Eagle Rock’s Founding Head of School Receives Prestigious Award

Awarded since 1991, and named after a distinguished environmentalist and author, the Aldo Leopold award puts Burkhardt in the company of Nobel Laureates, philanthropists, jurists, Pulitzer Prize winners, the president of Honduras and a Saudi prince. It is bestowed on alumni of the boarding school who demonstrate “brilliant, lifelong work in a significant field of endeavor.”

For Burkhardt that endeavor was Eagle Rock School. He was handpicked by the American Honda Education Corporation in the early 1990s to launch the Honda-funded year-round, residential and full scholarship high school for students who have not experienced success in a traditional academic setting. Located on a 640-acre mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., the school was formed to support the lives of young people by promoting community, integrity and citizenship.

As head of Eagle Rock for more than 20 years, Burkhardt helped build an institution that provides disengaged and underserved students a path to personal and academic growth, while becoming a leader whose passion for education and helping others left a lasting impression on the students.

Congratulating Burkhardt on receiving this award, Kim Smalley, president and chairman of the American Honda Education Corporation said: “Robert’s contribution to establishing the service-based and value-centered culture of Eagle Rock is part of his lasting legacy. This award speaks to his unwavering support for and impact on the lives of many who’ve passed through Eagle Rock’s doors.”

In a letter announcing his retirement in 2012, Burkhardt noted: “I will carry Eagle Rock in my heart as long as I live.”

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