Meet our Team

A Unique Living and Educational Experience for Young Women

Administrative Staff

 betsy

Betsy Jacobson Warren, BS
Director of Private Programs
bjwarren@academyatsisters.org

  • 20 years experience working with at-risk youth and families in therapeutic residential settings
  • Executive Director – Ponca Pines Academy Therapeutic Boarding School for Girls (2008-2012)
  • Director – Academy at Sisters Therapeutic Boarding School for Girls (1994-2005)
  • Executive Director – Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center ( 2006-2008)
  • NATSAP – Board of Directors (2000-2003)
  • NATSAP – Annual Conference Chairperson, and NW Regional Chairperson (2003)
  • ICF Certified Parent Coach
Chesley_5291

Chesley Strowd, BA
Admissions Director
cstrowd@academyatsisters.org

  • 12 years experience working with youth and families in therapeutic boarding schools
  • ICF Certified Parent Coach
  • NW Regional NATSAP Chairperson for eight consecutive years
  • Trained in Systemic Family Intervention Model, QPR Suicide Prevention and First Aid and CPR
  • Volunteer experience working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as well as cancer survivors
  • Experience in teaching public school children anger management techniques

Academic Staff

Rick Buening, MA Rick Buening, MAT
Academic Director
rbuening@jbarj.org

  • 27 years in alternative education; 22 years as Academic Director
  • Oregon teaching certification in Social Studies
  • Member of National Council for the Social Studies
  • Member of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Past Chairperson and member of the Oregon Advisory Committee for the Northwest Accreditation Commission/AdvancEd
mona Mona Mensing, M.Ed
Lead Teacher
mmensing@academyatsisters.org

  • Reading Specialist Endorsement from George Fox University
  • National English Teacher Association registration
  • National Social Studies Teacher Association
  • National Gilder Lehrman American History Teacher Association

Program & Equine Staff

 Brooke_5595

Brooke Hare, BA
Program Manager
bhare@academyatsisters.org

  • 8 years experience working with at risk youth
  • Certified in Motivational Interviewing
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified in QPR Suicide Prevention
  • Trained in Child Abuse Prevention
Sandy_5528

Sandy Vaughn, BS
Equine Director
svaughn@academyatsisters.org

  • 16 years experience working with at-risk youth in wilderness and residential programs
  • Certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
  • Certified in Motivational Interviewing
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified in Preventing Sexual Coercion among Adolescents, Child Abuse Prevention, and Self Defense from the Inside Out (SDIO)

Clinical Staff

Julie_5319

Julie Schneider, PhD
Clinical Director

  • Trained at Children’s Hospital of Boston and Boston Regional Medical Center
  • 21 years experience in metal health and public education settings
  • Focus on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness and Relational Model
  • Incorporates Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness as a foundation to address both mental health and substance abuse issues
  • Certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Gemma_5192

Gemma Biancucci, LPC
Therapist
gbiancucci@academyatsisters.org

  • 11 years experience working  in mental health in public, private and therapeutic residential treatment settings
  • 6 years experience as an assistant in Supported Education with the Bend-LaPine School District
  • 6 years experience working with young adults with mental health and substance abuse issues
  • Focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Relational Model
  • Experience in leading outdoor recreational activities for youth and young adults

Romina King, LMFT
Therapist
rking@academyatsisters.org

  • 17 years experience working with adolescents and adults in multiple therapeutic settings
  • Certified Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist
  • Focus on Solution Oriented, Existential, Acceptance and Commitment, CBT, DBT and Experiential modalities of healing
  • Multi Lingual (English, Italian, German and French)