School Office Phone: 970.384.5200

Founding Documents



The Mission of Two Rivers Community School is to cultivate in every student:

Passion for learning and high achievement through creating rigorous, interdisciplinary learning experiences on topics relevant to the students that culminate in original work aimed at engaging and positively impacting themselves, the community and the world.


We do this by creating opportunities for our students to participate in:

1) A rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum leveraging community resources and   partnerships

2) Building global awareness through second language acquisition.

3) Building authentic and respectful relationships within the school and throughout the community.


Our History

Two Rivers Community School was founded by a group of parents and educators who had a desire to see their children thrive in education using a deeper learning model. The model is embodied in our mission. This group originally met with staff and board members of the Roaring Fork School District to discuss this vision and, eventually, the idea was proposed as a charter school to be authorized by the RFSD. The RFSD declined to authorize the school and opted instead to explore similar models for their current schools. As a result of this process, Glenwood Springs Elementary School became an Expeditionary Learning school.  


Founding TRCS members, still committed to the school they envisioned, continued to search for an authorizer to make this school a reality. The charter school application process involved teams of volunteers working over several years to write the original application, which was an Expeditionary Learning model, and then dive in again to hone their unique version of this deeper learning model by rewriting the application after the RFSD established an Expeditionary Learning School. Upwards of ten community meetings were held over this period of time to hear from the community about their interest in such a model. Many of our parents today authored portions of the application.


In January of 2014, the school was authorized by the Charter School Institute. The Charter School Institute (CSI) is considered a district of the Colorado Department of Education and is accountable for the very same measures as any public school in Colorado. Presently, CSI is the largest district in Colorado with more than 35 schools in their portfolio serving over 13,000 students across the State.


Dr. Adriana Ayala-Hire and Rebecca Ruland, both of whom were employed by neighboring districts, were formally hired to co-lead the school. They worked with volunteers to write the Charter School Start Up grant which would ultimately allow us to purchase furniture, training and supplies for opening while simultaneously interviewing and hiring staff. The first group of teachers began work in early July of 2014 and worked to prepare for opening for six weeks preceding doors opening. Their faculty statement, which set the tone for the work is featured in this pamphlet. The first staff hired, to whom we are genuinely indebted are:

James Nims, Ben Canady, Alana Houseman, Ruth Herrera, Morgan Williams, Tricia Zienowicz, Vanessa Grajalez, Jessie Hoff, Erin Dowd, Tracy Pihl, John Steele, Lixy Alcorta, Barbara Cotton, Shelby Skinner, Rebecca Ruland, and Adriana Ayala-Hire.


A building was needed for the school and the volunteer team set about looking for a site in West Glenwood Springs which was large enough to accommodate a school. Countless properties were previewed. The only one that had enough space potentially was the 22,000 square foot vacant postal service station near the mall. The building had been recently put up for auction and purchased by Rick Broadhurst. Members of our committee were able to convince Mr. Broadhurts to lease the building to the school with an option to buy. We took possession of the building in June of 2014 and had just over two months to qualify for a certificate of occupancy from the State. Without a penny to our name in order to finance what was required to make the building suitable… we were able to secure funding from the Charter School Development Corporation out of California, which loaned us $230,000.   With the help of architect Harry Garner, we put an RFP in the paper and several companies met with us to explore the possibility of doing the renovations. When they saw the scope of work, budget and timeline… only one company remained at the table at that was D.M. Neuman Construction Company.   They helped us rethink how to use the space and the budget and were willing to working with us. Over the two month period preceding school opening, Neuman was able to honor their contract. They installed windows, erected walls and refurnished office and bathroom spaces while parents and staff of TRCS came in on evenings and weekends to clean up construction debris, paint walls, assemble new furniture, unbox books and bookshelves, and eventually install playground equipment. Through everyone’s efforts, we were able to receive the certificate of occupancy several days before we opened the doors for students in August of 2014. The first year of operation, TRCS served 168 students in grades K-7. By the fall of 2020, we plan to serve just under 400 students.


Though we were grateful to our space, it lacked appropriate light and walls to mitigate sound. By the fall of 2014, members of the TRCS Board designed the first Strategic Map which detailed the near, mid, and long term goals. All goals were accomplished by the summer of 2016 including what was indicated in the TRCS application “The vision for the ultimate TRCS facility and campus is to promote beautiful, healthy, and productive learning environments that support its mission.” By the second year of operation, in the fall of 2015, we began reaching out to banks; none of which was able to finance the purchase of our facility, much less the purchase and upgrade of it. Thankfully, we met Russ Caldwell from Gray Mountain Charter Financing. Russ is recognized as one of the leaders on charter school financing at the national level. Russ heard our dreams to envision a space, which would better serve our school. With his guidance and expertise, we were able to purchase the postal service station and have plans to renovate and expand the building by opening of the 2017 school year.


