Sandy Vaughn, BS
(she/ her)
Program Manager and Equine Director 

Sandy Vaughn began her work with youth in 2000 after graduating from Southern Oregon University. She worked in Wilderness therapy for a year before finding a position with the Academy at Sisters in 2001. A significant value for the Academy has been to create a program that empowers kids and gives them the skills they need to be successful, whatever that means to them.

Over the past two decades, Sandy has spent thousands of hours developing and continuing to evolve the behavior management and therapeutic practices provided by the Academy at Sisters to be in line with ethical, best practices. Sandy, along with her dedicated team of colleagues and professional consultants, has created one of the top therapeutic boarding schools in the country. The youth in our program are encouraged to find their voices and are coached to use them effectively.

In 2012 Sandy took over the Academy at Sisters equine program. The equine program now includes both Equine Therapy and a Holistic Horsemanship Program. In both programs, the participants are taught the non-verbal language of the horses and are responsible for creating a dialog where everyone has a voice. The honest feedback the horses are allowed to give, creates opportunities for the participants to be responsible for how they show up in order to create relationships based in mutual respect, accountability, and compassion. In 2022, Sandy became a Reach Out to Horses (ROTH) certified trainer.