2019 Summer Term Staff

Presley, Jonathan Headshot

Jonathan Presley, Summer Term Coordinator

JP grew up in on a farm in rural Indiana, however the flat land could not hold him for long. While taking a degree in International Studies at Hanover College he developed a strong desire to explore, grow, and never stop learning. He has been at it every since. He spent several years living in West Africa, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and later working Benin. In between he led trail crews and climbed mountains in Montana. Most recently he has been instructing 3 month Gap Semesters throughout East Africa and South America. He is an avid reader, soccer fan, and traveler. Having already worked for HMI Gap and as a Summer Term Faculty, JP is ecstatic about returning to the HMI team as Summer Term Coordinator this year.

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Daniel Fladager, Summer Term Writing Curriculum Coordinator

Daniel grew up in the mountains of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. After graduating with a degree in English from Gonzaga University, he went to pursue a career living alone in a forest fire lookout tower. When he was told that job no longer exists, he settled for a wilderness ranger position in Wyoming’s Rocky Mountains, where he worked for five years. He went back to school to get his Master’s degree in English at Purdue University, and now he teaches at Indiana University. In his free time, Daniel loves to run, climb, backpack, and is learning how to fly fish. He is excited to be spending his second summer in his dream job as an instructor for HMI.


Grace Fowler, Summer Term Faculty and Field Instructor

Grace grew up in Minnesota and New Hampshire, and fell in love with experiential education and the outdoors as a student at The Island School and the High Mountain Institute. Grace pursued those passions at Colby College, where she majored in Environmental Policy and Education and spent her free time organizing backpacking trips and exploring Maine with friends. After graduation, she returned west and worked at HMI for a second summer before moving to teach science at the Keystone Science School. Fond of petting dogs, eating burritos, and exploring Colorado by foot, bike, and ski, Grace is overjoyed to be a part of the HMI community.

Emily Shannon

Emily Shannon, Summer Term Faculty and Field Instructor

Emily resides in Oneonta, NY, but can typically be found out west working for the Student Conservation Association during the summer in various National Parks.  She graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, NY this past year.  While at ESF, Emily was the backpacking chair of her outing club, and spent one semester with NOLS traveling the mountains of New Zealand.  She discovered her love for backpacking while a student at HMI during Semester 31 and can normally be found somewhere in the backcountry snacking on watermelon sour patch kids.  Emily is super excited to return as Summer Term Faculty this season and make delicious backcountry food, run long miles, and climb big rocks!


Brittany LeTendre, Summer Term Faculty and Field Instructor

Brittany was born and raised in Minnesota but realized early on that her heart was out west. In 2009 she moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Management and Sustainability Studies with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Colorado Mountain College. Her sustained connection to Colorado Mountain College since 2009 has allowed her to work as an adjunct instructor for the Outdoor Recreation Leadership degree program where she teaches college students about the environment and backcountry travel through experiential field expeditions. Teaching students in an outdoor setting is Brittany’s passion, and when she’s not teaching, she can be found climbing desert towers, mountain biking, or sea kayak touring the Pacific Northwest. Brittany is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend the summer term exchanging knowledge with the students and faculty at HMI. Teaching for HMI is a dream of hers!

Claire Sutton

Claire Sutton, Summer Term Field Instructor

Claire grew up in the Bay Area, but found her true self during free rambles through coastal redwoods and exploits to find the perfect tree to build a fort for her imaginary kingdom of fairies. After high school, she moved East to study Film and Television at Boston University. After graduating Claire created her own post-grad gap year to pursue her favorite question: “what lights your fire?” In pursuit of answering this question she traveled through South America and completed a NOLS Semester on The Borders. Through these experiences she discovered the powerful tool of experiential education, which inspired her to work in an underfunded 6th grade classroom with City Year Denver, serve as HMI’s Semester 38 Marketing Apprentice, and lead international service and cultural exchange programming in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Chilean Patagonia, Cuba, Australia and Fiji. Today, what lights her fire is to create intentional communities of students through shared experiences in international travel and wilderness education. That, and karaoke.