While it’s never an easy task to replace a faculty member midway through the school year, EMS found a gem in Dr. Charley Abernathy. Following the completion of her doctorate in veterinary medicine at CSU in 2008, Charley has spent the past 12 years in education and clinical veterinary medicine and surgery, spanning a broad range of roles and locations, including her most recent stint teaching science at Yampa Valley High School. You may also have seen her around Steamboat teaching ski jumping and Nordic Combined with SSWSC, or over at Yampatika where she’s been a counselor. Her variety of talents and passion for education make her an ideal fit at EMS. Charley states, “Growing up, I was fortunate to be able to delve into education, sports, theatre, music, and nature. They all captured me in some way and still do. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had, the people I have met, and the lessons I learn in – and bring to – each setting. An open perspective, flexibility, learning quickly, and problem solving have enabled me to sustain a lot of change. I want to keep kids observing, experiencing, and enquiring.” During her first couple of weeks at EMS, she’s been impressed by the open-minded perspective and engagement levels of both students and faculty. While thankful, too, for the science standards that Beth left in place for her for the second semester, Charley is enthusiastic about bringing her own perspective and style to her teaching. During the next few months, she’ll implement her expertise in biomedicine and mechanical engineering to help students see profound links between adaptation and endangered species, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and why pollinators are so important, particularly as ecosystems undergo change. She adds, “The energy and innate inquisitiveness of EMS students matches my own, I believe. And, although science and math hold a lot of secrets that we have been able to uncover and explain, many remain untold. Giving students the confidence to further their own lines of interest draws me to education.” Charley has already been an excellent contributor to the EMS faculty, and we are lucky to have her join our staff.