Ursala Hudson, President
Ursala was homeschooled until Junior High with both parents working from home as self-employed artists. During that time she began studying graphic and web design, and learned first-hand from her parents about how to run a business. In high school she started her own freelance graphic design business, which continues to help support her growing family today.
She studied business, psychology, and global citizenship at Fort Lewis College before graduating with degrees in art, Spanish, and sociology. Throughout her college career she was continuously reminded how necessary public education is in facilitating healthy communities and social change.
In 2008, Ursala co-produced and promoted a regional art exhibit, “Clothes on a Fish,” in Pagosa Springs, featuring over 50 innovative artists. The exhibit stands out as one of the best attended visual arts events in Pagosa Springs in recent years.
In 2011 Ursala developed a tuition-free expressive fine arts program for economically disadvantaged children and their families. Through the program she was impressed by the sight of children learning from parents, and parents learning from children, during a shared creative experience.
Ursala strongly attributes her drive as an entrepreneur, artist, and life-long-learner to her early years, learning alongside her parents at home.
Ashley Wilson, Secretary
Ashley grew up in Pagosa Springs. After high school, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Families Studies from Colorado State University. This took her to Dallas and on to Nashville where she worked in children’s hospitals with the primary goal of bringing understanding and comfort to seriously ill children through play and developmental learning support. She returned to Pagosa after several years and worked for the Department of Human Services as a family advocate until she took time off to stay home with her two children.
In 2016 she received her Master in Public Heath through the University of California Berkeley and is currently the Outreach and Evaluation Coordinator for Rise Above Violence.
Bill Hudson, Board Member
After briefly attending Stanford University on a scholarship, Bill Hudson escaped to Juneau, Alaska where he raised three children, built musical instruments, operated a successful graphic design business, served on the founding board of the Alaska Folk Festival, developed a visual arts program for the Juneau Fine Arts Camp, worked in the state-sponsored Artist-in-the-Schools program, and produced family-oriented theater productions at Perseverance Theatre.
Bill moved to Pagosa Springs with his family in 1993, and promptly founded the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater, a unique family-centered theater company that won an El Pomar award for artistic excellence in 2004. He also produced the popular Whistle Pig Concert Series, and co-founded Artstream Cultural Resources, an arts-in-education non-profit that won support from, among other organizations, the Smithsonian Institution. He co-founded the Pagosa Summer Arts Camp for Kids, in collaboration with art teacher Tessie Garcia.
Bill is currently editor and publisher of the Pagosa Daily Post, an online community news magazine that he founded in 2004. He has written extensively about education issues in Colorado’s southwest.
John Daffron, Board Member
John received his Master’s in Educational Administration, MEd, from the United States International University, USIU, in Irvine, California, and his teaching credential and administrative credential from the University of California, Irvine. He taught various grade levels at Newport Heights Elementary beginning in 1989. Over the last 20 years of his career he served as campus administrative designee, chairing 20+ IEPs a year, meeting with parents for disciplinary issues, and running staff meetings. He also served as the chairman of the school site council, and for 16+ years was the director of our school’s Program Quality Review team, which oversaw school compliance in curricular practices.
HIs strongest area of knowledge is in the area of Academic Program Improvement. For the last 15 years of his career he was in charge of training staff to analyze practices and refine instruction by working together with adjacent grade levels, keeping up with current research, and inviting presentations by in‐house and guest experts. He wrote district curriculum in spelling and GATE, and piloted the math program for the district.
After retiring to Pagosa Springs, it took about six months for him to realize that fishing, skiing and guitar playing just weren’t enough.
“I miss education, and I still have more to give. I hope you think so, too. Thank you for this opportunity to share a little of myself, and I wish all of you the best of luck with this exciting and unique endeavor.”