Our People

Meet Our Community

Faculty & Staff

The Faculty and Staff of The Sage School come from various backgrounds with different educational histories, and diverse personal interests. Where they converge is in their dedication to adolescence, their collective sense of curiosity, and their desire to keep wonder alive in our students.

Harry Weekes

Head of School & 12th Team - Human Ecology

Raised on the East Coast until the ripe age of three, Harry moved to Idaho in 1972. He studied Environmental Science, Biology and Studio Art at Middlebury College, and earned his graduate degree in Life Science from the University of Maryland in College Park. After 25 years of teaching and researching topics ranging from how the built environment enhances learning to brain development, he continues his work as an aspiring adolescent anthropologist. Harry founded The Sage School in an effort to fully explore the ideas, methods, and philosophies embodied by the school, and because he believes that including adolescents is essential in creating real and positive change. He is curious about and interested in many things: writing, sketching, Biology, Ecology, watercolor, and agriculture. Harry has a wonderful wife, three children, two dogs, and a smattering of chickens and houseplants.

Chris McAvoy

Assistant Head of School, Admissions, 12th Team - Human Ecology

Chris has been teaching for over 20 years in independent and charter schools. He worked to develop a brand-new charter school, a Montessori middle school, an Expeditionary Learning curriculum, and is most proud of his work co-founding The Sage School. Chris worked with Harry for 5 years before starting The Sage School. Long hours of conversations inspired the two to go further into developing an educational system for adolescents. Chris’s formal education took place at the University of Vermont, where he earned his undergraduate degree in psychology (with minors in sociology and political science) and at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his master’s degree in education. His informal education took place throughout the years he spent leading kids in the backcountry or just rambling about in the woods as a kid. He owes a great deal of debt to a former teacher, Mrs. Zeller, who inspired him to think creatively and critically as a young tyke. He loves being outdoors with his family, when he isn’t cheering his two kids on in hockey or soccer or…

Nathan Kolar

12th Team - Spanish & Writing

Nathan joined the Sage faculty in 2011 and is best known around campus as “Nazario,” a nickname he acquired from his host brother while living in Seville, Spain during the 2003-04 school year. His time in Spain was a crucial chapter in his Spanish language training, which has also included big chunks of time traveling in Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Prior to coming to the Sage School, Nathan earned a B.A. in English from Williams College, taught History at Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, and earned an M.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Nathan lives in old Hailey with his wife, Tenaya, and their two children, son Dash and daughter Sadie. When not at school, Nathan pursues his other interests: reading, gardening, cooking, making music, and being in the beautiful outdoors for swimming, hiking, biking, and camping.

Amy Morrison

10/11 Team - Human Ecology & Spanish

Native to the Southwest, Amy grew up exploring the mountains, deserts, and rivers of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. After earning a B.A. in Humanities at Fort Lewis College, she spent three years living and working in a small fishing village on the coast of Ecuador. Amy and her husband Brian then spent the next ten years living in Panama where they had their two sons, worked on a coastal conservation project, and were fortunate to have had extraordinary ocean and tropical experiences. Upon returning to the U.S, Amy has combined her love of language and culture with her desire to positively impact the lives of young people through teaching. She is passionate about authentic language acquisition and student-centered classrooms. She believes that strong student-teacher relationships are at the heart of a positive educational experience. Amy enjoys travel, cooking, hiking, dance, theater, wildflowers, and swimming holes. Her greatest joy is her family and her two boys who serve as a constant reminder to stay present and to live every day in gratitude.

Katherine Spilhaus

10/11 Team — Human Ecology & Writing

Kaly was born and raised on the East Coast but has found her way to the mountains after discovering a love of the outdoors during her undergraduate years at Saint Michael’s College, in Vermont. After graduating with dual degrees in English and Global Studies she began working in boarding schools in New England, hoping to integrate more interdisciplinary education into her English courses. During these years, she cultivated a passion for teaching before deciding to return to school to earn her Master’s in Education from Harvard University. While at Harvard, Kaly spent time studying how teachers can support deeper and more relevant learning for all adolescents. Kaly is thrilled to be joining The Sage School to put her learning to work. Outside of the classroom, Kaly is often climbing, skiing, reading, or coaching ice hockey.

