Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy!
Our field-trip school focuses on integrating the science of wellbeing with research based best practices for teaching and learning. We are in the process of acquiring accreditation from the Association for Experiential Education.
The Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy is designed to honor the skills and talents of young adults. Our curriculum teaches core content via realms of wellbeing. We focus on health, happiness, safety, our environment, civics, self-expression, life skills, and leadership. In each unit we begin with fostering the physical and mental skills required to understand a unit. Then we guide students to practice higher order thinking skills of analysis, evaluation, and creation. 
Our regular field trips provide students with exceptional opportunities for growth and exploration. In addition to taking students on numerous outdoor adventures in our community, we have four major field-trips that frame the year. In the first quarter, we go on a local 3 day back-packing trip. Second quarter we take students to the front range, and each student plans an experience for the group. The third quarter trip is a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing hut trip into the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The fourth  quarter trip is out of the state and entirely planned by the students. Leadership trips require students to research, plan, execute, and reflect on the trip. We also require the students to be in charge of budgeting and navigation.
If you are interested in learning more about the school, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you!
Emily Wassell , PhD
Director of the Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy