Janet Ross retires after 32 years at Four Corners School
Feb 28, 2017 | 3303 views | 0 0 comments | 134 134 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Janet Ross
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Janet Ross (right) with her parents Reid and the late Sari Ross. Courtesy photo
The Four Corners School of Outdoor Education has a new leader after more than 32 years under the direction of Janet Ross. Ross recently retired after a successful career primarily spent in the canyon country of southeast Utah.

Dr. Chris Giangreco is the new interim Executive Director of the Four Corners School and the Canyon Country Discovery Center, which serves as the campus for the Monticello-based school.

Ross arrived in Monticello in 1977 as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). She had a degree in outdoor education from Prescott College, a commitment to the power of place-based education, and a belief that the Colorado Plateau was her spiritual home.

After 10 years of non-profit and other outdoor education work that included countless float trips on the San Juan River, hikes into sandstone country, and discovery of Ancestral Puebloan sites, her knowledge of the landscape was vast.

For over 32 years as founder and executive director of the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education, Janet committed herself to ensuring people experienced and understood this beautiful place.

In this dry land plateau where canyon wrens sing, torrents of water carve canyons, and treasured ancient homes are well-preserved, Janet worked tirelessly to impart new knowledge and skills to young and old of all backgrounds from all over the country.

Today, the Canyon Country Discovery Center in Monticello stands as a testament to Janet Ross’s vision and commitment. This new campus of Four Corners School brings the Colorado Plateau to locals and visitors alike through the integration of old and new field and school-based programs.

Dr. Chris Giangreco holds a Ph.D. in the social sciences with a focus on policy development. He has more than 18 years experience in nonprofit development, government relations, and policy research in a variety of areas.

Before coming to Four Corners School, Chris worked closely with the Texas Attorney General overseeing a statewide demonstration project aimed at securing child support payments and helping families build self-sufficiency.

Chris also managed a multi-sector policy coalition in Chicago, IL, where he helped create state and federal policy supportive of low-income families and children.

He stays active by swimming, tending his small flock of chickens, camping in Cedar Mesa, trail running in the Abajo Mountains, skiing in the San Juan Mountains, and day hiking across the Four Corners Region.

Dr. Giangreco said, “I look forward to growing our educational and outdoor programs so that everyone – from hunters and hikers to campers and climbers – feels enriched by their experiences at the Canyon Country Discovery Center.”

The Four Corners School operates educational programs throughout the Colorado Plateau, including training programs for students through the Canyon Country Discovery Center, teacher training through the Plateau program, job training through the Canyon Country Youth Corps, and tour programs through Southwest Ed-ventures.

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