Tanya was born in Washington State, where her early years were spent outside exploring nature, enjoying her friends, and doing chores around the farm she grew up on. This spurred a passion for the outdoors and nature. She was active in school government and led many activities in her community.
After earning her Associates of Arts degree, Tanya enjoyed a fruitful career in the retail industry. Her work encompassed establishing new stores, training employees, and presenting motivational talks about positive attitude in the workplace. In 1998, she was sent to Durango to help open a local store. It was a significant promotion, and without knowing anything about Durango, she packed her belongings and moved there. This move changed her life forever. After deciding to move on from the retail business, Tanya furthered her education at Fort Lewis College in Durango. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement. The patience, creativity, and kindness that she honed through her education and teaching experience have been valuable attributes for her roles at Open Sky.
Tanya is often described by her coworkers as “the heart” of Open Sky’s administration. She wholeheartedly believes in the healing power of nature and the therapeutic opportunities in the wilderness. She is collaborative, enthusiastic, and dedicated to supporting Open Sky students and families. She has worked in every department and, as a result, understands all that goes into coordinating an impactful therapeutic experience. Tanya can speak to all things Open Sky with ease, and she enjoys helping people understand the complexities of wilderness therapy. Prior to her current role, she worked as an Admissions Counselor, demonstrating authenticity, compassion, and professionalism in supporting families in crisis. As Alumni & Family Advocate, Tanya works to keep alumni connected to the program, to each other, and to the never-ending benefits of the skills students and families develop at Open Sky.
During her free time, you can find Tanya outdoors with her dog, paddling the local lakes, sharing food and laughter with friends, or practicing yoga. She loves to travel the world and experience other cultures. She has been to France, Jordan, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, Portugal, Honduras, the Netherlands, England, Australia, Tasmania, and Italy with plans to visit many more countries.