Michelle Skagen


Michelle’s journey in education began in 1993 as her life was transformed by a civil war outbreak in Nicaragua. As a 17-year-old on a Sister Cities trip, she experienced third-world poverty, the sound of machine-gun fire and grenades, being barricaded in a village with no running water, and hiking through jungles among Contra rebels. This ignited her passion for experiential, authentic education that could transform people for the better. Her passion grew as she spent six summers constructing trails in Boulder Mountain Parks with teens. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from CU Boulder, and then studied Secondary Social Studies Education with the Roaring Fork Teacher Education Project, a CU immersion program that examined social justice in education near Aspen. At the Aspen Community School in Woody Creek, CO she taught Language Arts and Social Studies through the arts, experiential education, and social emotional awareness for 5th through 8th graders. She was in charge of the lead scene groups for the annual all-school musicals, participated in performances with the National Dance Institute, and led trips to the Tenderloin of San Francisco and the Hopi Reservation. Michelle now lives in Lyons, CO and can usually be spotted chasing her 2-year-old while untangling the dog’s leash from around her 5-year-old’s legs as the stroller rolls away. She is delighted to be with Girls Leadership, where she believes can transform girls for the better!