Massage Therapist Program

Our Faculty


A.J. Buehler, LMT - Kinesiology Instructor

After 22 years of teaching the Martial Arts, AJ Buehler fulfilled his dream of becoming a Massage Therapist. AJ brings 20 years of experience as a Licensed Massage Therapist and is continuing another dream: his love of teaching. AJ feels that by teaching others, it helps him to be a better massage therapist.

AJ owns Therapeutic Massage in downtown Bend and specializes in Deep Tissue, Sports, and Swedish massage. He also works with clients in pain management and teaches them stretching techniques to help them with their ongoing rehabilitation. AJ likes to incorporate humor into his lessons as well as creative Power Point demonstrations to keep students engaged and learning.

AJ lives with his wife, two young daughters, and their Shlab (Siberian-Husky- Lab) in Bend, and enjoys hiking, camping, and Aikido. AJ enjoys the fact that he is a life long learner!


Bonnie Snyder, BA, LMT - Swedish Foundations and Career Success I Instructor

Bonnie graduated from Seattle’s Brenneke School of Massage in 1995 and began a private massage therapy practice in Bellingham, WA. After moving to Bend in 1997, she started her private practice and taught at the former Central Oregon School of Massage. In 2000 she began teaching in the Massage Therapy Program at Central Oregon Community College, where taught kinesiology, massage, and introduction to massage therapy as a career, a course she designed and developed.  Bonnie has been teaching at Sage School of Massage & Esthetics since the school opened and is passionate about sharing her skills and real world experiences with each new class.

Bonnie has taught infant massage at the Athletic Club of Bend and in private classes. She loves her profession and is committed to the field of massage, and massage education. Bonnie believes massage can be of benefit to every body, and has a passion for offering excellent skills to her clients. Her continuing education courses have covered a wide range of techniques, including myofascial release, treatment of whiplash injuries, cadaver anatomy, and cranial sacral therapy. She has studied deep tissue massage with Bill Musser, LMT, and has assisted in workshops on whiplash treatment, and SOAP charting with Diana Thompson, LMT.

As avid dog lover, she taught dog training at Dancin’ Woofs Compassionate Dog Training Dog Training and worked at doggie daycare.  Bonnie has raised three potential service dogs for Canine Companions for Independence and always lives with at least one doggie companion.


Deby Grant, LMT, AAS Massage - Career Success II Instructor

Deby has 35 years of teaching experience and 24 years as a licensed massage therapist. She has developed successful private practices in Portland and Bend Oregon. Her primary focus is treating chronic pain conditions, auto injuries, and stress management.

She loves to teach because she loves to learn. Deby often says, “Teaching makes me a better therapist and my private practice makes me a better instructor”. She enjoys inspiring and motivating students to believe in themselves and their abilities to be the best massage therapist they can.

Her desire is to give the knowledge and skills she has learned in a fun, creative, learning environment. Students say she communicates the main objectives of a lesson clearly, so that they can understand the importance, for their own massage careers.


Diane Flowers, BS, LMT - Soft Tissue Techniques, Assessment & Treatment and Nutrition Instructor

Diane attended massage school at the Healing Arts Institute in Fort Collins, CO while finishing her Bachelor of Science at Colorado State University. She graduated in 1996 and opened a private massage practice. After practicing for about a year, she decided to further explore her interest in the healing arts by spending fi ve years studying at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. After fi nishing school in 2002, she moved to Bozeman, MT to open a practice. Before long, Diane met and fell in love with her husband and moved to Sisters, OR to marry him.

Diane now has a private massage practice in Sisters where she focuses primarily on injury treatment and rehabilitation. She continues to practice massage because of the benefi ts that her clients experience, the fulfi llment that she feels, and the fl exibility that it affords as she raises three children. Diane also loves to run, mountain bike, rock climb, and occasionally compete in adventure racing.

Diane has taught in a number of settings in the past, and is very excited about teaching massage. Her main goal for teaching is communicating information that will be relevant to practice in the “real world” while having fun and cultivating a passion for massage.


