Energetic, Enthusiastic and Present

Our residential staff provides support and guidance to students day and night. They cultivate a warm and friendly rapport and serve as mentors in daily life, weekends, and on extended trips. 

Residential Directors

Anne Barrier Montana Academy

Anne Barrier


Anne Barrier

Program Manager

BA Psychology, Recreation Management

Certifications:
Clinical First Responder
Motivational Interviewing
Leave No Trace Instructor

Anne started her career working with youth and their families with The North Carolina Outward Bound School: Florida At-Risk Wilderness Programs— where she worked in logistics and later as a Family Coordinator and the Admissions Specialist. During her time with Outward Bound, she gained family-centered perspectives through working with parents and teenagers together. Anne worked in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as a Recreation Park Ranger with the Youth Conservation Corps before making her way to the Flathead Valley to work with Montana Academy

Why do you work here

My favorite part of working at Montana Academy are the moments when you get to reflect back to the students the good that you see in them and in their journey that they aren’t always seeing. “Holding the hope!”

What are your interests?

You can find Anne playing with her two miniature Australian Shepherds, Banjo and Mabel, exploring new places, fishing, playing the banjo, skiing in the snowy months, or chasing mountain streams!

Andy Connelly


Andy Connelly

Weekend Coordinator

Bachelor’s in History, Minor in Political Science – Montana State University


Andy went to school in hopes of becoming a teacher, and ended up doing his student teaching at Montana Academy in 2009.  While student teaching, Andy was exposed to the therapeutic boarding school process, and decided that it was something he wanted to be a part of.  Andy has always worked and volunteered with various programs aimed at helping and educating adolescents, and this seemed like a great fit for his interests, and skillset.

Why do you work here?

I am passionate about what I do, I love sharing my hobbies and interests with students, while getting to know them personally.  I love the energy that the students bring every day, and enjoy being a part of their lives.  It is cool to watch the day to day, week to week progress of each student, and to watch them “grow up” over their time here. It is tough to watch them go, but it is rewarding to hear from old students, who are excited to share what they have been up to, now that they have found a happier, more fulfilling way of life.

Interests:

When not at work, you will find Andy outside; back-country skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, mountain biking, or looking for bears.  The mountains have always made the most sense to him, so he spends as much time in them as possible.   

Team Leaders

Jeremiah Gordon


Jeremiah Gordon

Team Leader

BS Cultural Anthropologie, Minor in World Religions, Toccoa Falls College

Certs:
American Redcross Adult/Infant CPR/AED/First-aid and Epipen administration instructor
Wilderness First Responder
American Heart BLS certified
Trained in Swift Water Rescue I
Trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention

Since graduation and marriage in 2000, Jeremiah has worked with youth ages 5-19 at various children’s homes, boarding schools and youth camps around the country.  Primarily, Jeremiah worked in Orlando Florida for 16 years.

Why do you work here?

I  work at Montana Academy because I believe that while we can address behavior in teens, we also need to emphasize counseling and therapy to address the deeper root issues.  I show up every day because of the beautiful location in which I get to be a part of helping with this process with a great treatment team.

Interests

Jeremiah’s interests include but are not limited to: playing the guitar, hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, winter and summer camping, downhill and cross country skiing, fishing, observing nature, hunting and spending time with his family which includes his wife of 20 years, three children and a Siberian husky.

He also enjoys teaching and holds his Wilderness First Responder through NOLS and his American Red Cross instructor’s certificate.

Rick Guenther Montana Academy

Rick Guenther


Rick Guenther

Team Leader

BA Comparative Sociology/Education, University of Washington, University of Puget Sound

Rick comes to Montana Academy from Whitefish, Montana where he has spent the last eight years a ski instructor at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Prior to that he was a High School teacher and coach for over twenty years, teaching a variety of subjects over his career as well as being a head high school Football and Basketball coach. Rick grew up in Mount Vernon, Washington, and attended the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington where he also played Varsity football and played on Washington’s 1978 rose bowl team. After graduation Rick had a brief career in professional football before entering the field of education.

