Our Staff

Meet the Staff

The staff of Rocky Mountain Camp are hand-picked professionals dedicated to the academic success and personal achievements of each student.

Joyce Bilgrave – Founder
M. Ed Fellow: Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
Mrs. Bilgrave’s four decades of academic and camp experience span the United States. She is co-founder and former director of the Jemicy School of Baltimore, Maryland, a nationally acclaimed program of excellence for dyslexic students. She co-founded and directed Camp Bombadil, a day camp for dyslexic students, and Big Rock Creek Camp, a conference center and outdoor science program in the Angeles National Forest of Southern California. In addition, Mrs. Bilgrave was instrumental in founding the following schools for dyslexic children: Rawson-Saunders School, Austin, Texas; Durango Mountain Camp and the Liberty School in Durango, Colorado.

M.J. Bilgrav – Executive Director
B.A., B.S. Certified: AOGPE, Certified IDA Language Therapist, Durango, CO
M.J. Bilgrav is a co-founder and the executive director of Rocky Mountain Camp, and she is certified by the Orton-Gillingham Academy as a certified language therapist. Before moving to Durango in 1996, she was the co-founder and co-director of Pacific Quest Outdoor Adventures which specialized in group outdoor adventure education programs in Hawaii and the Pacific. M.J. has been teaching dyslexic students for the past 25 years. Until recently, she taught English and math at a small private high school that boasted a 60% dyslexic population. She is currently head of the OG tutoring department at The Liberty School in Durango where she also tutors. She has been tutoring at RMC since the beginning.
Contact MJ at 970-385-1778 or mjbilgrav@gmail.com


Academic Staff


 

Coral Herrin – Outdoor Pursuits Director/Administrator
M.A. Curriculum and Instruction
This will be Coral’s third year at RMC. She has had a variety of roles with RMC. Coral has been in education for 16 years, she currently teaches at Evergreen Country Day. She has taught everything from Kinder through 8th grade, and across many subjects including computer science, student support, after school programs, and theatre. Outside of work and camp, Coral enjoys spending time with friends and family, dancing, and camping.

Ann Cannon
Ann Cannon – M.Ed, Santa Fe, NM
Ann has been in education for 22 years as an elementary teacher, administrator, Curriculum and Professional Development Director, and literacy tutor. She currently teaches in Santa Fe Public Schools and is pursuing certification as an Academic Language Therapist and a graduate certificate as an Educational Diagnostician. This is her second year as an academic tutor for RMC. She loves working one on one with the kids and using the OG approach to help them make gains in both literacy and confidence. Outside of camp, she loves to hike, camp, and explore the beautiful mountains.

Mindy Russell
Mindy Russell M.A.; Curriculum and Instruction, B.S.; Special Education, O.G. Tutor
This will be Mindy’s fourth year as an RMC tutor. She is one of the devoted teacher’s at Vertical Skills Academy, a private teacher-run school in Evergreen, Co that services students diagnosed with dyslexia. She is currently enrolled in graduate classes to gain a second Master of Arts degree to become a Certified Academic Language Therapist. Her goal is to become a Qualified Instructor so she can train teachers. Her dream is to change schools so they adopt O.G. practices and train their teachers to the level of effective application across all subjects. Her superpower is, of course, dyslexia.

Bethany Chamberlain
Bethany Chamberlain B.S.; Child Development. O.G. Tutor
Bethany is an educator and knew at a young age that she wanted to work with kids that struggled in school as she too did in elementary school. She grew up in South Dakota and received a Bachelors of Science degree with a major in Child Development. She went on to get her fifth year teaching credential in California and taught fourth grade in the South Bay for eight years took. She took time off to raise her four children and devoted five years as a founding board member of Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen. She pondered why some kids pick up reading quickly and others must work so hard. She decided to learn more about reading struggles and became OG trained with Ron Yoshmoto and Jocyce Bilgrave and was an academic tutor in 2013 at RMC. We welcome her back this year. Currently she is a private tutor, a real estate broker, and teaching skiing at Keystone. In her free time she likes to spend quality time with her family and husband tromping outdoors, mountain biking, running, and horse back riding.

