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Jennifer Royall

Executive Director & Head of School

Base Camp: Montana
Faculty for Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2003
Faculty for Spring Semester, South America 2004

Jennifer Royall is a lifelong educator whose Traveling School history began in 2003. Successfully running semesters in southern Africa and South America, Jennifer fell in love with the power of The Traveling School’s mission, believing students learn best when the material is relevant and accessible and that the power of engaging in another culture can broaden personal points of view, enrich global understanding and transform lives. In 2008, Jennifer joined the administrative staff and later transitioned to the Head of School, becoming Executive Director in 2016.

Prior to The Traveling School, Jennifer spent nearly 20 years in the classroom. With a M.Ed. from Lesley College and a BA in Political Science from Duke University, she first learned the importance of incorporating outdoor education, community engagement and rigorous academics at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, CA. Later, as a middle school teacher, she endeavored to broaden the traditional classroom by infusing Montana’s natural wonders and its people. Jennifer earned National Board Certification in 1999 and received recognition for her teaching efforts with a Milken National Educator Award In 2001.

Additionally, Jennifer’s professional experience in the outdoors includes two decades of leading biking, hiking and river trips with teens and adults throughout the Rocky Mountain West and internationally in wild settings of New Zealand, Europe, Mongolia and Tahiti. Whenever possible, Jennifer and her husband have traveled extensively searching for suitably exciting whitewater for kayaking, the perfect waves to surf in Mexico and Central America, great ski spots all over the West, and remote waters for sea kayaking in Alaska.

Aunge Thomas

Academic Dean & Program Director

Base Camp: Montana
Faculty for Spring Semester, South America 2010
Faculty for Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2011, 2012, 2013

Aunge Thomas graduated from Montana State University in 2004 with a B.S Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Bio-resources engineering. Throughout college she worked with MSU Expeditions, a freshman outdoor orientation program, helped develop Wild MSU, a club for outdoor enthusiasts, and helped establish Engineers Without Borders-MSU. Upon finishing college, Aunge was a raft guide in the summer and a ski instructor at Big Sky Resort in the winter. Aunge taught at High Mountain Institute in Colorado, in addition to teaching with The Traveling School in South America and Southeast Africa. In her free time Aunge loves to explore the Gallatin Valley on her road bike, skis, kayak, or on her porch with a book and a good cup of coffee. Aunge believes in the power of teaching students to think outside the box to understand interconnectedness of the world today. The Traveling School imparts passion among students to seek knowledge about the aspects of the global community through unique and experiential educational settings.

Trace Klein

Operations Manager

Base Camp: Montana

Trace Klein discovered her love of traveling while living in Australia for a year as an exchange student in high school. This experience gave her the courage to leave her small town in Minnesota for the mountains of Arizona and Colorado to attend university. She graduated from Northern Arizona University a few year later after much exploration. From here, she left for solo travel to Australia and New Zealand and eventually to the Big Island of Hawaii where she settled for years working with people with disabilities. Seattle was her next stop, where she met up with her friend from the past, and future husband. They decided to move to Bozeman to raise a family near the mountains, forests and the activities they loved. Aspen and Everest arrived on the same day, a year later. The boys have now left for college in Hawaii and Idaho. Trace recently joined the TTS office to share her love of improving processes, organization and supporting others. TTS’s mission is what inspired Trace to join our team; the women she works with motivate her in countless positive ways.

Drew Higgins

Assistant Academic Dean

Base Camp: Wyoming
Faculty for Fall Semester, Western U.S. 2021

Drew graduated from Carleton College in 2016 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. After serving as editor-in-chief of her college newspaper, she was pursuing a career in journalism when she discovered a love of teaching. She taught environmental humanities to high-school juniors at Maine Coast Semester, and science communication to undergraduate students while ski-traversing Alaskan glaciers with the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Wishing to further develop her skill sets as a place-based educator, Drew moved to Wyoming in 2019 to be a graduate student at Teton Science Schools, where she completed her Master of Education with a focus in place-based education. She taught for The Traveling School’s western US semester in Fall of 2021. As an educator, Drew cherishes the opportunity to help students become more critical thinkers and confident question-askers, and above all, to forge meaningful connections with students of all backgrounds. She currently lives in Wilson, Wyoming, where she has the joy of skiing, hiking, and romping around the mountains with her fluffy Alaskan Malamute.

Mary Reid Munford

Admissions Coordinator

Base Camp: Atlanta
Faculty for Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2014

Mary Reid Munford has worked as an educator all around the United States and southern Africa. She grew up adventuring in the woods of Mississippi and spent summers exploring the mountains and rivers of western North Carolina. She was first exposed to the semester school world as a student at The Mountain School in Vershire, VT. As a college student at Princeton University, she was heavily involved with leading hiking trips and training student leaders for the outdoor program, and she spent a summer working in South Africa and a semester studying in Italy. After graduation, Mary Reid moved to Livingstone, Zambia. This is where she first encountered The Traveling School as she coordinated an afternoon building project for the group. When she returned to the US, she began her career as a classroom teacher, including a semester teaching for TTS. She earned her master’s degree and teaching certification from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mary Reid has devoted her career to schools with experiential curriculum; she is passionate about using the world as a classroom, whether that means exploring biology on a game drive in Zambia or history and racial justice on the streets of Atlanta. She is an enthusiastic runner, hiker, cyclist, and wannabe kayaker (currently easing back into it after over a decade away from the sport!) Mary Reid most recently spent six years teaching high school Humanities outside of Boston and in Atlanta.

Sarah Bernard

Administrative Assistant

Base Camp: Bozeman, Montana

Sarah’s dedication to place-based education and outdoor adventure is rooted in her connection to the natural world since childhood. Being raised on the coast and having spent countless family camping trips in the Sierra Nevada mountains, she developed a strong relationship with the outdoors through skiing, surfing, hiking and curious exploration. She quickly discovered the importance of global perspectives and experiential learning in academia while on a college field study program in Northern Queensland, Australia- studying the pressures of climate change on tropical ecosystems and native cultures. With a B.A in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, Sarah is committed to facilitating hands-on educational experiences that empower students to be stewards of their community, both locally and globally. She recently served as a Teaching Assistant for ten young women on a rigorous, university field study program in French Polynesia. It was this trip that reinforced her passion for supporting women in academics and in nature, and Sarah is thrilled that she can continue towards this mission through her administrative role with The Traveling School.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys skiing the local mountains outside Bozeman, joining her friends on whitewater rafting trips, and learning how to mountain bike in the summer!

Nox

Head of Puplick Relations

Base Camp: Montana

Flash

Pawject Manager

Base Camp: Wyoming

Wylie

Chief of Mischief

Base Camp: Montana

Elwha

Empaworment Director

Base Camp: Montana

Freddie

Pawfice Administrator

Base Camp: Montana

Sophie

Barketing Coordinator

Base Camp: Atlanta