Emmy Gilliam - Aspen Country Day School

Emmy Gilliam
Seventh & Eighth Grade English Teacher


Emmy brings 17 years of experience working in schools as a middle school teacher, faculty leader, and director of admissions and enrollment. She has a BA in English from USC and two master’s degrees: one from the UCLA Teacher Education Program; another in K-12 education leadership from Pepperdine University. Her work in schools that are domestic and international, as well as public and private, has allowed her to develop a sophisticated understanding of, in her words, “communication, education, culture, and belonging.” Prior to coming to Aspen, she ad been at St. James’ Episcopal School in Los Angeles since 2015. She is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys backpacking and snowboarding.

What makes a student’s experience at ACDS distinctive from other schools?

The wonderful balance of curriculum: academic subjects, arts, and outdoor education is notable, but the relationships we build as a result are unparalleled. The feeling of familiarity, calm, and comfort is unique to Aspen Country Day. Faculty and students get to know each other in different scenarios: in the great outdoors, in the classroom, and while being creative. Young people are able to see the multiple ways of being successful and can discover themselves here.

Favorite ACDS tradition?

I love listening to the Eighth Grade graduation speeches in June. What a perfect way to celebrate each individual graduate and the ideas they bring to the school community.

Best way to spend a weekend or day off?

I seek out hikes I haven’t yet attempted. There are plenty of them here and I like having many to choose from.

Your favorite place in the world?

My grandfather taught me an old adage that, “wherever you go, there you are,” and that means to me that you can make every place special and wonderful with your own mindset. So, I try to follow that as best as I can to enjoy everywhere I am.

Bucket-list travel destination?

Japan is next on my list.