As the saying goes, “It takes a village to educate a child.” There are many amazing individuals not mentioned by name who worked diligently to create and sustain this school. Their work made this all possible. May the present and future staff and families at TRCS forever make them proud. Some of them are:


Jen and David Cramer                            application authors, building and technology consultants
Harry Garner                            architect and building consultant
Manette Anderson                                  grant writer, founding board member
Sarah Thornal                                            parent, grant writer, building committee
Abby Hollenbaugh                  grant writer, fundraiser, board member, parent, application author
Rachel Connor                                           grant writer, board member, parent, application author
Melody Massih                                          board member, parent
Chris Murphy                                              application author
Stacy Brlecic                                                application author, grant writer
Deshay Bierbaum                                      application editor
Rick Blauvelt                                                grant writer, founding board member
Nancy Metrovich                                     founding board member, application author
John Gorman                                             founding board member, finance and building committee, school maintenance
Laura Henderson                                       fundraising and building committees, parent
Erika Rangel                                                application editor
Paula Suarez                                               board member, building committee
Diana Kaufmann                                       building committee, board member, parent,
Sonya Hemmen                                         charter school guidance

 Families and individuals who served on the labor force to open the building and continue to serve today:

 Seuhrings, Wilskys , Yarrows, Evans , Schraders, Chris Tripp, Damasos , Glens, Mondragons , Hernandez, Acostas, Hendersons , Hollenbaughs , Narvaez , Axtells , Biggs , Taylors , Burts, Kaisers, Rangels, Maddens, Allens, and many others who worked diligently helping us open our school.



It was a pleasure working for and with you and we are so happy to see your new school grow and offer our community a free public charter school here in Glenwood Springs.  It is remarkable to see the traction that you have had within our community by offering students the ability to make a difference through your approach to learning.  The difference in your school simply put is the people.  The Two Rivers School Board is a special collection of people that dedicated themselves to a whatever it takes mentality and would not accept no as an answer.  I did not cross paths with many of the volunteers and/or parents but did see that when they showed, they came in droves.  In our business we are constantly put in a position to manage many factors in order to effectively execute our projects.  Once we were able to understand your needs and communicate with your board we were able to collectively work towards a common goal of getting a lot of work done in a short amount of time.  This project, much like your school board was anything other than typical.  Although we had smoothly transitioned from the costing and acceptance phase and onto the procurement and execution phase your team was making our job easy by putting in long hours with the architect and each other to effectively manage issues, risk, quality and even time.  This saved us as the GC a tremendous burden and steadily worked towards the common goal of opening the school in a matter of weeks.  Through passion, long relentless hours and a pursuit of a clear vision partnered with our team at D.M. Neuman Construction Company we were able to get the school open on time and on budget.  We worked hard for you and your team and would do it again given the opportunity.  




Jason M. Neuman  | President | Certified Green Professional

D.M. Neuman Construction Company

Founding Documents

Meeting CSI’s Authorization Requirements

300-wildflower-4135In October 2013, due to the shift away from Expeditionary Learning (EL) the Curriculum Design Team (a team of professional educators from our Leadership Team, the community and an individual consultant that has extensive experience with the essential design features of the EL model, Project-Based Learning model, and Placed-based Learning.) came together to update our educational program and supporting documentation in order to meet CSI’s authorization requirements.

Those updated founding documents are provide below, along with the original March 2013 founding application. These documents also reflect our new name change.


Charter School Institute

2017 Expansion Narrative 

2017 Contract Renewal


Original March 2013 Founding Application

TRES : Charter School Application from March 20, 2013 (File Size: 10.7 MB)

Leadership Team and Founding Members

To create Two Rivers Community School, a core group of people (the Leadership Team and Founding Members) came together regularly over about three years, holding numerous meetings, sending thousands of emails, and writing many hundreds of pages of documents to meet the requirements put forth by the Colorado Charter School Institute ( in order to secure school authorization. It started with a great dream that later became the school’s guiding vision and mission. Here we acknowledge those self-less individuals who worked so incredibly hard for so long to offer the families in our community a choice in education for their children. Thank you!

• Abby Hollenbaugh
• Nancy Metrovich
• Rachel Connor
• Sarah Thornal
• Rebecca Ruland
• Stacy Brlecic
• Adriana Ayala-Hire
• Manette Anderson
• Rick Blauvelt
• John Gorman
• Sonya Hemmen
• David Cramer
• Jenifer Seal Cramer

And Thank You to the many volunteers and others who helped in countless ways along the path to creating this school.

THE STORY of how Two Rivers Community School came to be.

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Contact TRCS

Mailing Address:
    Post Office Box 188
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
Physical Address:
    195 Center Drive  (Map to School)
    Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
Phone:  970.384.5200