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

SWCeS Staff

Mike Freeburn – Principal

Mike grew up in the San Luis Valley, then Denver and moved to Durango in 1985 to attend Fort Lewis College. Along with the attraction of a smaller college environment, Mike chose Durango for the numerous outdoor opportunities – kayaking on the Animas River, skiing, running, and cycling. While at FLC (Mike graduated with a BS in Biology, Magna Cum Laude), 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 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 and Track while coaching at DHS.  He earned a Master of Arts in Administration from Adams State University and served as Dean of Students for two years at DHS, 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 eSchool), Shared Schooling, Concurrent Enrollment, the Individualized Crediting Program, and the English Language Learners program.  He also worked closely with the Mathematics, Science and Fine Arts departments.  Mike is an “outside the box” problem solver, an enthusiastic advocate of online learning and the educational options made possible by the SWC eSchool format.  He has a keen, clear understanding that the right combination of educational options provided through the SWC eSchool often results in remarkable outcomes.  On a personal note, Mike enjoys outdoor activities immensely, including whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, backpacking, bicycle touring, Nordic and backcountry skiing. He also enjoys restoring and riding vintage bicycles and has an old British sports car to tinker with.  He has been married to the same great gal, Jana, for over 27 years, and has 2 children.  Mike can be reached at mfreeburnsouthwestcoloradoeschool.org and (970) 903-0684.

Kelly Powell – SWCeS Counselor and Instructor
Copy of picture-b24f2db8840c0f050424f12db63f4e7d_53f4f8c446c69

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 who attend Durango public schools.  She also has a dog and enjoys participating in many local activities, especially skiing and biking. kpowell@southwestcoloradoeschool.org | Mobile (970) 946-2070

Cindy Houston – SWCeS Registrar, Dolores Center Coordinator
Cindy Houston Photo

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, 15-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.

Jessica Robbins – English/Language Arts Specialist, Social Studies and French Tutor

Shaun Burke – Mathematics Specialist, support with Science, Social Studies and Spanish

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.