Matt Leidecker

10/11 Team - Human Ecology & Mathematics; COVID Coordinator

Though not technically a native, Matt Leidecker grew up in the Wood River Valley exploring the nooks and crannies of the valley bottom and snowy slopes of Bald Mountain. His perspective of central Idaho expanded exponentially when he began guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. From 1991 – 2003 Matt worked full-time (summers) on the Middle Fork. He filled off-seasons with a 4-year stint at Middlebury College to study Geology, Environment Science, Theater (work-study) and Rock Climbing in Adirondack State Park; Travels to Belize and Chile for kayaking and climbing adventures; Working as a backcountry ski guided for Sun Valley Heli Ski; and freelance photography and writing projects. As he transitioned away from full-time Middle Fork guiding, Matt created a unique niche that included nine years as the Academic Director with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) and researching, writing, and publishing guidebooks to the rivers and mountains of central Idaho. Matt’s award-winning guides provide a comprehensive perspective on the landscape, mixing trail descriptions with history, geology, and local wildflower information. Matt looks forward to sharing with and learning from the SAGE community. He is supported on this new adventure by his wife Christine and children Sarah and Max.

Lindi Davis

Mathematics - All Bands

Lindi grew up on a small barrier island off the eastern coast of Florida loving numbers from a very early age. While attending the University of South Florida to earn a Bachelor and Master of Arts in pure mathematics, she caught the teaching bug and met her husband whose family is a ‘Century Family’ of Camas Prairie, Idaho. After graduating, they headed west to raise their family in the Wood River Valley. Lindi has had a long and diverse teaching career that provides more than just knowledge. It brings patience, courage, humility, and passion. She is happy to return full- time to the valley and continue her work in teaching and curriculum development at Sage. When not in the classroom sharing her passion for math, Lindi enjoys spending her time with her family as well as her two- and four- legged friends hiking and traveling the world.

Julie Zimmerman

8/9 Team - Human Ecology & Writing

A former documentary photographer and journalist, Julie began her career in independent school education when son number one entered two-day preschool. With both sons, Cyrus and Starke, now happily ensconced at her alma mater, the University of Richmond, Julie is transitioning from Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay region to central Idaho. She first fell in love with experiential education during her early years as a preschool teacher- where learning is joyful, creative, expressive, and a full engagement of the mind and body. Taking her love for collaboration, communication, and critical thinking to middle school, she’s taught writing, geography, and global relations for the past four years and has led service-learning trips to New Orleans, Savannah, and Stanley as well as yearly ecology trips to the Florida Bay estuary. Julie believes wholeheartedly that when learning is connected to life, students are capable of incredible creativity and achievement, and is delighted to join a school community with a philosophy so intentionally embedded in transformational experiences for its students. No stranger to central Idaho, Julie took six road trips over ten years to explore the west’s various ranges before purchasing an acre in Stanley, where she built a one-room cabin with backdoor access to the Sawtooth Wilderness in 2002. Her only regret in coming west is that she’s not sure where she’ll be able to practice her finely honed skills as a historic tall ship sailor.

Kylon Myers

8/9 Team - Human Ecology & Mathematics

Kylon grew up in South-Central Idaho exploring the mountains and rivers and enjoying all that the region has to offer. In 2011, Kylon moved to Missoula, Montana to follow his passion for science and human performance while studying at the University of Montana. During his studies, he completed an internship with the Biomechanics Department, applying mathematics and physics concepts to examine muscle fatigue in wildland firefighters. Through this project, Kylon quickly fell in love with the problem-solving aspect of mathematics, entirely changing his perspective on learning. Following graduation, Kylon moved to Jackson, Wyoming to pursue a career in healthcare, not realizing that he would soon be on the front lines of a global pandemic. This work inspired him to commit himself to helping others through education. Kylon moved back to Southern Idaho to share his passion for education with students in the same region of the state he grew up in. Beyond his love of math, Kylon is excited to share his excitement for conservation and the natural world with his students. When he is not in the classroom, Kylon enjoys fly fishing, running, and hiking with his dog, Ranger.

Maggie Blatz

8/9 Team - Human Ecology & Mathematics

Maggie, a Colorado native, grew up with a love for outdoor adventures and for all things science and math. After studying physics, French and math at the University of Colorado, she moved to Jackson, Wyoming and worked for two years as an optical engineer. Eager to be a student again, she attended Stanford University and earned a master’s in environmental earth system science. After graduating, she found her way to the Wood River Valley and The Sage School to share her love for math with students. When she’s not teaching math, Maggie can be found skiing, biking or climbing with her husband Nick.

