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Samantha Coyne Donnel is choice to lead Emerald Mountain School

Samantha Coyne Donnel has been selected to serve as the next head of school at Emerald Mountain School in Steamboat Springs.

Emerald Mountain School, an independent, private K-8 school in downtown Steamboat Springs, has hired Samantha Coyne Donnel as its new head of school effective July 1.

Coyne Donnel comes to Steamboat from the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, California, where she served in a variety of roles over 19 years. Students at Archer are encouraged to engage in experiential learning.

"The best learning happens through experience, discovery and reflection," Coyne Donnel said in a news release. "Schools of the 21st century must prepare students to face the challenges of a rapidly evolving and expanding world. They must go beyond teaching students basic content-driven curriculum and commit to cultivating personal excellence in all learners."

Emerald Mountain School Director of Admissions and Interim Head of School Debbie Gooding said Coyne Donnel's educational philosophy aligns "impeccably" with the Emerald Mountain School mission of inspiring confidence and passion for learning in its students, while stressing academics, personal accountability, outdoor education and responsible citizenship at the local and global levels.

“The best learning happens through experience, discovery and reflection. Schools of the 21st century must prepare students to face the challenges of a rapidly evolving and expanding world." Samantha Coyne Donnel

Coyne Donnel completed her undergraduate college work at Bowdoin College in Maine and  earned a masters degree in education leadership at Harvard University. At the Archer School, she was a science teacher, department chairperson, dean of students, upper school director, and most recently, assistant head of school.

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Coyne Donnel will move to Steamboat with her husband and 8-year-old daughter.

"I am honored to be selected as Emerald Mountain’s next head of school and excited to join such an exceptional, joyful and vibrant learning community," Coyne Donnel said in the news release. "From the first moment I stepped onto campus, I was struck by the genuine warmth of everyone at Emerald. The students greeted me with confidence, and, in the classroom, it was readily apparent that Emerald cultivates students’ interests while guiding each child to reach his or her full potential.

“The level of care and commitment demonstrated by the faculty truly sets Emerald apart from other schools," Coyne Donnel added.

Gooding said Emerald is still accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year where tuition assistance is available for qualifying families. Learn more at Emerald Mountain School, online or call her at 970-879-8081.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1