BIG SKY STAFF
Dale Parker, MA, LCPC
Dale has worked in the Positive Peer Culture Model since 1996. He attended Sul Ross State University in Texas and earned an undergraduate degree in Agri-Business and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed clinician and has been an administrator since 2006. He has a background working in long-term residential programs for foster children, as well as experience working with attachment-stressed, adopted youth utilizing the Neuro-sequential Model of Therapeutics. His areas of interest include trauma, attachment, and family work.
In his free time Dale enjoys spending time with his wife and children exploring the vast array of outdoor experiences available in Montana.
Anthony has been Admissions Director for BSA since 2017. He has tremendous experience in the parent-choice market, having started multiple programs of his own. Anthony has served on the board of a number of non-profits and these experiences led him to the Positive Peer Culture model and Big Sky Academy.
Outside of work Anthony enjoys playing golf and watching his sons play sports.
Becky Farrer, M.Ed., M.Ed.
Becky earned a M.Ed. in School Administration and another M.Ed. in Counseling from Sul Ross State University. She earned her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Texas in San Antonio. She is a certified superintendent, principal, supervisor, counselor, elementary teacher, reading teacher, special education teacher, and ESL teacher. She has worked in the Positive Peer Culture model since 1997. She has 30 year’s experience in education.
In her free time Becky enjoys spending time with her children, playing with her pets and working in the yard and garden.
Ashley Cordes, MA
Ashley is our Math teacher and has been teaching at Big Sky Academy since it opened in 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Math at the University of Montana Western. Her goal as a teacher is to help students see the value in education and eliminate the question, "When am I ever going to use this?"
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time at the river or lake with her family.
Shannon is the BSA Art teacher and has been a teaching artist for over twenty years in a variety of schools. She has education in Fine Arts and Child Development. She is also a professional artist that has sold her artwork in galleries, festivals, and markets throughout Montana, Idaho, and California. She specializes in ceramic arts, but loves teaching a variety of mediums. Her true goal as a teacher is to cultivate a lifelong love of creative expression in each of her students.
In her spare time, you can find her hiking with her family or working in her garden.
Ben Nelson, MS, M.ED
Ben is our Science teacher. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Wyoming and earned a master’s in Education at the University of Montana. Ben loves the outdoors and his college focus was in wetlands ecology. He has been a Science Bowl Coach, Science Olympiad Coach, a member of the Literacy Committee, as well as a high school track coach. Ben is excited to be here in western Montana.
Sarah (Sally) received her Master’s in Human Services/Mental Health Counseling at St. Edward’s University, Austin Texas and completed her B.S. at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
She has worked as Licensed Professional Counselor for over 28 years in multiple residential settings, agencies and private practice, in Texas, New Mexico and Montana. She has Doctoral work in Transpersonal Psychology and taught Human Development, Critical Thinking and Transpersonal Psychology at the master’s level. She started working in the Positive Peer Culture in 2006, and has a long clinical history in utilizing CBT, DBT, EMDR, Somatic methods and Mindfulness skills. She is also certified in Equine Assisted Therapy.
Her interests include continuing her studies in psychology, healing, and many other areas that involve understanding and helping the human condition. Sally continues to expand her knowledge and experiences by working with the indigenous medicine people in Peru, New Mexico and South Dakota. Sally enjoys nature, camping, working with horses and hearing others tell their stories.
Assistant Clinical Director
Loren is the Assistant Clinical Director and has worked in the Positive Peer Culture model since 2014. She attended Texas A&M University and earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and master’s degrees with dual emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as well as Marriage, Family and Individual Counseling. Her specialty is working with adolescents and their families regarding a variety of problems such as communication and behavioral problems leading to disruptions in the home. The majority of Loren’s experience has been with at-risk youth and young adults in a variety of settings, including inpatient residential treatment.
Loren enjoys spending time in nature and riding horses any chance she has the opportunity.
Tom has worked with the BSA family for over 30 years in administrative and counseling roles. Tom attended Sul Ross State University, was an all conference football player, and received bachelors and masters degrees in psychology. He also gleaned post graduate hours in Behavioral Health Psychology from North Central University. Tom’s working back ground entails using and teaching the Positive Peer Culture Model, while translating this approach to contemporary problems of youth culture and youth with insecure attachment, trauma, executive functioning problems, anxiety, substance use, and other problems currently overwhelming youth and families.
In his personal life, Tom is the proud parent of teenage son Jackson, an ardent reader, avocational archeologist, outdoorsman, weightlifter, cooking enthusiast, bad poet, and huge fan of Texas Music.
Echo Team Leader
Matt has been with the program since 2015. He currently serves as Team Leader for the Echo Group. Matt was a Political Science major at Sul Ross State University and currently hopes to change that to a Counseling degree from U of M. Go Griz!
During his off-time Matt loves any outdoor activity. He is fast becoming an accomplished fly fisherman!
Zach Alexander, BA
Mission Team Leader
Zachary joined the company after finishing a BA in Psychology from the University of Montana. He is currently Team Leader for the Mission group. Zach’s background is in Experimental Psych, but he hopes to enroll in Grad School at U of M and pursue a master’s in counseling.
When not working with youth at Big Sky, Zach enjoys photography, weight training and running. He is also an accomplished musician and loves to cook.
Sapphire Team Leader/Therapist
Sara is a Team Leader/Therapist for the Sapphire group; doing individual, group and family therapy. Sara is originally from Miami, Florida. She obtained a bachelor’s degree double majoring in Psychology and Family Child Services at Florida State University in 2013. Sara worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (working with youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder) for 2.5 years while attending the University of West Florida for specialized training and education in Behavioral Analysis. Sara obtained her Master of Education Counseling, at Sul Ross State University in 2018. Sara is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy since early 2019 and is seeking EMDR certification. It was during her graduate program at Sul Ross when she discovered the PPC model. Sara "fell in love" with the Positive Peer Culture(PPC) Model and "cannot imagine anything working better for this population."
During her off-time she enjoys the outdoors; hiking, canoeing, and camping and spending time with the family.