Portrait of Graduate

Telluride Mountain School graduates are impressive.
Graduates leave TMS with more than just the skills, habits, and attitudes necessary for succeeding in a challenging academic environment. They are adventurers, lifelong learners and inquirers. They are respectful and understand the importance of responsibility. They are prepared to travel independently, think globally and act mindfully.


Our graduates all show a love for adventure and find the wilderness a perfectly suitable classroom, lab, and gymnasium.
Climbing, biking, paddling, hiking; their outdoor resumes are long. Some have pursued basic or advanced wilderness medical training; not only prepared to help themselves but so that they can better support their friends, companions, and classmates should an accident happen.  While they prefer good weather, they value the opportunity to be out in a storm, as they know that it is only by seeing the wilderness in sunshine and in a storm that they truly come to know that place, and themselves. They may have grown up in a tiny town in a rural corner of a state known more for its wilderness than its rich cultural offerings, but our graduates are truly worldly.  Before they graduate, they will have visited a number of foreign countries on several other continents. In a school where globally minded is more than a tagline, their travels serve as a backbone– giving context to their learning and meaning to their lives.

Inquirers & Problem Solvers
If you are fortunate enough to be around our graduates, you’ll see they ask great questions. They are curious, and know how to pose and answer their own questions as well as those that are asked of them. They have years of research experience, from their immersions projects, to their community science projects. They understand that questions, and problems, transcend traditional curricular divisions and to really understand poverty, or climate change, or politics, they need to ask deeper questions, apply their critical thinking skills, and use their entire suite of academic tools.  They use numbers to quantify and build mathematical models to explain and predict. They hypothesize and then design experiments to test their ideas. They reason their way though, using a variety of problem-solving skills honed in their classes, in the field, and from their travels.

Discourse is at the heart of our classrooms, and when you visit, you will hear students articulating their thoughts, see them listen, reflect and expand their understanding, and observe them building meaning through communication.  They’ve all given numerous public presentations, written fiction, and mastered the essay. But they are not limited to the page or podium, they can express themselves through music, poetry, technology, and visual art. They also played on stage, exhibited their artwork, and performed from the heart.  They all speak a second language and have had the experience of living with a family in a homestay setting abroad. Above all, they are excellent communicators- sharing their views, their beliefs, their values, and their ideas through a rich and compelling variety of mediums.

Walk at one, talk at two, ski at three.  Graduates of TMS all develop athletic skills that are second nature in a town where life revolves around outdoor activities. As part of the school program, TMS students all participate actively in outdoor education that includes hiking, canoeing, backpacking, kayaking, ice-climbing, nordic and downhill skiing or boarding, and skating. Additionally, TMS students are active in competitive and club sports and excel particularly in winter sports. A number of the school’s alumni having gained places on the US Ski Team, with two graduates competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Community Members
TMS students are a community of learners and doers.  They engage with each other, with their school, with their passions.   Early on, they learn how to work collaboratively, and discover that when they really work together, they accomplish more.  They learn to take responsibility- for their own actions as well as those of their group- and through this, they strengthen those lucky enough to be around them.  They intern and volunteer in various capacities throughout the community and in summer programs. They give community presentations on issues such as forest health and food choices. They wholeheartedly embrace the benefits and responsibilities of being part of a community.