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

Ashley Carlson


Ashley Carlson

Program Developer

Licensure & Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder/CPR (Wilderness Medical Associates)
Leave No Trace Instructor
Aegis certified
Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

Ashley began her path working with adolescents at an afterschool program for elementary aged students. While working for this program, she discovered how much she enjoys working with youth. She has worked for summer camps, Outward Bound, as a wilderness therapy guide, and was a volunteer for various youth organizations. All of this experience combined eventually led her to Montana Academy which incorporated her experience along with her interests and enjoyment of working with teenagers.

Why do you work here?

With the teenage years being such a formative time, I enjoy getting to be a supportive part of the process for our students and families at Montana Academy.

Interests

In her free time Ashley enjoys traveling, camping, biking, hiking and xc-skiing with her fiancé and their dog Milo.

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

Anne Barrier Montana Academy

Anne Barrier


Anne Barrier

Team Leader

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!

Peregrine Frissell


Peregrine Frissell

Team Leader

Education

B.A. in Journalism, University of Montana

Currently enrolled in a Masters in Teaching candidate through Montana State University

After college, Peregrine embarked on a reporting career that included stints at a weekly newspaper in Kathmandu, Nepal, a political magazine in Washington D.C. and daily newspapers in suburban New York City and Kalispell, Montana. After, Peregrine decided to make a long-desired pivot to education that brought him to Montana Academy.

Why do you work here?

I work here because the kids bring out the parts of me that I like best, and in the act of holding them accountable they invariably do the same in return. I also like playing basketball and skiing on activities.  

Interests

When not at Montana Academy Peregrine enjoys cooking, skiing, traveling, fly fishing and reading the news. Peregrine doesn’t have any children of his own, but he does have a yogurt culture that is about a year and a half old that he dotes on regularly and has high expectations for in the future.

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 health-care 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.

Joe Harvey Team Leader Montana Academy

Joe Harvey


Joe Harvey

Team Leader

BA in Youth Studies, Cultural Anthropology & English, University of Texas El Paso,

AA in Early Childhood Education                             

Joe comes to Montana Academy after a number of years of working as a Residential Counselor at Summit Preparatory School. He grew up in the very small (but beautiful!) town of Libby, MT, which is about an hour west of Montana Academy. After graduation, he went into the US Navy and worked as a photographer in San Diego. After five years of service, he went directly into social services, including time spent with the developmentally delayed and disabled, geriatrics, brain injury rehab, at-risk youth, and early childhood. Joe then spent some years as a Training & Curriculum Specialist, working with children and teachers in child development centers on US military stations in Germany and then southern California.

Why do you work here?

I have always been drawn to work that might allow me to make some sort of a difference in the world. Even though I have worked with all ages and abilities, from early childhood to geriatrics, I have to say that working with teens has always been my favorite and most rewarding vocation. I’ve done a lot of things, been to a lot of places, and met a lot of fascinating people…I think if I am able to offer even one helpful bit of guidance to a young person who needs it, then my time here on this planet will have been well spent.

Interests

Joe loves spending time outdoors, whether at home working in his yard or hiking and camping in the local mountains. Joe has a history of animal rescue and wildlife education. He has raised a lion cub, a marmoset monkey, an arctic fox, a kinkajou, and dozens of others. He was also an educator at the San Diego Zoo some years back. Joe also enjoys making art- mostly sculpture.

Joey Michael


Joey Michael

Team Leader

Bachelor of Science: Psychology, Minor in Sociology
Montana State University
Certs: First Aid and CPR

Joey worked throughout college while playing football, and eventually ended up working at a gym consistently from junior through senior year. After a short stint in the NFL, he moved to Kalispell Montana to pursue a career in wildland firefighting where he spent the next three summers working for the state of Montana protecting forests and rural communities. He received the opportunity to put his degree to good use at Montana Academy and has been working here since October of 2019.

Why do you work here?

I work at Montana Academy to offer assistance and advice to our youth regarding the daily struggles of being a teenager.

Interests

When Joey is not at work he enjoys spending his time with his girlfriend and 8 week old son. He also enjoys spending as much time as possible exploring the Montana wilderness; fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, and longboarding. In the fall when the opportunity presents itself he loves to get together with a couple good friends to fell a few trees to gather firewood for the winter. All in all if it involves being active, he’s all about it. 