Reese Hodges

8/9 Team - Human Ecology & Spanish

Reese, like Idaho’s salmon, grew up in the Snake River basin and spent most of his adult life near and in the Pacific Ocean. His desire to learn how humans and the environment can best thrive together led Reese to earn a BA in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara. With a passion for travel and the Spanish language, Reese spent a year abroad at the University of Chile and on a backcountry field studies program in the Patagonia region. Reese’s love of sharing adventures and inspiring stewardship led him to work in outdoor education and guiding throughout the west and brought him back to Chile’s Patagonia region as a teaching assistant. His extended travels through Latin America inspired him to earn a master’s in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. In his free time, Reese enjoys all types of outdoor adventures, building things, making music, and spending time with his wife Alexandra, their son Emery, and dog Baloo. He is thrilled to join The Sage School community and share his passion for the Spanish language and culture and inspire a global perspective with students.

Andrew McKean

6/7 Team - Human Ecology

Originally hailing from the Windy City, Andrew moved to the gem state at the age of 10 and never looked back. From then on, the mountains of Idaho provided a perfect playground for him to grow. In 2009 Andrew joined the Sage School, in its first year of existence, for his sophomore year of high school. After graduating in 2012 he spent a year traveling in South America before starting a 5-year journey through Quest University in Squamish British Columbia. At Quest, Andrew studied acoustic psychology and design and graduated with a bachelor’s in Arts and Science. Additionally, Andrew has spent the last ten summers guiding folks down the wild and scenic rivers situated in Idaho’s vast wilderness. When not on skis or a raft you can find Andrew climbing any rock bigger than 5 feet or endlessly noodling on a guitar. Andrew is excited to return to the Sage School and Wood River Valley after his ten-year hiatus.

Maria Maguire

6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Spanish

Maria was born and raised in the greater Seattle area. She has worn many hats since then from Natural History Tour Guide in Denali National Park to Wellness Center Coordinator for the San Francisco Unified School District. She double majored in Spanish and Anthropology at Western Washington University and played on the Women’s Lacrosse team. After some exploratory years in Alaska and Crested Butte, CO, Maria set off to earn a master’s degree in Women’s and Children’s Health from Boston University. Maria believes that the many benefits of learning a second language are clear and has adopted the OWL (Organic World Language) method. She has taken her classes beyond the textbooks and worksheets to an atmosphere where each student is authentically engaged in language acquisition through hands-on, interactive activities. Maria enjoys many of the amazing outdoor activities that a mountain lifestyle provides as well as gardening, reading, playing the fiddle, yoga, dancing, and her greatest love is her family. Her husband is a creative Architectural Designer and they have two curious, fun-loving kids who are constantly teaching them important life lessons.

Kaleb Greenwood

6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Mathematics

Originally from Colorado, Kaleb’s wandering foot and passion for chasing rivers brought him to central Idaho where he now guides on the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. His passion for water and sense of adventure has led him to many places. After earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado he travelled to Laos with Engineers Without Borders. Kaleb has spent the last 6 summers guiding rivers in Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and now Idaho. He is always excited to share his knowledge of the natural world with students, and has flourished in an array of non-traditional outdoor classrooms. His curiosity is endless and contagious. Developing genuine unique relationships with each student is at the core of his teaching philosophy. He is excited to continue setting roots down in the Wood River Valley and join the Sage School community.

Sarah Mansfield

6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Writing

Sarah was born and raised along the coastlines of Massachusetts where she developed a deep appreciation for the natural world. Some of her earliest memories involve tagging along on her mother’s ecological adventures, including wading in the Cape Cod marshes, tracking spotted turtles, and staying up at night to see the annual salamander crawl. Sarah was eager to see the world outside of New England and attended the University of Mississippi where she studied Marketing and English. Her studies in the humanities sparked a desire for her to learn more about the world and its people and systems, which led to her involvement in mindfulness centers, cultural movements, and intentional living communities. After visiting the Intermountain West in 2018, Sarah knew that one day she would call this place home. She made the leap in 2020 and has been living and working in the Wood River Valley ever since. She’s excited to bring her love of writing and reading to students and the incredible Sage community!

Kristal Georgiades

Office Manager & Front Desk Wrangler

Kristal was raised in Santa Barbara, California, and studied at The San Francisco Art Institute. When traveling up the west coast she met her husband Jason who is from the Wood River Valley. In 2004 she made the bold move to join this unique community. She quickly jumped in by bringing the JuiceCycle to the Farmers Market, opening a consignment store, and raising her family.

When Kristal is not at Sage wrangling paperwork or bandaging skinned knees she enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and crafting when she is not supporting her 2 kids Sophia and Henry during snowboarding and swimming.

Board of Trustees

The Sage School is governed by a Board of Trustees, charged with the strategic oversight of the school. Below are our current Board members. Anyone interested in learning more about the Board, its committee structure, or how to get involved is encouraged to contact Erik or Harry.

