Challenge Staff & Instructors
Gwen Lyons - Instructor
Born and raised in the Green Mountain State, Gwen’s love for adventure and the natural world developed from playing outside year-round in Vermont. She has been working in the education field since graduating from the University of Vermont in 2006 with a B.S in Environmental Studies. After graduation, Gwen worked as an outdoor environmental educator in both rural New Jersey and the mountains of north Georgia. When she returned to Vermont, she continued to work in the EE field in several different capacities until she decided to take her love for science inside and get her teaching license. Despite enjoying her work, Gwen chose to ditch the traditional classroom for the wilderness.
An avid outdoor adventurer, Gwen decided to turn passion into purpose and is pursuing a graduate degree in Adventure Education from Prescott College. Gwen packed up her Subaru and drove west to Prescott at the end of 2018. On any given day you can find her hiking or trail running with her dog Odin. She enjoys climbing, biking, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, skiing and more. Gwen spends her weekends mountain biking around the Prescott National Forest and improving her climbing in the Granite Dells. She is excited to continue exploring Arizona and learning about the unique plants and animals which call the four corners region home.
Matt Dean - Faculty Advisor
Matt holds a B.S. in Political Science from Northern Arizona University; a Master's of Education in Secondary Education and Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Mr. Dean has been a teacher and program director with Prescott High School for the past 10 years. He is currently the Director of Prescott High School's Credit Assistance Program and Dropout Recovery Program. Matt has served as a camp counselor leading teenagers on outdoor wilderness adventures. He spent his early career at an expeditionary learning school where he also led students on outdoor adventures. Matt spends as much time as he can hiking and exploring the Prescott area and the Colorado Plateau.
Tiffany Boehle - Faculty Advisor
Tiffany received her Bachelor's degree in education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2003 and her Master's degree in education at Northern Arizona University in 2012. She is currently pursuing a second graduate degree in Spanish. Ms. Boehle began her career in Grand Island, Nebraska where she taught high-school Spanish. She moved to Prescott in 2006 where she worked as a social working providing in-home counseling, crisis intervention services, and foster care/adoption trainings. In 2012, she joined PUSD in the the Federal Grants management office and directed a Title I, Part D grant program that provided additional education and social services to at-risk students and their families within the district. In 2014, she began teaching Spanish II and Dual Credit Spanish 201/202 at PHS. She also teaches in the Genesis Dropout Recovery Program school at night. She was the 2016-17 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year for High School Cross-Category. She was honor as an outstanding educator by Delta Kappa Gamma. Additionally, she loves exploring the Colorado Plateau, birding, and visiting National Parks and Monuments.
Mandy Atherton - Faculty Advisor
Mandy holds a BS and BSeD in Mathematics from Northern Arizona University and a MS in Mathematics from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Atherton has been teaching at NAU and Prescott High School over the last 3 years. She is currently teaching math and dual enrollment classes through Yavapai College. While in college, Math picked up indoor and outdoor climbing. She has been hiking, running, biking, and doing anything outside most of her life throughout Arizona. Exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog is one of Mrs. Atherton's great enjoyments!