Jennifer Ottinger Promoted to Executive Director of High 5


High 5 Adventure Learning Center has promoted associate executive director Jennifer Ottinger to executive director. In her new position, Ottinger now leads the 29-person team at the nonprofit adventure-based educational organization located in Brattleboro, Vt., where she’s spent the past 22 years in a variety of roles. 

“[Jen’s] proven track record, strategic vision, and commitment to experiential learning make her the perfect leader for High 5’s next phase of growth and impact on the diverse learning communities [it serves],” the organization said in a press release.

Ottinger succeeds former executive director Jim Grout, who has transitioned to the new role of founding director at High 5. According to the press release, “Grout played a pivotal role in establishing High 5 and has a deep understanding of the organization’s history and mission.”

“Having spent a long time kicking around High 5, I’ve learned from the best,” said Ottinger. “My first challenge course training took place in the summer of 2002—led by Jim Grout and Karl Rhonke—and it’s been an amazing journey through to the present, with Jim as a mentor and friend. I’m grateful to step into this position with Jim standing next to me.”

“We are delighted to welcome Jennifer Ottinger as the new executive director of High 5 Adventure Learning Center,” said High 5 board president Tom Skinner. “Jen’s deep commitment to experiential education and her strategic vision and leadership skills make her the ideal candidate to guide High 5 into its next chapter.” 

Ottinger noted that High 5 is coming up on its 25th anniversary, “and we’ll be ready to navigate into the future as a nonprofit social enterprise, using adventure theory and traditional challenge courses as a tool for experiential learning,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what comes next.”


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