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NOV. 19, 2014

Eagle’s Nest Foundation Names Roger Herbert as Director of The Outdoor Academy

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Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director

After a five month national search we are very excited to announce that Eagle’s Nest Foundation has named Roger Herbert to be our Outdoor Academy Director. Roger and his wife Gretchen will move to Pisgah Forest this coming summer from Norfolk, Virginia and Roger will begin as OA Director in the middle of July.   This spring Roger will begin his training on campus as he also wraps up his dissertation and completes his PhD in International Relations and Political Theory from the University of Virginia (UVA).

Roger’s path leading to Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy is quite impressive.  After a distinguished 26-year career with the Unites States Navy, most recently as a Captain, Roger embarked full-heartedly on his lifelong dream to be an educator. Drawing upon his extensive tenure as an educator and trainer in the Navy he set out to acquire his PhD.  As a doctoral student, Research and Teaching Assistant and Graduate Instructor at UVA he found the passion that comes when working with students in an intellectual and academic classroom setting.   Even as he found this passion he knew he still sought a teaching experience other than a tenure-track academic environment.  This quest led him to the National Outdoor Leadership School where he first enrolled in a course in 2013. He then went on to complete the NOLS Instructor course this past summer.  It was at NOLS that Roger found his calling to teach experientially, helping students to develop their whole selves as they connect deeply and meaningfully to the natural world.

Roger and Gretchen, also a distinguished officer in the Navy who is now headed into education, visited campus for several days earlier this month as part of the interview process.  Roger interviewed with students, alumni, faculty, trustees and staff.  Both he and Gretchen jumped right into community life from sweeping floors to debating math questions in class to hiking to early morning watch.  It wasn’t long after they arrived on campus that we knew we had found our next leader.  We are thrilled that Roger has now chosen to join our community and lead our school.  He brings a very diverse skill set that will help us as we live our mission every day at OA through the Cornerstones of Environment, Intellect, Community and Craft. Stay tuned over the coming months to learn more about Roger and Gretchen as they transition to the Nest!

I would be remiss at this juncture not to heap gratitude upon Ted Wesemann.  Ted has been serving as our Interim OA Director this fall and has graciously agreed to continue through the spring semester while Roger completes his degree and follows through with a commitment to lead a NOLS course in early summer.  Ted, as always, you can continue to amaze me.  Thank you!

Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director