Board of Directors
Co-Founder/ Board President
Nancy Hagen brings both educational and business management experience to the Discovery team. She earned her undergraduate education degree from Purdue University and her masters in education from Ball State University. She was an elementary school educator before taking over her family business – she is the CEO/Owner of Superior Sample Company, a manufacturing plant in Northern Indiana. In addition to being responsible for overseeing all operations and managers, strategic business planning for growth, and maintenance of a highly efficient and productive samplebook plant, she supports numerous nonprofits in Big Sky, Bozeman, Indiana and Florida. With her extra energy, she stays very active skiing, snowshoeing, alpine hiking, and kayaking.
Ann comes to Discovery Academy because of her belief that an education is not a “one size fits all” proposition and her passion of helping youth discover their intellectual curiosity. As a member of the Board, she brings a background in Pre-K to 12 education and experience as an Independent Educational Consultant.
While living in Germany, Ann was recognized for her contributions in education with the Award for the Promotion of International Education from the European Council of International Schools. She spent a year traveling around Australia and New Zealand and home-schooled her three children at that time. Returning to the US, she returned to school and earned California teaching credentials in Math, Sciences and Business. She taught in both private and public schools from kindergarten through high school. Ann also served on the board of a private school in Sonoma County, CA.
Ann discovered her love of helping high school students and their families navigate the college admissions process and founded Carina College Advising in 2011.
Ann holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, an MS and MBA from Columbia University in the City of New York. She has chaired the Stanford Band Alumni Board and spearheaded their fundraising efforts (2015 – 2021), is a member of the Joint Council of All Saints Big Sky, and served in various board roles in the Pacific Region of YPO.
Suzanne and her husband have lived in Big Sky for 30 years and she has been involved in the education system as a mother, classroom volunteer, and a coach for both basketball and tennis in the public school. When their daughter decided to pursue ski racing, she knew they needed a schooling schedule in which she was able to work at her own pace, and desired the opportunity for 12 months of continuous learning opportunities. Their daughter, Mazie, was one of the original Trailblazers at The Big Sky Discovery School and she graduated winter 2021, and snow skied to her high school graduation!
Over the years, having children graduate from both Lone Peak High School, and from the Big Sky Discovery Academy, Suzanne realized the importance of meeting the needs of each individual student…whether that is exceptional education, college bound goals, gap years, and/or technical or vocational education. Each and every child is important, and a well rounded education consists of small student to teacher ratios, the sciences, history, arts, physical education, and of course having the opportunity to bond and work together with children of all ages in the school, which provides for confidence and character building through exploration.
As a local realtor, it is important to listen to our community, obtain feedback and implement, what the community hopes to obtain from the options of our local education systems. Suzanne loves our community, she loves what the kids gain from The Big Sky Discovery Academy, and she understands and enjoys planning for the future needs of The Big Sky Discovery Academy!
Derek Lennon moved to Big Sky in 2011 after chasing the endless winter as a ski instructor and backcountry ski guide in the US, New Zealand, Canada, and Chile. Derek has experienced mountain towns all over the world, but it’s Big Sky that he and his wife, Mia, decided to call home and raise a family – and they plan to stay.
Derek attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned a major in Advertising and a minor in Business. He then went on to earn a Master of Professional Writing from Chatham University. As a ski instructor, backcountry ski guide, and avalanche educator Derek has worked endless hours in the outdoor classroom with students from around the world and this gives him a unique educational perspective. He also has an extensive background as a writer and website designer. Today Derek continues to work in the ski industry and also works as a local Big Sky real estate agent with his wife Mia.
As an active local, outdoor enthusiast, proud parent, and keen member of the board, Derek understands the importance of education and wants to see Discovery Academy thrive in this growing mountain community.
Molly and her husband moved to Big Sky in 2012 with their (then) 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, in search of a community that would provide both the outdoor AND educational pursuits that are so important to their family. Having spent her childhood years in Virginia, and after earning a BA in English from the College of Charleston, she headed straight for the wild west where she met her husband and her love of the outdoors and living and playing in her mountains.
Having attended a Montessori school herself Kindergarten through Fifth grade, Molly understands the Montessori method and is an advocate for alternative and holistic education opportunities for all children and adolescents. With her now 13 and 10-year-old kids, her family has had 8 years of experience in a combination of both the local public school and Discovery Academy. She is an advocate of both schools, as she believes that one size does not fit all. Molly was thrilled when her children asked to give Discovery a shot this school year. With an 8th and 4th grader now at Discovery, she has watched her children find their way by being fully seen by every teacher and the head of school. They have supported her children by creating a match between each child’s natural interests and available activities while allowing them to learn at their own pace. This, she believes, is the recipe for encouraging curiosity and building confidence, and a solid foundation for lifelong learning. Molly brings to the board the perspective of a student parent in both Elementary and Middle School, as well as that of Montessori alumni.