Meet Our Team

Meet The Leadership Team

The leadership team is responsible for the strategic vision of Montana Academy. Strong leadership equates to enthusiastic and positive morale, effective communication, empathy, and fostering a sense of community that permeates our culture.

Matt Keenan, MEd


Matt Keenan, MEd

Head of School

Doctoral Candidate, Education Leadership, Montana State University
MEd, Curriculum & Instruction, Montana State University
BA, Foreign Languages & Literature – Spanish, James Madison University
Teacher Certification: Montana Educator License: z (K-12)

After graduating from college Matt joined the Peace Corps where he spent two and a half years in rural Nicaragua as a volunteer working in agriculture and community development.  Upon returning to the States Matt entered the field of education first as a mental health support specialist and after school program coordinator in Title I elementary schools in Missoula.  He began teaching Spanish at Montana Academy in 2013 while finishing his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, then beginning a doctoral program in Educational Leadership.  He transitioned from his teaching position to Head of School in the fall of 2018.

Why do you work here

The purpose of education is not just to increase our understanding of the world, but also to better understand ourselves; Montana Academy highlights the relationship between what we learn, how we learn, and who we are.

What are your interests?

Most of Matt’s time away from Montana Academy is spent playing and staying active with his wife and two young boys.  He tries to take advantage of all the valley has to offer including biking, hiking, camping, cross country skiing, and many other outdoor activities.  He also stays engaged in the broader community by attending local events, supporting local businesses, and enjoying local music in order to foster a strong sense of community.

Melissa Proctor LCSW, CADC-1


Melissa Proctor LCSW, CADC-1

Clinical Director

MSW, Direct Care Child & Adolescent Mental Health
BA, Human Communication & Women’s Studies

Melissa joined Montana Academy in 2012. Between Graduate School and Montana Academy, Melissa worked as a therapist for Santiam Crossing Therapeutic Boarding School and Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy as both a field therapist and supervising therapist.  Melissa was with Freer and Santiam for 3 years. Melissa’s Graduate School education focused on working with children from ages 3-18 in a variety of clinical settings such as a Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program and Specialized DBT teen Program. Prior to graduate school she spent a good amount of time working within the criminal justice system Where she was a part of a Family Drug Court Team specializing in treatment for victims and perpetrators of sexual and physical violence.

Why do you work here

Montana Academy’s developmental approach has resonated with me from day one. The values and philosophy align with not only my professional but personal beliefs. I was fortunate enough to have been mentored by both John McKinnon and John Santa and now am honored to continue to carry on their work as we journey into the next generation of leaders.  

What are your interests?

Melissa is an avid competitor on horseback in Three Day Eventing, Working Cow Horse and Calf Roping. She finds that learning to be a competitor is a lifelong process and fulfills her desire to continue to learn and grow as a person.

Adam Hannigan Sky House Program Director Montana Academy

Adam Hannigan


Adam Hannigan

Sky House Program Director

BA, English, University of Iowa
Licensure & Certifications: Secondary Teaching Certification (6-12)

After earning his degree in 1998, Adam spent time travelling and working in the mountain west.  After settling in the Flathead Valley he spent 3 years working at a therapeutic wilderness program in the summers and at a rural public school with youth at risk throughout the school year.  In 2003, Adam joined the Montana Academy team and worked on campus as a team leader for 8 years.  In 2012, he moved to the Sky Houses to support families in transition and has been the Program Director since 2014.

Why do you work here

I work at Montana Academy because I believe in what we do, day in and day out.  At every graduation, I am reminded how amazing our staff team and the families are and I feel privileged to be a part of the greater MA community.

Interests

Adam fell in love with Northwest Montana after college and has called Whitefish home since 1998.  His wife and he have two beautiful daughters that they try to get outside as much as possible.  Skiing runs deep his family roots and he loves rafting and hiking in the summer.  He also has the privilege of sharing his passions for soccer, mountain biking and rock climbing with students at work!

Amy Nimmo MS, LCPC


Amy Nimmo MS, LCPC

Director of Admissions

MS, Mental Health Counseling, Capella University
BS, Health & Human Services, emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation, Southwest Missouri State University

Grief counseling & training, Tamarack Grief Resource Center
Crisis management and clinical experience, Kalispell Regional Medical Center & Western Montana Mental Health

Amy joined Montana Academy in 2000 and currently serves as the Admissions Director. Amy began her tenure at Montana Academy as a Weekend Team Leader and has also served as a primary therapist for a team of females on campus as well as a primary therapist at Sky House for both males and females. Amy has also spent time working in other contexts including grief support and education, experiential therapy and crisis management at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and Western Montana Mental Health.

Why do I work here?

I am honored to work among such a talented, collaborative group of colleagues supporting students as they embark on a journey of self-discovery. Being part of a caring community that fosters authentic connection, open and honest communication and positive personal transformation is both humbling and rewarding.

Interests

In her spare time, Amy loves adventuring in the beautiful wilderness Montana has to offer. Hiking, mountain biking, rafting, skiing, and gardening are among some of her favorite activities as well as cooking, traveling to new places, and reading.

David Chiarito, MS


David Chiarito, MS

Director of Outreach

MS Experiential Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN
BS Outdoor Recreation, Unity College, ME

David has been working in the therapeutic field for over twenty years. He began his career in wilderness therapy in the mid 1990’s and has since worked with adolescents, young adults and their families in a variety of contexts. Over the years, David has balanced his therapeutic work with a healthy tenure of recreational guiding including whitewater rafting, kayaking and fly fishing.  David has been with Montana Academy since the Spring of 2016.

Why do you work here?

Working with young folks has always been my passion. Regardless of the context, I enjoy the perspective of young folks and enjoy encouraging them to see a world full of opportunity.

Interests

In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys doing all of the outdoor activities Montana has to offer.

Mary’l Luntsford


Mary’l Luntsford

Program Director

Licensure & Certifications:
Crisis Prevention Institute Certified Instructor
Mandt Training
Juvenile Detention Training, Montana Law Enforcement Academy
MAPP (Foster Care Training)

Montana Academy
Girls Night Staff – from 1999 to 2000
Team Two TL – from 2000 to 2013
Sky House Manager – 2013 to 2016
Shift Supervisor on Campus – 2016-2017
Program Director – 2017 – PRESENT

8 years as foster parent of teenagers 13+
AWARE

Interests

When Mary is not working, she enjoys camping with family, berry picking, dart tournaments with her husband of 45 years, and any board games and card games that exist. She and her husband are also avid visitors of Montana Lookout (Fire Towers) and Forest Service Cabins. Mary enjoys teaching life skills to her grandchildren and she recently became a Great-Grandmother to a wonderful boy. Her biggest enjoyment all my life is – cleaning; just about anything she can get her hands on… something her mother shared with her through her growing younger years. She finds cleaning the best stress reducer.

Amy Zink BSLS


Amy Zink BSLS

Business Manager

Education: AAS, Office Technology, Flathead Valley Community College AA, Business Management, Flathead Valley Community College BSLS, Management and Organizational Communication, Montana State University

Amy has been working as a Business Administrator since before she graduated college (20+ years).  Amy started as an Administrative Assistant and after  5 years, became the Business Manager and a few years after that joined the Leadership Team.

Why do you work here?

I love working in an environment where I see and feel a purpose. I love watching the transformation of the students while they are here.  

Interests

Amy and her daughter’s barrel race and love riding horses. She also loves anything outdoors; camping and kayaking being at the top of her list.