2019-20 SCHOOL BASED MENTORS

Sara Duft -Steamboat Springs High School: Sara grew up in Southern Illinois about 45 minutes from St. Louis. She studied Animal Science and Wildlife Management at the University of Missouri where she was able to utilize her passion for conservation and travel by studying abroad in South Africa and Thailand. Following graduation she worked as an Elephant keeper at the St. Louis Zoo for about a year. Itching for a change of scenery she moved to Steamboat Springs in May of 2018 and worked for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. She lead the 16-18 year old regional service crew for that summer and was immediately hooked on teaching her passion for the outdoors to youth. She continued to pursue that feeling by teaching ski lessons in the winter and working as the volunteer coordinator for Colorado Fourteener’s Initiative this past summer and fall season. Sara is excited to be back and involved with the Steamboat community. When not at work you can find her hiking, biking, skiing, crocheting, fly-fishing, planning her next trip abroad, or looking for a dog to hangout with.  She is excited for the start of this new adventure with partners and hopes to have a positive impact on the community through her work.

Chelsea Pappas- South Routt Middle & High School: Chelsea Pappas was born in Chilocothe, Ohio and moved to Colorado when she was one year old. She grew up in a small town outside of Fort Collins where she learned a lot about community. Being a mountain girl her whole life she finds her peace in the outdoors. She loves to hike, camp, paddle board, and spend time with her dogs. After high school Chelsea attended Headlines Hair Academy and became a licensed hair stylist. Working behind the chair taught her a lot about people and forming strong relationships. Chelsea moved to Routt County 15 years ago, started her own business and took on some new adventures. Those adventures have included managing two retail stores, making jewelry, flower arranging, and working at a dog kennel. One of her favorite things has been subbing in South Routt School District for the last 3 years. She is very excited to move into the mentor position this year, as she feels she can bring a positive outlook to the kids at Soroco.

Taylor Payne- Steamboat Springs Middle School: Taylor, originally from Hot Springs, Arkansas, has returned to Steamboat after her second summer in Alaska. She has called Colorado her home base for around 4 years. Taylor is back with Partners in Routt County for her second year, and will be serving as the School Based Mentor at Steamboat Springs Middle School. While not at work, she enjoys cooking, hiking, snowboarding, and being active. She is excited to be back in the Steamboat Community and is ready for another great school year!

Maddie Ward- Mountain Village Montessori Charter School: Maddie was born in Claremore, Oklahoma and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado when she was 15 years old. She is currently attending Colorado Mountain College obtaining her Associates of Psychology while working as a Resident Assistant at the Hill Hall Residence facility. She will be serving as a School Based Mentor at the Mountain Village Montessori School. When Maddie isn’t working or in class, she enjoys reading, skiing, and being with friends! She is excited about the opportunity to give back to the community and looking forward to an amazing school year!

Layna Jansen – North Routt Community Charter School: Layna is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, and studied Anthropology and Sustainability at the University of Virginia. She has worked in Clark for several seasons over at The Home Ranch as a wrangler.  While not at work, Layna loves to ride horses, bike, hike, read, and cross country skiing. She is so excited about staying in the area and getting to be involved further in the Clark community, and start the School Based Mentor position at the NRCCS!

Claire Harris: North Routt Community Charter School: Claire was born and raised in Manitou Springs, Colorado. She attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA and graduated from the University Honors Program with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and Economics. While there, she also worked with incoming college freshmen and their families in navigating the exciting transition into college life. She has a passion for economic and social justice and hopes to spread those passions as a mentor. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, and anything else in the outdoors. We are so lucky to have Claire returning for year 3 with us!