Jojo Munro


Jojo Munro

Team Leader

Associates of Art from Flathead Valley Community College. Finishing her Bachelors of Social Work Spring of 2021.
Certificates: CPR and First Aide

Jojo worked in the restaurant business for 16 years as a manager and server. Before that, she worked in Special Education at the Elementary and High School levels. Jojo has also worked with children in a daycare setting and at church camps.  Jojo joined Montana Academy in October of 2019 as a fill-in, accepting the Team Leader position in mid February of 2020.

Why do you work here?

I come to work every day because it is my turn, my joy, to give back what I was given as a young adult.

Interests

Jojo spends her time off of work cuddling her four dogs, taming her mouse, planting new plants in the back yard, training horses, painting, or reading a good book. She is always up for an adventure and totally happy relaxing with her husband.

Chris Nussman


Chris Nussman

Team Leader

Bachelor of Arts – Criminology, Minor in Sociology
University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 2009

Licensure & Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder
CPR and First Aid
Aegis Trainer
Emergency Water Safety

Chris spent 6 years as an Outward Bound Instructor and Course Director with the North Carolina Outward Bound School, working primarily with their at-risk youth programs (STEP, FINS, and Intercept) between North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida.  He also spent 2 years as a Wilderness Guide with the Wilderness Treatment Center, an inpatient substance abuse program for young men.

Why do you work here?

I find myself coming back to Montana Academy day after day because of how important it is to me to serve and make a positive impact on others, particularly teenagers who need guidance and their families. 

Interests

Chris’ interests include skiing, whitewater boating, hiking and backpacking, hunting and fishing, gardening and landscaping, and spending as much time as possible with his wife and two dogs.

Sally Stecher Team Leader Montana Academy

Sally Stecher


Sally Stecher

Team Leader

BA in Psychology from Ashford University

Sally grew up in San Antonio, Texas and has lived in many different areas of the world. She’s passionate about working with children. While in High School she fell in love with tutoring, mentoring, and working with the special needs program. Many summers of camp counseling inspired her to take a deeper look into helping guide the lives of children of all ages. Working for a physical therapy practice proved to her that she wants to continue on a path of helping others.

Why do you work here?

I am thrilled to be living in the beautiful state of Montana and honored to hold a special role at Montana Academy.  MA allows me to enjoy the outdoors, mentor young adults, help others, use a creative mind, and challenge me in my daily life – all of which help me, and everyone else around me, grow into stronger people.

Interests

Sally loves learning new things and absorbing new hobbies.  she plays the guitar and is learning the ukulele. Sally likes to experiment in the kitchen, read and write outside, play basketball, attempt to fly fish, and spend days outside in the wild.  While she travels every chance she gets, she still has a lot of ground to cover.  Her favorite thing is traveling to a new place in running shoes, getting lost and finding her way back.

Bambi Wilson


Bambi Wilson

Team Leader

Licensure & Certifications:
Certified Pharmacy Technician
Foster Care licensed
First Aid/CPR Certified
Aegis Training

Bambi has been working at Montana Academy since November, 2016, starting as a float staff. In July of 2017 she became the Team 4 Team Leader. Before working at Montana Academy she worked as a Pharmacy Technician and as a photographer for 5 years in Fairbanks, Alaska assisting with school portraits for 32 schools, grades K-12. Bambi Currently serves on the Board of Directors for Pleasant Valley School District as Vice Chairman

Why do you work here?

I really enjoy integrating my creative side with the students.

Interests

When not at Montana Academy, Bambi enjoys  hunting, fly fishing, camping, horseback riding and all types of crafts. She loves spending time with her husband and their five children.  


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.

Alison-Moen-Montana-Academy

Alison Moen


Alison Moen

Team Leader, BA Economics, University of Washington

BA Economics, University of Washington

Prior Work Experience:

Alison spent the first 6 years of her career working in financial planning and security sales before working in sales and customer service for a biotech company for 33 years. Alison also spent 5 years as a ski instructor for a teen ski school at Crystal Mountain and Snoqualmie Summit in Washington.

Why do you work here?

This is a great opportunity to make a positive, constructive difference in the students’ lives.

Interests Outside of Work:

Outside of work, Alison enjoys exterior decorating in the form of creating eclectic gardens. She has made a hobby of searching out items at yard sales, thrift stores and also uses natural materials that she gathers. Alison also enjoys growing vegetables and sees this as a bonus! Alison and her other half also love learning how to live in a more self-sustaining style so as not to be too dependent on the grid.  She likes to paddle on her lake, play with her dogs, baking and visiting with her kids who live out of state.

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.

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