While Ashley calls Durango her home, your best bet in finding her these days is to listen for her classic “yeeooop” call as she summons a group of high school students on yet another “Carruthless” sufferfest through the San Juan Mountains or Colorado Plateau. More specifically, Ashley teaches 12th grade Humanities and co-directs San Juan Mountain SOLES, an outdoor education and leadership development organization for high school female-identifying youth. For the past eight years, Ashley has focused on connecting her students to wild spaces and providing them with experiential education opportunities that foster a stronger sense of justice, environmental ethic, and connection to place and community.
Ashley received her B.A. in English and Education from Dartmouth College, after which point she spent some time exploring the nonprofit world of Seattle, trying her hand at big mountain ski competitions, and starting a project-based learning school-within-a-school in Basalt, Colorado. After earning her Master’s in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at Stanford University in 2011, Ashley moved to Southwestern Colorado and it was love at first sight! She has since developed a deep sense of place and community rooted in the scree fields of the San Juan Mountains, the silt-laden waters of the San Juan River, the yawning labyrinth of canyons of the Colorado Plateau, the intrepid urban deer, skittish alpine coyotes, and big-hearted Durangotang bipeds.