Early Childhood co-Lead Teacher & Extended Day CoordinatorMonica moved to Montana in October 2015 from Portland, Oregon. She has a BS in Child and Family Studies from the University of Wyoming and an MS in School Counseling from Florida State University. She spent the last 5 years working at West Hills Montessori in Portland, Oregon where she supervised the after care program, and also worked as an all school and administrative support person. Her past work experiences include working as a middle school guidance counselor, designing interiors and finishes for a number of commercial and residential projects, and owning her own business in the charming historic neighborhood of Sellwood in Portland. Her favorite job thus far has been raising her 2 children Emily, 21, and Michael, 18. She shares many interests with them such as a love of traveling, snorkeling, boating, reading, hiking. She is experiencing her first year as an empty-nester. Monica looks forward to spending time cross country skiing and exploring Big Sky and all that it has to offer. She is excited about working with the students at Big Sky Discovery Academy and getting to know the families and the community.
Math/ Makerspace Coordinator & Middle School Co-Lead Teacher
Chris joins his fourth year at Discovery Academy now as the Math, Science, and Makerspace Specialist as well as the Outdoor Ed Coordinator. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Prior to coming to Discovery he spent time guiding outdoor leadership expeditions in Alaska, and he helped develop local summer programming here at Camp Big Sky. He teaches through hands-on discovery: fostering play, open-ended learning, creative problem-solving, and exploring interests. In his free time Chris enjoys trail running, climbing, skiing, and playing music.
Middle School Lead Teacher
Originally from California, Kathryn grew up in several countries before her family settled down in Washington State. After high school, she attended George Fox University in Oregon and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Since her time at George Fox, Kathryn has gained most of her teaching experience overseas, teaching at an international school in Shanghai for two years, followed by a year in Spain. Kathryn recently completed her Masters in Integrated Curriculum and is very excited to join Big Sky Discovery Academy where she will be able to develop and implement exciting integrated learning experiences for her students. Besides traveling and teaching, Kathryn enjoys spending time hiking, backpacking, swimming, and savoring the outdoors in any way she can. She is particularly excited to work on her skiing skills this year in Big Sky.
High School Lead Teacher & High School MathGrace Ganoom grew up in Big Sky, attending Ophir School and Bozeman High School She has a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and an Associate degree in Education. Grace has been a tutor in the surrounding area since 2012. She is passionate about math and strives to communicate that passion to her students. Ever focused on having her students achieve success, she uses teaching strategies that carefully guide learning through discovery and the understanding of the principles of math . When not in the classroom, Grace enjoys traveling and being outside. Her favorite activities include skiing, snowshoeing, waterskiing and hiking.
Elementary Lead Teacher
Early Childhood Assistant TeacherOriginally from Venice Beach, CA, Bella moved to Big Sky after graduating from Cornell University, where she studied neuroscience. Bella has sought to incorporate her academic understanding of the brain with her love of working with children into her previous positions, which include assisting on child psychology research projects, working at daycare centers, and counseling young children. Bella is excited to be a part of the Big Sky Discovery Academy community as an Assistant teacher in both the EC and Elementary classrooms. She is especially looking forward to sharing her love of science, the arts, and nature with her students and co-teachers this coming school year. Outside of the classroom, Bella spends her time fishing, collecting wildflowers, skiing, and spending time with her pet rabbit, Calypso.
High School English TeacherRikka grew up on the Maine coast, and graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Religion. She earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of Montana, where she taught undergraduate composition and creative writing classes, and was named the Tim O’Leary and Michelle Cardinal Prose Scholar. Rikka went on to teach English literature at Swiss Semester, in Zermatt, and then to head the Literature and Writing department at The Island School, in the Bahamas. She is thrilled to be back in Big Sky, where she has worked seasonally for several years, and excited to share her passion for creativity in writing with the students of Big Sky Discovery Academy.