“The training provided by Eric impacted out students, staff and agency personnel. All of us learned and modeled the skills necessary to make our school a better place for kids.” - Elece Lockridge, Director, Educational Opportunity Center, Clarkston, Washington

Discovery Program trainers and staff

Eric Larsen, M.ED.

Eric Larsen is the author of the Discovery Program and creator of The Discovery Institute.  Eric began his career at the University of Montana, where he earned is bachelor’s degree in Education.  Subsequently, he returned to Fort Collins to pursue his master’s in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University.  Eric has taught in public education for over thirty years, both at the middle and high school levels—the last 26 years for Centennial High School, a nationally recognized alternative school located in Fort Collins, Colorado.  In addition to teaching, Eric has ten years experience coaching student athletes.

Eric designed the Discovery Program over twenty years ago with the intention to teach personal and social development skills to all incoming Centennial students.  The Discovery Program is a 30-day, intensive curriculum and has been proven to be very effective in helping students succeed both in and outside of school.  Since its creation, Discovery has become a national model for affective skill development. Eric has trained thousands of educators and assisted hundreds of schools nationwide in implementing the Discovery Program.  He has also facilitated skill-building groups for adolescents in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, co-facilitated therapy groups in private practice, and trained employee groups in the private sector.

When not teaching or training professionals in Discovery methods, Eric enjoys fly-fishing and traveling.

Bill Webb, Ph.D.

Dr. Bill Webb is the Director of the Center for Educational Options, a model alternative education program in Henry County, KY.  He has been a trainer for the Discovery Program since 2002. A Ph.D. trained social psychologist, Dr. Webb spent seventeen years in higher education as a researcher and teacher, primarily in the specialty area of personality psychology.  As a frontline educator of at-risk students, he has experienced firsthand the critical importance of social skills to his students’ socio-emotional development and consequently to their success, both in and out of the school setting.  As a Discovery trainer, he has helped school districts in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona and Colorado realize the benefits of building a positive, productive school culture on the strong foundation created by the Discovery Program’s effective social skills curriculum.

Galynn Lackey, M.ED.

Galynn Lackey began her career in social-emotional education as a graduate student in Colorado State University’s (CSU) School Counseling degree program. Prior to that, Galynn received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from CSU.  For the past eight years Galynn has been a member of the counseling staff at Centennial High School, an alternative high school in Fort Collins, Colorado.  In 2011, she began dividing her time between counseling and teaching Discovery to incoming students.

Galynn is an advocate for students’ academic and affective growth—and understands that for students to experience such growth, they must be equipped with concrete skills and strategies to successfully navigate their world.  A committed teacher and trainer, Galynn believes that the skills taught in the Discovery Program serve as an essential foundation for a healthy and fulfilled life.  In her role at Centennial High School and as a trainer for the Institute, Galynn has witnessed what a tremendous impact the Discovery Program can have on students, staff, and school culture.

Andy Fieth, MA

Andy is a practicing Middle School Principal and has a background in developing and sustaining nontraditional learning environments at the secondary level.  In his role as a national level trainer Andy has spent more than a dozen years providing direct instruction and guidance for educational systems across the west.  The results of Andy’s work consistently and  resoundingly reveal improved test scores, increased grade point averages, significantly fewer office referrals, and decreased drop out rates.

In addition to the national training certifications, Andy holds a principal’s license and an MA in Educational Leadership.  A 25 year educational veteran and administrator, Andy’s strengths allow him to zero in on the defined area of need.  His finely attuned listening skills and acute problem seeing/solving pathways provide leaders and their staff the opportunity to consciously tap into innate strengths and create sustainable action  plans for change.  A true servant leader, Andy’s coach-like leadership style models integrity and “Do as I do” mentality.

Maria Fieth, M.A.2, RTC

Maria currently serves as Project Director for U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistant Community College and Career Training Round 2 initiative. Her previous position as Project Manager for a federally funded Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative provides a strong backdrop for national level accountability and partnering.  In 2010, her work received national recognition from Kevin Jennings, U.S. Department of Education.  Her work was again honored with the Heroes Award in July 2013 by Auburn University for building exemplary schools/community partnerships.  Earlier in her career, Maria was the key administrator in the start-up of a  nontraditional learning environment for middle level learners.

For the past ten years, Maria has worked with businesses and educators providing guidance for refining and sustaining healthy learning and working environments, and building community among all stakeholders.

Maria holds a principal’s license, a dual Master’s degree in English and Education, a Master’s degree in Psychodynamics and numerous certifications in leadership and learning including National Institute for School Leadership, Ruby Payne’s Poverty Framework, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Discovery Communication Model, Choice Theory/Reality Therapy, and Crucial Conversations.