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.
Head of School and 8/9 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.
Assistant Head of School, Admissions, Lead Teacher 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…
12th Team- Human Ecology and 8/9 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.
12th Team and 6/7 and 10/11 Mathematics
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.
10/11 Team- Human Ecology and Writing
Emma grew up a bookworm in Chicago. She spent most weekends at a farm in rural Illinois where an interest in ecology first manifested as building forts in fields of goldenrod and rows of corn. She went on to get a degree in American Literature and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. She decided on her major very emotionally: literature and nature were the only two things that consistently allowed her to feel a deep sense of connection with the world. Her studies included birthing sheep, mapping habitat with GIS, modeling surface and groundwater interactions, reading authors ranging from Ovid to DeLillo, and writing about how fiction helps us understand environmental crises. She integrated her study of the Environment and American Literature with the hope that understanding our natural world as well as the stories we tell about it would better equip our society to deal with the current environmental crises. After graduating, Emma taught English at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. Though she took her first teaching job as an excuse to read books professionally, Emma quickly became curious about the efficacy of educational systems and the evolution of adolescence. These curiosities led her to The Sage School. As a Writing and Literacy and Human Ecology teacher for 10th and 11th graders, she loves the opportunity to read, write, and help her students find relevance and meaning in what they are learning. Emma likes having her nose in a novel, her feet on a trail, and her mind working over some difficult new question.
10/11 Team- Human Ecology and 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.
10/11 Team- Human Ecology and 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.
8/9 Team- Lead Teacher, Human Ecology and 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.
8/9 Team- Human Ecology and Spanish and College Counselor
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.
6/7 Team- Lead Teacher, 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.
6/7 Team- Writing and Human Ecology and 12th Spanish
Although an East Coast native, Heather has spent most of her adult life touring new terrain. After graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish from Dickinson College, she moved to northern California to work for the Woolman Semester School. While living in a tiny cabin in the woods at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Heather rediscovered her affinity to mountains, rivers, and everything wild. Shortly after her internship in California ended, she moved to Costa Rica to teach 5th through 8th grade English and Social Studies at the Monteverde Friends School. After living in the Cloud Forest for two years, Heather felt the itch to return to the U.S. to be closer to friends and family, but life has a funny way of unravelling. Instead of returning to Cape Cod, MA where most of her family lives, she was called west with a teaching opportunity in Hailey, Idaho with the Syringa Mountain School. When the opportunity to teach Spanish and Human Ecology at Sage arrived, Heather couldn’t help but jump at the amazing alignment of her passions and interests.
6/7 and 8/9 Team- Human Ecology (and Sage Graduate)
As a local potato, Lena was raised in the Wood River Valley and graduated from The Sage School. After graduating, she spent six months in India, lived in Central California for almost two years, and then moved to Prescott, AZ, to pursue her master’s and bachelor’s degree at Prescott College. As an undergrad, she majored in Cultural and Regional Studies and minored in Outdoor Education. Her master’s degree is in Social Justice and Community Organizing. In this program she had the opportunity to work with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, raising awareness around educational disparities and the housing crisis in the Los Angeles area. She later worked with Sonoran Prevention Works, researching impacts of the opioid crisis in and around Prescott. She had the opportunity to work with multiple organizations on the United States-Mexico border as well as co-created and was the logistics coordinator for Praxis Youth Organizing Conference in Tucson, AZ. Her thesis focused on global philanthropy and the effects of capitalism and colonialism on geography. She is passionate about community engagement, youth organizing, justice for marginalized groups, and imagining and co-creating a world we want to live in. Lena is happy to be invited back to The Sage School and eager to share with students and colleagues what she has learned about racism, wealth and income inequalities, the relationship between the global north and the global south, the impacts of our current global economic system, and much, much more.
6/7 Human Ecology,
Director of Development and Leader of Institutional Advancement
Nate is an east coast transplant to the intermountain west. He grew up on Cape Cod exploring all the ocean has to offer. He went on to earn a BS in Biology from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. After college, Nate spent several years sailing and teaching oceanography for a program called the Sea Education Association (SEA), which is based out of Woods Hole, MA. While working for SEA, Nate was introduced to the west during several stints in Jackson, WY. His experiences teaching and his time spent out west pointed him back towards a graduate program at the Teton Science Schools in Kelly, WY. The program concentrated in field science education and place-based education. Nate enjoys translating these skills to The Sage School. When not at school Nate can be found fly fishing, hiking, or skiing with his wife, daughter, and yellow lab, Tulsi.