Rhetoric and Environmental Studies. Her love of teaching English was fostered by working as a writing tutor for the school’s learning center and teaching summer classes for the Higher Education Opportunity Program. She also devoted a year to being an environmental outreach intern for the Finger Lakes Institute, of which her favorite component was the community garden! After spending a year as a kindergarten teacher, Halie made the trek out West for a job in outdoor education. She loves teaching kids of all ages to mountain bike, rock climb, kayak, and paddleboard. In her free time, Halie can be found seeing live music, skiing on the slopes, mountain biking, trail running, or reading a book by the water. She is ecstatic to be a part of CTA.





Spencer McClendon- Civilization       Contact Me


Spencer was born and raised in Auburn, Alabama. After graduating high school, Spencer took 6 months off to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine to scratch his constant itch for being surrounded by nature and beautiful mountains. Upon his return home, he attended Auburn University to study Social Science Education. He graduated in May 2014 from Auburn University’s College of Education. When he was 12 years old his parents took him to a kayaking class on the mighty Coosa River and from then on Spencer devoted much of his energy and free time to whitewater kayaking. With over 10 years of experience, his Kayak has led him to many beautiful places in pursuit of the best rivers across the United States. Spencer has been a level-3 ACA certified kayak instructor since 2011. Teaching whitewater kayaking through college and raft guiding in the summer fed his passion for working with people in the outdoors. After graduating from Auburn, he moved to Durango to teach kayaking in an effort to pursue the pristine class V canyons in the San Juan and Weminuche Mountains. Finding the CTA campus following a run down the Bakers Box section of the Animas, his interest was sparked. Following some research of the school’s ideals and a formal campus visit, he saw Timberline as a great fit for his passions of education and mountain culture. Spencer is very excited to start his education career at CTA and to work with the students both in and out of the classroom.



Clifford Cox- College and Career Counseling       Contact Me

Clifford is from Durant, Oklahoma.  He attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) and received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology in 2009.  In 2013, Clifford finished his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at SOSU and quickly joined the university staff as a Counselor for Student Support Services.  He excelled at providing resources to first-generation and low-income college students which helped them to achieve their academic and career goals.  Within three years, Clifford became the Director of the Academic Advising and Outreach Center and the Retention Services Coordinator for SOSU.  In August of 2017, Clifford joined the CTA staff as our College and Career Counselor.  His experience in higher education, college success, and student counseling makes him a valuable member of our team.  Clifford and his wife Jessica live on campus with their three beautiful children Rachel, Josiah, and Lydia.  Their family enjoys hiking, camping, and serving at their new church in Bayfield, Co  They are very excited about the amazing weather, landscape, and opportunities that Colorado holds.  Clifford loves to sing and play guitar, and he claims that Jessica makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.  





Hannah Fox- Math           Contact Me

img_0004Hannah Fox was born in Albuquerque, NM but moved to Colorado when she was three. She attended a public school near to Durango and was blessed to have the chance to grow up hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking.  When she was eighteen, she became a raft guide and has continued to pursue her love for rivers and oceans by rafting, kayaking, SUPing, surfing, and sea kayaking. She followed the water all the way to Seattle, where she attended Seattle University and earned degrees in philosophy and math. After graduation, she worked in the international district of Seattle in an elementary school for four years and has coached youth soccer for many years. She relocated to Durango in the spring of 2015 and has been enjoying the beautiful mountains. She is totally exciting to start teaching math at CTA and to share her love of the outdoors with the students!





Laurel Brent- Executive Assistant    Contact Me

photo-2Laurel was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri.  She grew up in the Ozarks and attended Southwest Missouri State University completing a degree in Governmental Studies with minors in Communication and History.  Laurel spent her 20’s traveling, living and working in cities including Springfield, Chicago, and Detroit as an executive administrative assistant in advertising, education, and industry.  She moved to Durango in 1997 having fallen in love with the mountains as a child and currently raises her beautiful children, Adelaide (15) and Wyatt (12).  She loves to ski, flat water paddle, hike, and camp.  She is excited to return to work in an educational environment.





Kristina Kindler – Dorm Mom       Contact Me





Jimmy Bick- Dorm Dad        Contact Me

Jimmy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  He moved to the Durango area in 2011 so he could study psychology and music at Fort Lewis College.  In St. Louis, Jimmy was a professional musician for over 10 years.  This experience included opening up for many national acts, as well as composing scores for short films and video games.  Jimmy plays several instruments such as guitar, bass, drums/percussion, piano, and vocals.  Other than being a dorm parent at CTA, Jimmy looks forward to the opportunity to help students explore their musical interests.