Erik Vorm

Board Chair

Erik grew on the East coast and Europe. He passed the French baccalaureate program and attended the Sorbonne, University of Paris and ASU studying politics, economics and philosophy. 30 years ago he had the great fortune of discovering the Wood River Valley and has called the area home ever since. He has enjoyed many different career paths while acquiring a variety of skill sets. His family started the Cornerstone restaurant ten years ago. The business had a basic tenet of giving to the community. He and his wife, Meg, have raised money for Higher Ground, Camp Rainbow Gold, the WR Animal Shelter, Bald Mountain Rescue and many others. Erik joined the Board after having served on the Campus Organizational Group and the Development group. His two daughters, Elena and Chloe, are enrolled in The Sage School. The opportunity they have had to connect and grow with themselves and the world around them through the Sage experience will not only enhance their appetite for knowledge and exploration but also create pathways to enjoy all life has to offer.

Harry Weekes

Head of School & 12th Team - Human Ecology

Raised on the East Coast until the ripe age of three, Harry moved to Idaho in 1972. He studied Environmental Science, Biology and Studio Art at Middlebury College, and earned his graduate degree in Life Science from the University of Maryland in College Park. After 25 years of teaching and researching topics ranging from how the built environment enhances learning to brain development, he continues his work as an aspiring adolescent anthropologist. Harry founded The Sage School in an effort to fully explore the ideas, methods, and philosophies embodied by the school, and because he believes that including adolescents is essential in creating real and positive change. He is curious about and interested in many things: writing, sketching, Biology, Ecology, watercolor, and agriculture. Harry has a wonderful wife, three children, two dogs, and a smattering of chickens and houseplants.

Mike Pfau

Vice Chair

Mike was raised in the Wood River valley, cutting his teeth on the ski slopes of Dollar Mountain, fortunate to have his father as the manager of Snow Creek condominiums at the base.

He attended Hemingway Elementary, Wood River Middle School, and Wood River High school. His love for the Wood River Valley began at an early age, knowing wherever his journeys took him, this was home.

Forty some odd years later, Mike is raising his three children here. Illiah 23, a graduate of WRHS, Amelia 13, a member of the Sage School 8-9 band, and Charlie Mac at Hailey Elementary for now and will most likely join the sage family.

Mike is a strong proponent of the Sage philosophy that embraces adolescence as one of the most formative periods in life. He believes this approach has the power to create a better path for all of the children at Sage, including his own.

Mike has been in construction most of his professional life, although his journey has included time as a backcountry guide in the Intermountain West and beyond, including Alaska, Washington, and Utah. He has spent multiple years assisting and guiding for the Sun Valley Community School outdoor programs.

Currently, he is a project manager for Lee Gilman Builders and has been for eight years, bringing his love for construction coupled with community-minded development along with him.

Things that bring joy and a grin across Mike’s face:
• Life
• His children
• Paragliding
• Walking up, through, and around the mountains.
• Skiing powder, fast groomers, or even conditions others may find uncomfortable!
• Mountain biking.
• Enjoying this place he is lucky to call home.

Adam Angel

Secretary

Adam likes to take the path less traveled. With a B.S. in Geology, Adam began as a field instructor for outdoor science schools before deciding to apply his skills as an engineering geologist in the corporate world. It didn’t take him long to need a lifestyle change and he became a lead climbing guide on Mount Rainier and around the world. Ultimately his travels and activities drove him from the analytical to the creative, and he became a photographer and gallery owner.

“Photography and climbing are the two most defining experiences in my professional adult life. I’ve worked extensively in the Washington Cascades, Alaska, Mexico, Ecuador, Russia, Peru, Mongolia, Argentina, Tanzania, Nepal and Tibet. My work as a photographer, climbing guide, and gallerist has gathered a loyal following.”

In September of 2016 his family hit the reset button by leaving Mount Rainier. They moved to Hailey so their daughter Asia could answer the strong call of The Sage School and the Sun Valley Ski Team. As time allows he continues to guide for one of the most respected guiding companies in the world and make great pictures along the way. His family enjoys skiing, cycling until it hurts (followed by good food and wine), and encouraging canine antics around the house!

“In my broad experiences around the world, I’ve taken note of what makes people, cultures, and societies tick. The answer doesn’t fit in a box, and The Sage School reflects that. It is authentic and worldly education with a truly contemporary perspective. Students at The Sage School can trust their imagination and originality, and know that it will be supported and guided. The result is happiness. Happiness is deepest when it includes a loving community, extensive human and ecological connection, meaningful relationships, and relevant service that improves the lives of others. This is intrinsic to the Sage philosophy/community and foremost in my mind when guiding decisions. People who are fundamentally happy make the most positive changes in the world, create more fairness, better health, and happiness in others. I am lucky to be able to contribute to this brilliant school.”

