Mountain Alliance utilizes paid field staff and volunteers to implement our service and adventure-based programming. Staff must be able to relate to and understand the youth of today, while assisting them in their journey towards becoming the leaders of tomorrow.
Judgment and experience are vital in maintaining an emotionally and physically safe environment for our students. Our trip leaders are certified in Wilderness medicine and have prior experience facilitating experiential learning activities with groups in a variety of conditions and settings.
Mountain Alliance staff are: enthusiastic outdoor leaders, concerned citizens, passionate about giving back to the community, world travelers with varied backgrounds, and personal adventurers.
Bill Ireland – Executive Director
MA – Special Education – Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
MS – Educational Leadership – Portland State University, Portland, OR
BS – Experiential & Adventure Education – The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
AA – Environmental Studies – Paul Smith’s College, Paul Smith’s, NY
As the new director of Mountain Alliance, I feel as though I’ve just walked into my dream job. I have for years desired to work within a public school to provide both service learning and adventure education and Mountain Alliance does just that. In 1997 I facilitated my first wilderness program – three nights of winter camping in the Adirondacks of New York in sub-zero temperatures with four feet of snow on the ground. I have worked for a variety of collegiate outdoor programs, ropes courses and other organizations such as the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Since that first trip as an outdoor leader I have facilitated and taught students in a variety of settings including rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, ropes challenge courses, alpine, telemark and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sailing.
These days, as a parent of young children I enjoy lots of “mini-adventures.” In my free time I can be found on the soccer field, on the ski slopes, at the Watauga County Farmer’s Market, or enjoying a secret swimming hole or two off the Parkway with my family.