BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Telluride Mountain School is governed by a self-perpetuating, independent Board
of Trustees. The board’s primary responsibilities are to carry out strategic planning,
approve the school budget, conduct annual and capital fundraising campaigns,
and hire and supervise the Head of School.
Patty moved to Telluride in 2015 from New York City where she founded a fashion design and consulting business, ONG, LLC, that focused on women’s contemporary clothing. ONG, LLC also offered consulting services to organizations such as Gap, Target, and Anthropologie. Patty was formerly a Senior VP and COO for Lazard Asset Management’s Fund of Hedge Funds Group. Prior to joining Lazard, she helped build JP Morgan Investment Management in New York and Europe. Patty holds an MBA from Columbia University and an AB from Dartmouth College.
Jennifer Bensch attended Ohio State University, receiving degrees in political science and business. Jennifer has been involved in Promotion, Production, & Logistics Management in the Music and Events Industry for over 25 years. She owns Happy Ending Productions, which promotes and produces SweetWater 420 Festival in Atlanta, GA, with upwards of 60,000 attendees over three days. Jennifer is passionate about helping environmental & social non-profits raise money & awareness about their causes. Jennifer moved to Telluride, Colorado for ‘one year’ in 2014 with her husband, Freddy Bensch, founder of SweetWater Brewing Company, and their three children.
Dean moved to Colorado from the East Coast in 1989 and settled in Telluride in 2002. He lives here with his two sons, Mateo and Juno, both Mountain School attendees. Dean is a graduate of The University of Notre Dame with a BA in Finance. He competed in Division 1 Wrestling while at Notre Dame. He has owned Escalante Imports, importing indigenous art from Oaxaca, Mexico, for over 30 years. Dean continues to coach Telluride Youth Hockey and enjoys snowboarding, climbing, mountain biking, and keeping up with his active sons.
Seth Cagin graduated from New York University with a degree in Fine Arts and has lived in Telluride with his family since 1990. He is the co-author of three books, We Are Not Afraid,Born to Be Wild, and Between Earth and Sky. He and his wife Marta Tarbell founded The Telluride Watch and published the paper before selling it in 2015. Seth helped found Telluride Mountain School in 1998, which is by far Seth’s proudest accomplishment.
Originally from Aspen CO, Kendall moved to Telluride in 2001 where she married her husband Steve. Their two daughters have been at TMS for nearly a decade. Kendall is a Registered Nurse specializing in labor & delivery, Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Lactation Counselor, owner of Maati, and co-founder of Telluride Childbirth. Kendall holds a BA from Occidental College and a BS in Nursing from Regis University.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama with a BA in Real Estate Finance, Will moved to Telluride in 2006 to pursue his love for rock climbing and skiing. Will is a real estate Broker at Telluride Properties and an active supporter and board member for various local organizations and has cultivated strong relationships throughout the Telluride community. Will enjoys big mountain skiing, climbing, fly fishing, and seeing live music with his wife Lacey and their two young children, who attend TMS.
Following her studies at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), Jessica worked in the fashion industry in New York as a special events manager for a high fashion PR Firm. Subsequently, she started her own event planning business organizing premier events in Manhattan for HBO, Elle Magazine, and various art galleries. In 2002 Jessica and her husband Mark moved to Telluride to create a new life and raise a family. In 2010 they opened Gold Mountain Gallery offering specialty furniture and unique accessories as well as representing many local artists and artisans. Jessica and Mark have two daughters at the Mountain School, and Jessica has been a member of the TMS Advancement Committee for four years. She is also on the Board of Telluride Theater. Jessica is an active and passionate supporter of both Mountain School and Creative Arts in Telluride. Her passions include travel, skiing, scuba diving, and cooking.
MARY TYLER JOHNSON
Mary Tyler Johnson has been working with non-profit organizations and private foundations for over 20 years. She is also the proud parent of two boys who started their educational experience in the Telluride Mountain School Montessori. Mary holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
John Neumann and his wife JoJo have lived in Telluride since 2015 after moving from Chicago with their two children “for just nine months.” In 2014, John founded his corporate law practice focused on real estate after 15 years at an international law firm and is grateful most of his work can be done from Telluride. John completed his undergraduate work at Washington & Lee University and received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently licensed to practice law in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Throughout his legal career, John has been fortunate in that he has been able to provide pro bono services for several legal aid, land conservation, and arts organizations.
Mark and his wife Corinne have been living in the Telluride region since the late 1980’s. Mark has a diverse education and professional background. He holds two Master’s degrees; An MS in snow hydrology from CU, Boulder and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has worked at three private secondary schools in Colorado: as a teacher at the September School in Boulder, as Dean of Students at Crested Butte Academy, and as a part-time administrator at TMS. Mark most recently worked as the executive director for the dZi Foundation.
Holly Sloan has over 30 years of organizational development and management experience in the non-profit field. She served as the Board Chair for Burgundy Farm Country Day School, and the Children’s Research Triangle. Holly is a founder and past President of the Giving Circle of Alexandria. Holly’s professional career included the CEO of the Association of Junior Leagues International, the President of the New York Society of Association Executives and Program Director for the National Council of Jewish Women.
Carolyn and her husband Jason have two children at TMS. Prior to having children, Carolyn worked for over ten years in the financial services industry in Boston. She held positions in account management with Bank of New York Mellon Private Wealth Management and in sales at MFS Financial Management. Carolyn is certified as a USAT triathlon coach, she coaches teams and individual athletes. She has been a member of the Boston Triathlon Team since 2007 and served on its leadership team. Carolyn holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont.
Scott Strand and his family moved to Telluride in 2006. His wife Danita worked in the Montessori at the Mountain School for 7 years, and his daughter Shandy is a proud graduate of TMS. Scott has a degree in Business Administration from Augustana College. After college he worked in the Barcode, Printing and Data collection industry in Salt Lake City and Minneapolis before moving to Telluride to help manage the Pauls family real-estate holdings. Since then he has worked with many local municipalities and has served on numerous HOA and Architectural review boards.
Andy Shoff, Head of School has served TMS since 2002. Prior to moving to Telluride, he taught English and computer literacy with his wife, Emily, in Tanzania. His teaching experience also includes three years at the Arbor School in Portland, Oregon, where he taught math and science. Additionally, he has led science field trips for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and backcountry trips for Wilderness Ventures, a wilderness-based teen adventure program.
During his first life in Telluride, Drake primarily worked with teenagers: First with the Telluride Academy and the Telluride Public School, and then with the non-profit Southwest Outdoor School that he started in 1988. In 2005 he and his wife Helene moved to Moab with their 3-year-old twins and spent the next 14 years there. In Moab, he helped start Community Rebuilds and served on their board for several years, built a straw bale home, and then for the final five years in Moab, he ran the Grand County Food Bank. In 2019 they began their second life in Telluride when their daughter enrolled at the Mountain School. Drake has around 50 years of service on various non-profit boards.