Danielle Corriveau
Danielle Corriveau M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. Public Communications; B.A. Psychology and Sociology, O.G. Tutor
This is Danielle’s third year tutoring at RMC. During the school year she loves teaching writing and phonics as enrichment through Denver Options. She also is the author of Trail Mix: Stories of Youth Overcoming Adversity, a nonfiction book about youth facing some of life’s most difficult challenges and finding new hope through programs based in the wilderness. She trained in OG through the Institute for Multi-sensory Education and Dyslexia Training Institute, but by far her favorite training came from Joyce & MJ Bilgrave. When she is not playing with letter sounds and words, she loves spending time with her husband and two sons. Together, they all soak up Colorado’s beautiful landscape through camping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing & golfing. She’s thrilled to be spending the summer at RMC.

Ed Porritt: Writing Teacher
This summer will be my (“Mr. Ed”) fourth year teaching writing with RMC (and I privately tutored some RMC students last summer). In 2017 I retired after teaching grades 7-12 and operating my own high school. Since “retiring” I have taught 5th and 6th grade for teachers on leave. I’ve dedicated 30 years to feeding my hunger for learning and fostering students’ success, particularly those who face learning or behavioral challenges. I am a year-round academic coach, tutor, and mentor for students in grades K through 12 and from as far away as NYC. It feeds my soul to help students thrive. When I’m not teaching, I love to bike. This year marks my 7th completion Ride the Rockies. Along with some century rides, have climbed over 250,000 vertical feet over the last 15 years. (The fun part is going down.) I also love to ski, garden, read, and travel. Most of all, I love to play with my puppy and laugh with my family and friends.

Nancy Plant
Nancy Plant – B.S. Geology, Auburn University; Montessori Certification; OG Training
Nancy is currently a Montessori teacher in Evergreen teaching lower elementary students. This is her third year as the study hall protoctor at Rocky Mountain Camp. She enjoys working and interacting with the children in the classroom as well as the students in study hall at RMC. Being in study hall gives her the chance to meet and work with each the students on a one-on-one basis, an opportunity she values. Nancy hopes to inspire the students as much as they inspire her. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys hiking with a friend, attempting to grow tomatoes at 8000 feet, reading, and is a novice at nature journaling.

Phoebe DiCarlo
Phoebe Di Carlo
Phoebe DiCarlo joins us with over 25 years of Professional Services experience. She has a Masters Degree from UCCS in Special Education and is an IDA Certified Dyslexic Practioner. She has worked in public and private environments. Her experience with marginalized children gives her a special insight into how to reach the exceptional ability in every child. She is excited to work with the Dyslexic Camp in Evergreen Colorado.

Trisha Friesema
Trisha Friesema,Tutor M.A.; Teaching with a Specialty in Literacy Intervention, Certified ALTA Academic Language Practitioner, B.A. Psychology, O.G. Tutor
Trisha is the founder of Peak Literacy and has been Literacy Interventionist and Dyslexia Specialist since 2013. As an adult with dyslexia and a mother of two young adults with dyslexia, Trisha offers a unique and personal perspective on dyslexia intervention. She believes that all children deserve a compassionate, engaging, and effective evidence-based intervention experience. It is her goal to help every child reaches their reading potential. She enjoys hiking, rock climbing, traveling, reading, watching movies, scratch and sniff stickers, and spending time with her adventurous family and friends.

Jill Zonnefeld
Jill Zonnefeld – Tutor
Hello! My name is Jill Zonnefeld and I live in Loveland, Colorado. I am a Colorado Native, growing up in Greeley and going to CSU where I received my Master’s in Audiology and met my husband. We raised four amazing boys that are currently between the ages of 20-30. For the last 15 years I have work at Traut Elementary school as a literacy and math tutor. About 5 years ago I met a boy in second grade. I was told he was dyslexic. He helped me become a Certified Academic Language Therapist through practicing the Orton Gillian method during our reading block. During the five years we worked together, I went back to school and learned about the science of reading and was trained with the Take Flight program. Since my training, I have worked with many students with dyslexia both in the school setting, private session in my home, and virtually. I am looking forward to my second year at the Rocky Mountain Camp!

Visit our associated site:Durango Mountain Camp

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Rocky Mountain Camp

Mailing Address: 44000 Hwy 550 N., Durango, CO 81301
Contact: MJ Bilgrav at 970-385-1778, Email,or Tracy Brothers Email

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