Kelly Ward, BS, LMT - Swedish Foundations, Hydrotherapy & Spa Techniques, and Integrating Techniques Instructor

Like so many people drawn to the practice of massage therapy, Kelly started out as just another massage junkie. It was after years of receiving body work that Kelly finally sent himself to massage school to learn the craft. Educated at Utah College of Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City Utah, Kelly’s career path has taken him to spas in Utah, Idaho, California and currently Shibui Spa in Sisters Oregon. Kelly brings 14 years of spa management and massage experience to our staff.

Kelly has been teaching Swedish massage, hydrotherapy and deep tissue classes since 2007. Before becoming an educator, Kelly has spent the bulk of his career as a lead massage therapist, a job description that includes, hiring and training massage staff as well as the concept and design of body treatments.

Kelly’s passion for bodywork is evident in his teaching style. He brings real world experience to the class room, and gives students the strong fundamentals they need to succeed. “Teaching is a way for me to give back all that I have learned as a successful massage therapist to ensure the next generation of body-worker has a strong foundation on which to build their career.”


Lindsey Robinson, Esthetician, – Esthetics Instructor

Lindsey started her career in the health and wellness industry as a massage therapist. She graduated from the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego in 2004, with an Associate’s Degree in Holistic Health and Bodywork. As much as she loved practicing massage, it led her to her ultimate passion, which is skin care. Lindsey graduated from Poway Beauty Academy in June 2006, and has over 11 years of experience as an esthetician, working in many different capacities as a lead esthetician at a spa, as well as a spa director.

She has recently branched out on her own with her twin sister, and created her own business, Twincare Skincare. She loves making people feel good and helping people age gracefully, naturally. Her motto is healthy, beautiful skin at every age! Lindsey has a lot of experience as a lead trainer for massage and esthetics, which led her to her position at Sage. She enjoys creating a solid foundation for student estheticians, and giving them the confidence and inspiration they need to go out there and follow their passions in this industry.

In her free time, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her friends and family, exploring the beauty of Central Oregon, reading a good book, and taking her two small dogs to the park.



Lisa Harper, BS, LMT – Clinic Supervisor

Lisa, a resident of Bend for over 20 years, is a licensed massage therapist with a B.S. in biology/pre-physical therapy from Washington State University. She also attended Yakima Valley Community College where she earned an Associated of Arts in radiologic technology. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Lisa was a registered radiologic technologist (RT) for 17 years. During her last 7 years as an R.T., she was trained as a medical assistant where she assisted internists and doctors of osteopathic medicine. Lisa later studied massage therapy at Sage School of Massage and earned her license in 2009.

From a young age, Lisa had a keen interest in the mechanics of the body. She began her athletic career in middle school which fueled her inspiration to later become a personal trainer. Today, Lisa is an avid runner, weight trainer and loves to be on her bike.

Lisa’s passion for health, wellness and nutrition combined with genuine caring for others led naturally to her career path as a therapist. As a facilitator in the healing process, she finds great reward in helping her clients learn how they can make profound changes in their bodies and lives.


Marijane Boyd, LMT – Communication & Ethics, Hydrotherapy & Spa Techniques Instructo

Marijane started her career as a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2010 after graduating from Sage School of Massage. As soon as she received her license she started working for a chiropractor, a spa, and an athletic club. Working in diverse environments helped her discover her passion in CranioSacral Therapy which is the primary modality she practices.

Having a strong desire for learning and the learning process, Marijane joined the faculty of Sage after several years of working as a teaching assistant in several classes. She enjoys being in the classroom and identifies with the students because she has been a student herself, and understands the journey well.

Raising four children as well as building a practice gives Marijane a wealth of experience to inspire and mentor her students.


Matthew Williams, KMI, LMT – Introduction to Myofascia Instructor

Matthew has specialized in therapeutic structural bodywork and soft-tissue injury treatment since graduating in 2000 from the 1000-hour professional licensing program at the Brian Utting School of Massage in Seattle WA. He went on to work at several world class spas in Sedona, Arizona including Mii Amo at Enchantment Resort.

In 2005 he completed the Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI) training with Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains. After this 500-hour advanced training he passed the rigorous BCSI exam to become the first Board Certified Structural Integrator (BCSI) in Central Oregon.

Matthew says, “I am a fascia guy. Fascia is the stuff that houses and surrounds everything in the body: Aubiquitous, mucopolysaccharide, stretchy, fibrous, web-like connective tissue matrix. If youwant to create lasting change to the human form, then you better address the fascia.”