Michael Praggastis

Treasurer

Michael was born and raised in Sun Valley and spent his formative years learning and following Harry Weekes. A comprehensive list of similar activities include: Hockey, Tae Kwon Do, and sitting in Harry’s classroom during homeroom. Michael went on to study computer engineering and engineering science at Vanderbilt University before throwing his educational accomplishments to the wind when he realized that he didn’t want to sit behind a computer all day. He now lives and works in San Diego for a private real estate company where he leads the acquisitions and growth of the company and sits behind a computer all day. He is married and has two children that make sure they keep him on his toes.

Stephanie Carlson

Born and raised in the Wood River Valley, Stephanie feels lucky to call Ketchum home. She attended Princeton University and graduated with a BA in Anthropology. She returned to Ketchum after college and spent eight (pre-children) years at Smith Optics working in marketing and communications. The following ten (young-children) years were spent volunteering at Pioneer Montessori School, organizing fundraisers and events. She then combined her background in marketing with her event management skills for three (older-children) years at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Stephanie relocated to Portland, Oregon, in 2015. Currently, she volunteers at the Catlin Gabel School, where her daughter Eva and son Lucas are spending their high school years. She also mentors juniors and seniors through the college application process. Stephanie is acutely interested in educational philosophy and believes in purposeful learning that leads to responsible action and is excited to support and promote The Sage School’s mission. Eventually, she also hopes to figure out how to use that Anthropology degree.

Bobbi Filbert

Bobbi has always been called to the ocean and to the environment. As a teenager she became a certified scuba diver so she could further explore this unseen world. She was born and raised in California and attended University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with a BA in Zoology and then attended University of California, Santa Cruz to complete a MS in Marine Sciences. While in college she discovered skiing and her love of the mountains and a new path was set.

For the last twenty years she has been living in the Wood River Valley, raising her two, lovely daughters, Raine and Camas, and working on the Sawtooth National Forest as a wildlife biologist and engaging with and leading teams to address complex natural resource problems. Bobbi has always been passionate about education and she is a firm believer in the Sage School journey.

A perfect day begins with a mysteriously calm and quiet paddle board across Pettit Lake in the early morning, time for reflection and admiration of the beautiful wildlands that surround us here in Idaho.

Kari Minas

Kari and her family recently moved to the Wood River Valley from Seattle, WA. Kari has been an elementary and special education teacher for 15 years. She completed her undergraduate work at The Evergreen State College and received her Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington. Through teaching Kari loves to help students grow academically, socially and emotionally but most of all to help her students feel successful as life learners. Kari and her husband have spent a lot of time in the Wood River Valley and are excited to now call it home. Their son Finn and daughter McKenna both attend The Sage School. She is grateful for them to have the opportunity to be a part of a school community that embraces her belief that all students can learn and grow in the right environment while meeting them where they are and preparing them for the future. She is the most content when moving her body in the great outdoors!

Suzanne McKinney

Growing up in Connecticut, Suzanne attended The Loomis Chaffee School, and then headed immediately west to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She then began six years of elementary school teaching in the Bay Area, with several of those focused on tutoring and special education. At the same time, Suzanne earned a Masters Degree in Special Education from San Francisco State University. In 1999, Suzanne joined Hamilton and Associates, an educational consulting firm, to provide traditional school, college and therapeutic placement services to families. Soon after, Suzanne discovered the outdoor therapeutic field, and began a career as a placement specialist at the SUWS program in Shoshone and Gooding. Relocating to Hawaii in 2004, Suzanne and her husband Mike started Pacific Quest, an outdoor therapeutic program in Hawaii, where she currently serves as the Outreach Director and on the Leadership Team.

Suzanne enjoys travel, walking along The Big Wood River, hiking, camping and family time with her husband, three boys, Fisher, Forest and Kai, their golden retriever, Hailey, and their cat, Hobbes.

“Sage‘s mission is completely aligned with what I believe is essential for our kids, and I am thrilled to be a part of it!”

Darci Reimund

Coming Soon!

Chris Root

In Memoriam

Chris passed away earlier this year. Chris’s constant refrain was “What will this do for the kids?” Chris’s unflappable cheer, his sweet tooth turned into treats during meetings, and his ability to bring any group back to the core purpose of the school and do what was best for the students, are just some of the many things that will be deeply missed. Chris was a father, a husband, a friend, and an advocate- a champion for the school, for his family, and particularly his son, Wyatt, who was always a motivating factor for Chris in being involved in creating something unique and as exciting as Sage. Chris’s presence was appreciated, and his spirit will live on.