Nettie Breuner has been an educator for over 25 years. Her first teaching position was as a naturalist educator in the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where she became passionate about teaching outdoor and experiential lessons that engaged and motivated young people to question, explore and discover.
Nettie has worn many hats in education since her first few years of teaching in the Redwoods. She co-founded a one-room K-8 grade, independent, place-based school in Washington state, taught middle school math and science in a large, public middle school in California, been a middle school multiple subject and 8th grade homeroom teacher in Big Sky, and applied her school leadership as an Athletic Director, School Board Chair, and University Supervisor. In all roles, Nettie maintains the core belief that building an engaged and empowered school community best supports students in discovering and confidently reaching for their potentials.
Nettie grew up both in the Bay Area of California and the Sierra Nevadas of Lake Tahoe, where she spent most of her time with family hiking, camping, skiing, lake swimming and exploring. Nettie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, has a Master’s of Middle School Education from Lesley University and Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA and holds both K-8 Teacher and K-12 Principal certifications in Montana.
Nettie began visiting Big Sky in the 1980s to ski and fish with her parents in their “home away from home” and moved full time from Truckee, CA to Big Sky in 2001 to raise her family in a small, beautiful mountain town. As Executive Director, Nettie is thrilled to be part of Discovery Academy and to continue its growth and vision of discovering one’s potential through exploration and discovery.
After moving to Montana from Wisconsin 9 years ago, she quickly fell in love with exploring the mountains and rivers throughout Montana! Laura spent several years working in Outdoor Education programs including naturalist programming and guiding in the Boundary Waters and teaching at the Portland Outdoor Science School. While completing her B.S. in Recreation Management and Nature Based Tourism at the University of Montana, she participated in a variety of training programs with the National Outdoor Leadership School and Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures. After 8 summers of teaching and leading summer camps and environmental education programs throughout Missoula, Big Sky, and Bozeman, she quickly connected her experiences and passions with the Montessori philosophy.
While completing her Early Childhood teaching certification with the American Montessori Society, she taught at a Montessori primary and kindergarten program in Bozeman and continued to teach there until she embarked on the wonderful opportunity to run her own Montessori School in Big Sky. After operating a small Montessori for a year, Laura became part of the BSDA team!
When Laura is not with the little ones, she spends her time on the rivers and ski hill with her husband. Laura loves to share her experiences from traveling with the children by including lessons and inquiry of other cultures around the world! With a background in singing, Laura enjoys including a multitude of song, dance, and movement into her daily curriculum!
Hannah comes to Montana from Mammoth Lakes, California. After many ski racing accomplishments and years of traveling the world with the Western Region Ski Team as well as the US Development Ski Team, Hannah found her way to Montana State University. Hannah competed in Division 1 Women’s Alpine Skiing all four years of college, and is proud to be a Bobcat.
She received her B.A. in Political Science with Small Business Entrepreneurship minor in the Fall of 2011. Hannah will hold her Montessori certification in both Elementary I and Elementary II at the end of summer 2016. Hannah also holds her USSA Level 1 Coaching Certificate, and with this she then spent her first years as a college graduate coaching ski racing and being a nanny.
It became clear that teaching children was her passion. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and shares the Spanish language with the students. Hannah is excited to embark on the education journey, and is excited to be back in the classroom. Most days Hannah can be found either skiing, riding her mountain bike, or enjoying a multitude of many other activities under the Big Sky.
Monica 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.
Kathy Enjoys teaching art history and appreciation to children using Visual Thinking Strategies. VTS encourages cognition and creativity. Children gain many benefits from looking at fine art. At the Discovery Academy, students are given as much time as needed to study an artist, his or her work, and historical context. The students then choose a work to reproduce, creating a personal connection to each artist and his or her history. This is a unique and comprehensive art program providing lifelong enrichment.
Kathy has a degree is in Philosophy from University of the Pacific and she retired from Microsoft in 2000. Kathy, her husband and their two sons live in Big Sky. Their youngest loves attending the Academy.
Ilana Worsham has been singing and teaching for 20 years. She graduated with a music education degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. After completing her Orff General Music credential at DePaul University, Ilana had great success teaching Orff as a public school music teacher for many years until Ilana’s family had the amazing opportunity to move to Asia. Nepal’s high Himalaya was home to Ilana, her husband and 2 adventurous kids. After living in New Zealand, Thailand, and India the Worsham Family wanted to live near family in Los Angeles for a little while before settling in Montana. Ilana’s Montessori credential was earned at the Age of Montessori in Bozeman, and she brings her many years of teaching experience in both public and private school settings with her to the authentic simplicity of the Montessori classroom.
Ilana and her family are very happy to be settling in to their new home, with their Alaskan Malamute Tashi. When not in the classroom Ilana can be found hiking the trails, on a yoga mat, or baking and cooking in the kitchen always together with her 15 year old daughter Anabelle, 13 year old son Tristan and best friend Don.
Christi McDermott Coubrough
In regards to nonprofit work specifically, Christi has served as a board member for 6 years with BYEP and has helped a number of nonprofits as an advisor and bookkeeper and for tax preparation and payroll services. Additionally, Christi has a personal interest in Montessori as her daughter, Ansley, will be starting her first year in Montessori in Bozeman.
Board of Directors
Scott is a graduate of Canisius College, Buffalo NY and now lives in Big Sky, MT full time with his wife Karen and two young sons. He has been intimately involved in more than 20 diverse ventures including retail, wholesale distribution, manufacturing and real estate. He has served as a strategic adviser and has developed several businesses from the ground up in hands-on leadership roles. At the core of Scott’s business philosophy are strategic planning, strategic management, visibility, and accountability.
Co-Founder & Board President
Karen Maybee has an intense passion for helping others. This passion is fueled by her experiences in counseling, education, and fitness. Karen earned a BA in psychology from Canisius College and finished her teaching credential with George Mason University.
Karen taught at the middle school level and coached cheerleading. She also worked as a personal fitness trainer – one of Karen’s clients competed in the World Games and placed 6th at the Paralympics. Karen brought her love of fitness into the classroom, challenging her students to make healthy choices and educating them about the power of nutrition and its direct effects on behavior and performance. It is this experience, along with her own nutritional practices, that were the impetus for the BSDA organic, whole food meal program.
In addition to founding BSDA with her husband, Karen volunteered to create both high school and middle school cheer squads for the public school. She continues to coach and develop the program. Seeing the personal growth in students and athletes continues to fuel her desire to help children discover their potential.
Seeing, Learning, Leading, Connecting. This rings true to Kene who spends his time in Bozeman and Big Sky with his wife and three children. He travels often and does most of his visionary thinking on airplane rides by himself. He loves his family and friends with his whole heart. He is also very interested in the stranger he hasn’t met yet. Montana is home. Kene likes to keep it in the moment.
Attorney & Board Secretary
Kristen and her husband started visiting Big Sky in 2004 and moved here full time in 2011. In 2012, Kristen opened her law practice in Big Sky so she could work with and assist the people and businesses in the community as it grows. She’s delighted to be part of BSDA — she knows it is an exciting addition to Big Sky and is a terrific option for families for years to come.