Why do you work here?

For me working at Montana Academy is a great opportunity to share my experiences with the young people here and help make their time here as positive and rewarding as possible!

Interests

Outside of work Rick’s hobbies include just about everything to do with the outdoors including Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, fishing, paddle boarding, and he is also a Scuba instructor. Rick also enjoys Painting in his free time.

Molly Harper Team Leader Montana Academy

Molly Harper


Molly Harper

Team Leader

BS in Human Services, Clinical Concentration – University of Delaware

Molly has spent significant time over the past several years working with children in a grief counseling center; collaborating on support group curriculum, introducing new participants to the program, and facilitating support groups for grieving children ages 5-18. Molly also enjoyed her time as an intern with the Mental Health Association in Delaware where she presented resource options to residential patients, developed marketing strategies, and facilitated support groups in depression and anxiety. Molly has worked in residential, outpatient, and private home healthcare settings. She has traveled abroad twice to work as an au-pair in Italy.

Why do you work here?

I am passionate about helping adolescents navigate their personal development.

Interests

Molly is new to the Flathead Valley and looks forward to spending her free time exploring all of the outdoor activities this area has to offer! So far she has taken up hobbies such as skiing, fly fishing, and gardening.

Jim Wilson


Jim Wilson

Team Leader

Jim spent 5 years in the US Coast Guard working in search and rescue and maritime law enforcement. He also spent 16 years as a heavy equipment operator and five years as a Cub Scout leader.

Why do you work here

I joined the Montana Academy staff in October of 2017.  I enjoy teaching and working with children of all ages.  I have a more logical approach to most things due to life experience and accomplishments.   My goal is to share my knowledge with the young adults at Montana Academy in hopes of giving them a leg up in life and more balance for their future.

What are your interests?

Jim has been married for twenty-five years and has five children,  3 of which are our adopted nephews who have been with us for over 10 years.   When Jim is not at work, he enjoys anything outdoors, including camping, hunting, fly fishing, riding horses, playing guitar around the campfire, and various projects with his children.

Logan-Harwood-Montana-Academy

Logan Harwood


Logan Harwood

Team Leader

BS in Criminal Justice, University of Providence
Certifications in First Aid and CPR

Prior Work Experience

Directly out of college Logan worked in the criminal justice system first as a detention officer then locally as a police officer. After leaving the Criminal Justice field, Logan worked for another therapeutic boarding school, Summit Preparatory Academy.  

Why do you work here

I work here to assist students through their daily successes and struggles and to make a positive impact on their lives. I also enjoy watching students progress through the program to see improvements they have made start to finish. 

Lastly, What are your interests?

Outside of Montana Academy, Logan enjoys doing a number of things including, spending time with his wife and their two year old daughter Harper and golden retriever puppy Champ. Logan enjoys fly fishing, whitewater rafting, hunting, snowmobiling, backpacking, and camping.

Leah-Vosters-Montana-Academy

Leah Vosters


Leah Vosters

Team Leader

BA in Communication and Art from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Leah has spent many years working with youth in many contexts. Throughout her experience, she has loved the personal dynamics these positions have offered. During undergraduate school, she worked for WEAP, Wisconsin Early Autism Project as a Behavioral Technician. Here she had the privilege of conducting 1-1 in-home therapy for younger kids with Autism. Her passion for inspiring, uplifting, and helping others grew immensely over that time. After graduation, she decided to take 6 months to explore that passion and travel.  She ended up in Kenya and Sri Lanka, working at different orphanages and schools, teaching English and life skills along the way. Leah has lived in Vail Colorado for the past three years working at a mental health clinic.

Why do you work here?

I work at Montana Academy because I love to be part of the progress and growth of students. Working here allows me to use my creative outlets and hobbies as inspiring factors to mentor the kids.

