NETTIE BREUNER

Head of School

Head of School Nettie Breuner joined Big Sky Discovery Academy in 2016. She is a career educator who has been a teacher in settings ranging from outdoor education, to one-room schools to public middle schools. Nettie received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, holds a Master’s in Middle School Education from Lesley University, and gained Montana K-12 Principal Certification from Montana State University. Her primary educational focus has been to create individualized learning for all students to maximize their engagement in and enthusiasm for their own progress. Nettie has lived in Big Sky full time since 2001. She enjoys cooking, reading, trail running, skiing and feels most at home when in the out of doors.

LAURA MACPHERSON

Early Childhood Program Director & Lead Teacher

Laura has had the opportunity to work with Early Childhood students for over 10 years. Prior to joining BSDA, she experienced teaching opportunities in a variety of experiential and outdoor education settings across Montana, Minnesota, and Oregon. She received her B. S. in Recreation Management & Nature Based Programming from the University of Montana and obtained her Montessori Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Over the years, she has participated in a variety of leadership and teaching courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School, Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures, and the Portland Outdoor Science School. She is a member of the American Montessori Society and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

MARIE GOODE

Office Manager & Assistant Executive Director

Marie, her husband Mark have lived in Big Sky since 2002. They have three grown children, Kelly, Chris & Simeon, who homeschooled from 1996 through 2002 and are now living in various places. Marie has a bachelor’s degree in Finance and experience in business and office management. She worked for the Big Sky School District as District Clerk for 9 years before joining Big Sky Discovery Academy. She has always loved education and being in a school day to day just seemed natural. Marie has served on many volunteer boards in the Big Sky Community, including the Early Childhood Enrichment Fund, Arts Council of Big Sky, Big Sky PTO, and currently the Big Sky Chapel Board.

Hannah Richardson

Community Outreach Director & All School Spanish Teacher

Hannah is a native Marylander, who joins us as the Community Outreach Director and Spanish Teacher. In May 2019, Hannah earned her Masters in Educational Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2013 with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies with a concentration in Environmental Science as a student athlete. Since college, she has been teaching Chesapeake Bay Studies and Science as a middle school science teacher at Kent School (Chestertown, Maryland). While working with science teachers from the local community, she helped develop a unique and dynamic curriculum for students to study the Chesapeake Bay watershed through experiments, field trips, and group projects. She also has spent several years working as an outdoor educator and naturalist at Echo Hill Outdoor School. Hannah has extensive experience managing staff, schedules, and community relations through her role as a Senior Assistant Director at Echo Hill Camp. She believes that leveraging field trips and the great outdoors provides authentic learning opportunities for students. In addition, her teaching philosophy integrates project-based learning and STEAM initiatives. Hannah loves spending time outside water skiing, running, backcountry skiing, traveling, and hiking. She is excited to be a part of the Discovery Academy team. 

Kate Riley

Art Program Director & All School Art Teacher

Kate moved to Big Sky in 2018 from the east coast of Massachusetts. Kate received her B.F.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She also completed an artist residency program in France studying in Paris and La Napoule. Additional areas of related study include art history, education, environmental science, digital media and music. Kate has taught in both private and public school for seven years, operated an early learning center, and has designed and written the art curriculum to establish two high school art programs. Prior to teaching, Kate worked in the museum education department at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Kate has taught the full spectrum of grade levels: elementary, middle, high school and adult ed, in both private and public schools.

Additionally, Kate has designed, created and supervised summer programs for elementary, middle and high school students that include outdoor painting, drawing, photography and integration of the natural elements. In the summer Kate runs a yoga camp for both elementary and middle school students. Kate is passionate about fostering connections from cultural, political and global issues, and to emphasize with students the importance of developing their creative talents and curiosity for becoming lifelong learners. Outside of teaching, Kate is a painter, photographer and also a certified yoga instructor and brings yoga, mindfulness and wellness to Discovery. When not teaching, Kate enjoys rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, yoga, playing music, and, of course, reading a good book!