(970) 403-0946  (970) 247-8333  info@southwestcoloradoeschool.org

SWCeS Staff

Steve Otter, Principal

Kelly Powell – Durango Center Coordinator and Instructor
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Having grown up in Durango, Kelly Powell is excited to be working in her community as the Student Services Coordinator of eSchool.  This will be Kelly’s 20th year working in a Colorado high school.  She began her career as a Spanish teacher and student adviser in Elizabeth Colorado.  After earning her masters’ degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education she began working as a high school counselor in Jefferson County.  In 2004 she was offered a counseling position at Durango High School and happily moved back to the area.  Kelly is passionate about helping adolescents reach their full potential and knows Southwest Colorado eSchool is the perfect place to obtain this goal. She lives with her husband and 2 children.  She also has a dog and enjoys participating in many local activities, especially skiing and biking. kpowell@southwestcoloradoeschool.org | Mobile (970) 749-5043

Cindy Houston – Dolores Center Coordinator and Student Services 
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Cindy comes to Colorado from West Virginia where she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. She headed west in pursuit of outdoor adventure and discovered her passion for supporting and working with youth. Through her three years of service with the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Partners’(RSAPP) Americorps program, Cindy served the School Community Youth Collaborative (SCYC) as the Program Coordinator facilitating leadership skill building and youth civic engagement programs. She was promoted to a paid position with SCYC as Program Manager and still enjoys engaging with youth and supporting their efforts to be leaders of positive change in their communities. Cindy is enthusiastic in supporting youth to have successful experiences with learning and was guided to the eSchool when looking for another way to plug into this passion. She resides in the small village of Lewis with her husband of 20+ years, 17-year-old daughter, two amazing Cha-Beaner dogs, chickens and llamas, where she is able to take advantage of the easy access to the mountain and desert playgrounds that surround her. Cindy can be reached via email; chouston@southwestcoloradoeschool.org or 970-946-3512.


Micah Susman – English Specialist, Social Studies support 

Micah spent the first 20 or so years of his life on the East Coast, in Washington, D.C. and in Boston.  He spent the next 20 or so years in Austin. Now he is in his second year, of the 20 or so, in La Plata county.  He has also traveled to 30 countries and most of the United States. No matter where he has been, Micah has always worked in education.  He has worked with all levels in all types of schools, but primarily as a secondary ELA teacher at large public schools. Like many of the eSchool students, the big public school wasn’t working for him anymore, and he wanted to focus his support on the individual student.  Micah loves helping students become life-long readers and writers; he is a constant reader who always has good recommendations for all types of people. While working with students, Micah works with a passion to make all work relevant to our real lives, and he will work at the eSchool to strive to keep everyone connected to their purpose.  Other than reading, in his free time, Micah loves to ride his BMW GS around the Four Corners region and explore the rest on foot. His wife has lived in Durango for most of her life, and he will continue to explore with her the many things to do in the area with their young daughter. Micah can be contacted via email: msusman@southwestcoloradoeschool.org.


Shaun Burke – Mathematics Specialist, Spanish support 

Shaun may have been raised in Chicago, but the mountains have always called his name since he first laid eyes upon them at the age of 16. Durango is the first place Shaun has ever considered home. Shaun, as well as 95% of the population, believes math is scary, BUT he promises you with a little patience and time, math is no more difficult than any other subject. Shaun relies on connecting math to everyday applications in YOUR life. If Shaun isn’t helping students in math, you can find him (or maybe you can’t find him because he is lost himself!) running in the mountains.


Mike Freeburn – Science Tutor
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Mike grew up in Alamosa, and Denver.  He moved to Durango in 1985 to attend Fort Lewis College and paddle whitewater kayaks on the Animas River.  While in school working on a Bachelor’s of Science Biology degree, and for a time after graduating, he competed internationally as a member of the US National Wildwater Kayak Team.  Beginning in the fall of 1993, Mike taught Science full-time at Durango High School for nine years, and also coached Cross Country and Track for twelve seasons.   He helped DHS secure five state championships in Cross Country and coached numerous individual state champions in Cross Country and Track.  He earned a Master of Arts in Administration degree from Adams State University, served as Dean of Students for two years, followed by eleven years as an Assistant Principal, all at Durango High School.  At DHS, Mike also provided administrative oversight in several areas:  The DAVINCI Small Learning Community, Alternative Crediting (including the SWC eSchool), Shared School, Concurrent Enrollment, Individualized Crediting Program, and the English Language Learners program.  He also worked closely with the Mathematics, Science and Fine Arts departments.  Mike is an enthusiastic advocate of online learning and the educational options provided by the eSchool.  He has a keen, clear understanding that the right combination of educational options provided through the eSchool can make all the difference for students.  “It’s all about the right fit,” he often says.  On a personal note, Mike enjoys outdoor activities immensely, including whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, backpacking, bicycle touring, Nordic and backcountry skiing, and others.  He also enjoys working on old bicycles and cars – his retirement to come hobbies!  He has been married to the same great gal, Jana, since 1991 and has 2 wonderful young-adult children.  Mike can be reached at mfreeburnsouthwestcoloradoeschool.org and (970) 903-0684.