Interests

When she is not working Leah spends most of her time out in the backcountry snowboarding or mountain biking on the trails with her sweet dog Enya. She enjoys traveling to new places to explore different cultures and finding new trails to ride. If she is not on the trails you can find her out on the lake or drawing in her “studio.”   


Montana-Academy-Adam-Sommers

Adam Sommers


Adam Sommers

Team Leader

MPA, Nonprofit Management, Arkansas State University
BA, History, Christian Brothers University

Adam found his way to Northwest Montana in 2017 to complete a year of AmeriCorps service with the Kalispell School District, working with local students struggling with homelessness to combat issues surrounding food security and basic needs. After several years of work in nonprofit fundraising with Habitat for Humanity and ultimately Glacier National Park, Adam sought to return to the world of education and mentorship through work with the Montana Academy.

Why do you work here?

I find work with Montana Academy incredibly enriching due to the integration of the traditional classroom with the unique and inspiring setting of Northwest Montana. The wild and isolated nature of the area allows for real self-reflection and development without many distractions found in the rest of our world.

Interests

Adam spends the majority of his time off campus camping, backpacking, running, hiking, berry-picking, exploring and floating across the West with his Border Collie, Stevie.

Night Staff

Bill Todd Residential Night Staff

Bill Todd


Bill Todd

Night Staff

Bill was born and raised in Kalispell Montana where he enjoyed a Tom Sawyer type childhood with five brothers and one sister in a very happy home.  He graduated from Flathead High School and has a few semesters of College where he took some general education and construction classes.

After school, Bill started working in the construction industry doing masonry, carpentry and cabinet building.  Bill has five children and has coached little guy wrestling, and has worked with various youth groups.

Why do you work here?

All in all I really enjoy the work that I do at the Montana Academy and spending time with the kids.

Interests

Bill enjoys fishing, hunting, white water kayaking and most all types of outdoor activities.  Currently he is building his own small cabin trying to get it done and ready to move in before winter sets in.  He loves riding his motorcycle and taking long trips and sleeping under the stars.  One of his favorite things to do is to hang out with his granddaughter Oakleigh who is 4 years old.

Charlie Reavis Montana Academy Staff

Charles Reavis


Charles Reavis

Night Staff

BS in Recreation and Leisure Studies, Minor in Architecture Design, Missouri State University

Masters of Religious Education in Youth Ministry and Church Recreation, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Charles has been a  landscaper, a home builder and a church recreation minister for twenty plus years. He has also served as a recreation therapist, a team leader, a program director and now enjoys his position as night watch. 

Why do you work here?

I enjoy working at Montana Academy because of the program model and the work done with the students. We have maintained an excellent staff over the years which has helped with my longevity of working at the school.

Interests

Charles’ interests are his faith, his family, and he enjoys  sports, hunting, and music. 

Debbie Briggs


Debbie Briggs

Night Staff

Debbie has enjoyed a long career life and has held a variety of positions. Debbie worked for Hewlett Packard for 20 years as a machine operator as well as taking charge of their Medical Emergency Response Team. Following her work at Hewlett Packard, Debbie started her own business teaching First Aid and CPR as well as Emergency Response training. Debbie has been a CAN and she has managed an Adult Family Home while also working as a sterile processing tech in a surgery department. Eventually, Debbie and her husband found their way to Lost Prairie where she began her work at Montana Academy.

Why do you work here?

I wanted to work for the school to see if I could help with being the Mom away from home for the students that are here at Montana Academy. I am a very donw to earth kind of person with old fashioned values.

Interests

Debbie likes to spend time with her husband and their dog, Amber and with all of the things that come along with living on 20 acres in Montana. Debbie likes to target shoot, sew and camp in her trailer.

Lyda White


Lyda White

Night Staff

Residential Night Staff

Thelma Brandt


Thelma Brandt

Night Staff