For many alumni, leaving HMI also means leaving Leadville behind. This was not the case for Emily Blau. A Semester 21 Student and Semester 33 Apprentice, Emily decided that she wanted to call Leadville home. After spending some time teaching with the Lake County School District, Emily is now the Dean of Students and a critical member of this small mountain community. We sat down to hear more about what living in Leadville is like for an HMI alum.
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Leadville?
A: “We are here because we all aren’t there….” That’s what they say about Leadvillians. As most HMI alumni know, Leadville is a very special mountain town. But what most alumni may not realize is that Leadville is home to so much more than our beloved institute. We have a robust and resilient community. We have long time locals and passionate transplants. So many adults in our town are dedicated to our youth and working together to help them thrive.
Q: What have you learned over the course of your time working for the Lake County School District?
A: I have been so privileged and lucky when it comes to education. I have been a part of many incredible learning communities since elementary school and yet, I have learned more about myself and others working in Lake County. I have learned about equity and access. I’ve learned how to engage with and support all learners—struggling, gifted, multilinguals, students from all backgrounds, faiths and socio-economic statuses. I have learned to be patient because student achievement doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve learned how to engage with parents when they might not know how to support their child’s educational journey. I’ve learned how to inspire teachers who work tirelessly each day to provide the greatest experience for their students. This is the most rewarding job I could have ever dreamed of.
Q: How did your experiences at HMI shape where you are today?
A: I reflect on my time at HMI almost daily. Not only because I am able to live in this stunning town but because of the leadership curriculum I received during my semester and as an apprentice. As a member of our administration staff I am constantly receiving and giving feedback. Our school is committed to more restorative practices when it comes to discipline, so I support VOEmPing between students and staff almost daily. Lastly, I am in the process of applying to graduate school; I will hopefully be attending an MBA program next fall. My desire to pursue this degree was inspired right around the time I attended HMI as a student. I want to attend business school to continue to cultivate my leadership potential, to increase my self-awareness, share my ethical compass and learn how to effectively and compassionately influence those around me.