In teaching students, his goals are not only to introduce knowledge and techniques, but also to
train the students to see into bodies in a new way. Matthew uses Thomas Myers “Anatomy Trains” as a map to show where common compensations and dysfunctions develop. When you can SEE an imbalance within a structure it becomes much easier to work with it.


Renee Iverson, BS, Aesthetician – Anatomy & Physiology of the Skin & Chemistry & Product Analysis

Renee Iverson has been a licensed Aesthetician since 2007 practicing esthetics in Kirkland, Washington and Bend Oregon. From 2007 to 2015 she was co-owner of Mountain Sun Massage and Skin Care in Kirkland Washington where she created and managed the esthetics portion of the spa. In 2015 she and her husband moved to Bend to enjoy everything Central Oregon has to offer! She currently works out of her home, giving facials with a focus on anti-aging treatments and modalities.

In addition to tradition esthetics school, Renee has many hours of continuing education from UCLA extension in skin care ingredient chemistry, skin physiology and advanced skin care ingredients for specific conditions. She is certified in Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage for the face and neck as well as Microcurrent Muscle re-education techniques and LED light therapy. She is excited to bring her in-depth knowledge of the science of skincare to the esthetics students at Sage School. Skincare science is the foundation of the entire practice of esthetics. Once all that primary knowledge is “in the bones”, students will be able to recognize what is happening within the skin and what ingredients and treatments are necessary to achieve balance and skin rejuvenation.

Like so many people in our part of the world, Renee has lots of irons in the fire! She has a B.S. Degree in Textile Design from UC Davis and she has done a ton of theatre including acting, singing, set painting, teaching and costume design. When not giving facials or teaching skincare science, you will find her walking the local trails with her husband and dog or in her art studio messing with her paints.


Mai Nguyen, BA, Esthetician, Nail Tech – Make-up Theory & Application & Career Success Instructor

Mai has a long background in Speech Communication, as well as, International Sales and Marketing. She believes in the healing power of touch and wellness from within.

Mai changed careers and received her Esthetic and Nail Technician license from the state of Oregon. She loves working with facial clients to promote skincare to radiate their healthiest glow.  She is a creative spirit who enjoys working with color and texture. She appreciates the diverse umbrella of esthetics to nurture her natural curiosity and imagination.

She finds great pleasure in sharing her work and experience with estheticians in training.


Kathy Cole, Masters in Education, Esthetician – Facial I & II, Intro to Advanced Esthetics Instructor

Kathy became a licensed Esthetician in 2016 and a Certified Advanced Esthetician in 2017 she worked for a short time as a Laser Technician in a local Medi Spa and an Advanced Esthetics Instructor before coming aboard as in instructor for Sage.
Kathy is not only a licensed Higher Education Instructor for the State of Oregon but has been a public-school educator for more than 20 years. She always works hard to connect with her students and to strive to show how the curriculum is relevant in everyday life.

For almost half of the years that Kathy has been sharing her love of learning and educating others, she and her family lived and work overseas. She has been very fortunate to have experienced other cultures, customs, and many wonderful places in the world. She came back to Bend with a greater sense of respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. She raised two young girls overseas and they also have returned with a great love for adventure and travel.

Like many, Kathy juggles much in a day from raising and keeping track of two high school girls, helping her husband with starting a custom leather business, working part time for HDESD, riding her motorcycle on warm days and keeping her two dogs busy with hiking as much as she can in the beautiful outdoors of Central Oregon.


Tim Monaco, LMT, CMTA, CHEK HLC III, CHEK I - Applied Pathology I, II and Self-Care Instructor 

Tim has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1999, starting his career in Northern California.  He moved to Bend in 2005. His specialty is in NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) which is an integrative muscle testing technique designed to evaluate and correct imbalances and compensation patterns of the body. He incorporates NKT with numerous other techniques to provide the best treatment for each client.

Tim is also a Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultant, and Corrective Exercise specialist. With over 30 years of experience as a practitioner and endurance athlete, he focuses on expanding his knowledge by effectively guiding his clients and students to better health, wellness and performance. Tim has been a faculty member at Sage School of Massage since 2008. Tim's personal website: