Dennis McGonigal

Dennis was born in Hailey, Idaho, and graduated both high school and also college from Idaho schools. He is employed at an amazing Idaho company. He is a proud trustee of The Sage School. He enjoys fishing, whitewater, hiking, hunting, and camping with my family. His son, Ayden McGonigal, Sage School Class of 2020, has attended Sage since 7th grade.

Dennis’s great grandfather Michael Brown settled in the Wood River Valley with a land grant in 1881. As he entered the Wood River Valley, he met John Timmerman and they became life long friends and neighbors. Michael Brown decided this was the place where he wanted to stay. He built a ranch which is still partly in Dennis’s family 6 generations later. Dennis’s grandfather David Inchausti, came from the Basque Country of Northern Spain as a sheep foreman to run operations in Mackay, Idaho. Around 1930 he traveled back to Spain to marry Dennis’s grandmother, Epi, and they returned to Idaho. They loved the Wood River Valley and settled here as well, on River Street in Hailey. Papa David opened the Gem Bar and Grandma Epi created a boarding house reminding them both of the old country. It became a resting place for Basque compatriots, as well as local people and even celebrities from Sun valley, that would grace Dennis’s grandmother’s table, to compliment her Basque cooking and warm hospitality.

The history of Dennis’s family in this valley was never presented more real and more engaging than when Ayden was given the task in Human Ecology to retrace his heritage and his own history. That is when Dennis truly realized Sage was special. It gave Ayden and and Ayden’s family another really solid, really important view of our sense of place. At the same time they heard stories of other families, their stories added so much more understanding of other people, their stories, their sense of place. That is what Sage school does. It does not matter where you are from, your story will be told here. That is why Dennis is very proud and fortunate to be a part of this evolving, amazing story, the story of The Sage school, and why he invites you to explore the possibilities for your child, for your family, for your story. It will be nothing less than amazing.