Our Team

Therapeutic Team

Kurt Fairbank


Kurt Fairbank is our Director and Lead Therapist. Kurt holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, has a license in addiction counseling, and is Certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  He is devoted to the health and well-being of the young men he works with every day. Kurt has the rare ability to effortlessly weave valuable insights into everyday acts allowing his students to learn both from his behaviors and his counseling. Kurt has been working professionally with youth for over 15 years.

Kurt is a Montana native, a dedicated husband and father, and an avid outdoorsman. When he is not with his family, enjoying all that Montana has to offer, he can be found coaching his kids in soccer or softball, or in his garage, working on rebuilding his 81 Corvette.

Tammy Alexander

Family Outreach Coordinator

Tammy joined our team in 2019 as our Family Outreach Coordinator. She has over 12 years experience in this field as a private therapist and as a therapist for a therapeutic boarding school. Over that time, Tammy has built a wealth of knowledge and a proven ability to generate positive results in this arena. She truly believes in what we are doing and thinks that Building Bridges provides a unique set of real-life experiences within a structured environment.

Outside of work, Tammy spends her time as a mother and wife with her family. She also owns horses that she trains and rides and has used in the past for equine therapy.

Academic Team

Sarah Fairbank

Sarah Fairbank

Academic Director

Sarah has been with us since 2007. In that time she has worn many hats, and is currently our Academic Director. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education, and works closely with our Academic Coordinator to help provide a positive and growth-orientated environment for all our students. Her impact on how our organization runs cannot be overstated and goes far beyond the classroom.

Outside the office, Sarah is an active member of the community, and a mother of four.

Andy Burwig

Academic Coordinator

Andy is responsible for helping our students get on track, caught up, and ready for success. He has developed a close and well-respected relationship with the administration and teachers at our local public schools. This relationship is a critical factor in helping our students get the most out of their academic lives. Andy has been with us since 1996 and has helped countless students find skills they didn’t think they had and guided them toward their true academic potential.

Prior to joining Building Bridges, Andy ran his own technical training company, providing training to telecommunication and computer network organizations both in the states and abroad. During this time, he also shared his passion for technology with high school students and also teaching them valuable career-seeking skills.

Andy is a dedicated husband and father, who has always put family first. After a career of technical and network training, he and his wife came to live in Thompson Falls. He continues to work with computers and networks, and often provides free help and technical support to our community.

David Mitchell

Instructor, CTE

David Mitchell has been a great addition to our expanding vocational program.   David brings years of experience teaching high school, owning his own manufacturing business, and coaching high school robotics.   David’s history and enthusiasm fit perfectly with our mission of creating multiple educational opportunities to match our students’ needs.

David grew up in California, where after college, he joined the Navy.  While in the Navy he traveled the world as a machine repairman on an aircraft carrier.   After an honorable discharge, he began working as a machinist, eventually starting his own manufacturing company, supplying parts to Boeing, Bombardier, and Nasa.

Eventually, David felt the draw to teach.  He taught engineering, manufacturing, welding, and several other CTE courses.  After teaching for sixteen years at the same school he decided to partially retire to Thompson Falls., MT   Being in Thompson Falls, allows him to participate in outdoor activities he enjoys, and Building Bridges gives him the opportunity to continue to pass his passion on to the next generation.

Alethia Ussher

Special Education Coordinator

Alethia joins our team as our Special Education Coordinator. Alethia’s passion for helping adolescents started at a young age. After obtaining her Psychology degree in 1995, she has worked with adolescents in both a public and therapeutic setting. It was after working in law enforcement for seven years that Alethia decided to pursue a career in education. She has worked in Special Education as both a paraprofessional, as well as a certified teacher since 2013, teaching students with needs across a large spectrum. Alethia also spent seven years at an Outdoor Education School as a naturalist and ropes course facilitator, teaching gold rush history and science programs to students from 4th grade through high school. Supporting kids to challenge themselves beyond their comforts became another passion for her, which led to being a volunteer camp leader facilitating team-building initiatives and rock climbing/rappel excursions.
Alethia lives in North Idaho with her husband and daughter. Her family relocated there from California 8 years ago and loves the abundance of outdoor activities. Alethia is active in the community by coaching high school cross country and serving in her church and YoungLife youth ministries.

Support Team

Dan Block

Residential Supervisor

Dan is another fixture here at Building Bridges, having been with us since 2006, with a small break for a few years to pursue other interests. DanO, as he has come to be known, has a vast set of skills he brings to the table, including years of work as a farrier, rancher, and renovator. His interactions with the students are indelible, and no doubt every student he has worked with has a fond memory of him.

He still works as a farrier in his off time, when he is not working on the endless renovation projects he has for his own house, or tending to his garden.

Damien Young

Residential Supervisor

As one of our overnight support staff, Damien has limited time with our students but still makes sure to find ways to connect with all of them. His laid-back style can be deceiving, but he makes sure all our students are following the expectations of the house. He is a calm voice even in stormy weather and a comfortable set of ears if any of the guys just need someone to talk to.

Keeley Bak

Residential Supervisor

Keeley has been working in this field for many years. In addition to being able to hold her own in a house full of raucous teenagers, she understands the weight of her position and the responsibility that we have placed in her hands. While the boys know her as someone who will ensure they follow our expectations, she is also quick to be a kind ear with reassuring advice. Most importantly, for our students, she is also a keen baker and will often have a tray of cookies or other goodies for the boys.

Jonah Kolb

Residential Supervisor

This is a new field for Jonah, but he has proven himself to be an invaluable member of our team. He holds the natural ability to walk and talk with a level of calm and maturity, which rubs off on all our students and staff alike. Jonah is one of our lead weekend staff, helping the students find new and healthy outlets for their time and energy – a key piece in maintaining a sober lifestyle.

Missy Davis

House Manager

Missy makes sure the pantry is stocked, the guys have well-balanced meals, and that all the chores are being handled. The impact she has on our boys is immeasurable. While her title is House Manager, really, she is our house mom, providing all the positive and guiding influence that implies. In a house full of guys, she makes sure we never forget the little things that matter so much.

Administrative Team

Aubrey Sutton

Admission and Development Coordinator

Aubrey Sutton, after growing up with a family who has worked with teens and young adults at risk her whole life, began her work in this field while still in college. While working on her degree at Utah State she worked directly with a Residential Treatment Center for adolescent girls. After graduating with a B.S. in Psychology, Aubrey worked at a residential program for adolescent boys. Working in this field has taught her great patience and empathy. She learned to work with the youth in her care and with their families to make everyone’s journey the best it could be. In that fashion she moved on to work as a Client Services Representative for nationally recognized Intervention Crisis company. She worked with Educational Consultants and families to create the best options to find a way for their client or loved one to get the help they needed.

Aubrey grew up in northern Idaho, in the small town of Sandpoint. She enjoyed playing competitive soccer, hanging out on the lake and skiing in the winter with her parents and younger brother. In her free time, she likes to be active, watch sports, especially football, and hang out with her family. 

Alysha Franck

Office Manager

Alysha manages the office and ensures all of our i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. She is the voice and glue of Building Bridges, coordinating with parents and staff to make sure all the critical details are managed. Alysha is a linchpin in our day-to-day operations and we are very lucky to have her as part of our organization.