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 grew on the East coast and Europe. He passed the French baccalaureat 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.
Head of School and 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, a dog, two cats and a smattering of chickens.
Brenda Sanders Lyon
Brenda moved to the Wood River Valley in 2007 with her husband Jeff and her children Anika and Zane. Prior to moving to Idaho, she spent 20 plus years in the cities of Denver and Philadelphia where she worked in the technology arena focusing on network systems and design, email systems and technology project and process management.
She attended Cedar Crest College, a women’s liberal arts school in Allentown, PA where she was initially exposed to the benefits of experiencing your education in a small personal environment. After graduating with a B.S. in Business Information Systems, she chose to move to Philadelphia to work for companies such as The Pep Boys and SmithKline Beecham. Feeling the need to expand her horizons, both professionally and personally, Brenda and Jeff decided to head west. During her time in Colorado, Brenda worked for companies such as Kaiser Permanente, Qwest and Galileo International as well as partnering in a start-up technology company called TechSol, which she still owns today. While in Denver, Brenda served as the Chairman of the Board for the Washington Park Early Learning Center, a cooperative preschool that has been providing play-based learning to Denver preschoolers for over 35 years. Serving in this role added to Brenda’s appreciation and understanding that education is much more than memorization, letters and numbers.
Both of Brenda’s children attend The Sage School. Anika is a 10th grader and Zane a 7th grader. The Lyon family enjoys many outdoor activities that our amazing valley provides as well as enjoying the incredible Idaho lifestyle. Brenda is very active with her family and many of the non-profits in our valley including the Sawtooth Botanic Gardens, Girls on the Run, The Wood River Ski Team and The Mountain School.
Clark is a lawyer, a professor, and a former rock ‘n roll musician. Clark practiced corporate law in Wilmington, Delaware, and taught corporate law at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2015, he retired from teaching and returned to Ketchum where he has lived on and off since 1995. Clark earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his law degree from Emory University College of Law in Atlanta Georgia. Before going to college, Clark was a rock ‘n roll musician touring with various bands in the southeastern United States. That ended when Clark was drafted into the Army. Clark served three years and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant. Clark is the father of Blake Furlow and he is married to Cathy Furlow with whom he shares responsibility for walking their dog, Maggie.
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.”
Art is originally from North Carolina and grew up mostly in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Richmond. He moved to the Wood River Valley with his family after a six-year stint in Atlanta working for the Olympics and Turner Broadcasting. For the past 25+ years, Art has worked in Special Event and Sports Production on a myriad of projects. In 2015 he started his own Event Production consultancy and currently owns and operates the Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival.
Art was extremely fortunate to marry Heather Flood, who grew up ski racing in Sun Valley. It was her deep ties to the Wood River Valley that lead them to settle here in 2003. They have three children, all of them having attended the Sage School through the years, including his daughter Laura who is a current student. Art also served on the Pioneer Montessori School board for nine years.
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.
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.
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.