Durango Big Picture High School

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David Blau

I began working with youth in the wilderness of Montana, leading month long “intervention and assessment” backpacking trips. It was that experience that solidified my passion and commitment to working with teenagers. Almost 25 years have passed following that initial experience, and subsequently I have worked in a myriad of settings serving youth and families; from psychiatric hospitals and runaway shelters to youth corrections and community mental health.

After completing graduate work in counseling, my wife and I moved down from Alaska in 1999 to make Durango our new home. Since then I have worked as a school counselor in both middle and high schools, as well as public and private schools.

My wife, Nattalie, and I are fortunate to have 2 wonderful children, who both attend high school. Realizing our time with them is growing shorter, we make sure to get out most weekends enjoying our surrounding, playing in the water during summer and the mountains in winter.  

Philosophically, while I believe it is crucial to emphasize personal responsibility, it is paramount that I facilitate a student’s investigation into how they are organized, and their perception of self in relation to their real world experiences.