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Administrative Staff

Equine program Director at a therapeutic boarding school

Sandy Vaughn, BS
(she/ her)
Program Co-Director 

  • 23 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)
Lead Treatment Coordinator at a Therapeutic Boarding School

Mindy Elliott, BA
(she/ her)
Program Co-Director (Staffing and Operations)

  • 17 Years experience working with at risk youth and families in a therapeutic setting
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified in QPR Suicide Prevention
  • Trained in Child Abuse Prevention
  • Trained in Motivational Interviewing
Admissions Director at a therapeutic boarding school for girls

Janice Cummings, BA
(she/ her)
Admissions Director

  • 22 years experience working with at risk youth and families in therapeutic residential settings
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention
  • Certified in QPR Suicide Prevention
  • Training in Motivational Interviewing
  • 11+ years experience in leading outdoor recreational activities for at risk youth
  • Trained in Project Adventure Leadership

Clinical Staff

therapist at a boarding school for girls

Natalie Mehrens, MC, LPC 
(she/ her)
Clinical Director

  • 11 years experience working with teens and families in a variety of therapeutic programs and agencies
  • Trauma-informed, relational, strength-based therapeutic approach
  • Trained EMDR therapist
  • Trained facilitator of wilderness-based rites of passage and other transformative ceremonies
  • Trained in Intuitive Eating and Body Trust Principles

Wendy Friess, MSW, CSWA
(she/ her)
Therapist

  • 16 years experience working with children and adolescents
  • 12 years experience working with neuro-diverse children
  • Utilizes a trauma-informed, relational, gender-inclusive, solutions-focused therapeutic approach
  • Trained Trauma-Focused CBT and DBT facilitator
  • Created and facilitated curriculums for Independent Living Skills and DBT groups

Alex Freericks, MSW, CSWA
(she/ her)
Therapist

  • 6 years experience working with at-risk youth in wilderness therapy and residential treatment settings
  • 6 years experience guiding and training wilderness guides in Southeast Alaska
  • 10+ years facilitating environmental education with youth and young adults
  • Trained and Certified in Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI)
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
  • Avid paddler, skier, and all things outdoors.

Academic Staff

Crystal Weseman, M. Ed, Pro Admin
(she/ her)
Academic Director

  • TSPC Professional Administrative License
  • 13 years in education and 9 years of administrative experience
  • Master of Education 22-AUG-2013 from Concordia University
  • Continuing Admin Licensure Certificate 10-MAR-2020 from Concordia University
  • Served on Accreditation teams for AdvancED and Cognia

Colleen Ahlfs, MAT
(she/ her)
Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

  • Master of Arts in Teaching: English Language Arts from Oregon State University 

  • Bachelor of Arts in American Studies: English minor from Oregon State University

  • Oregon Professional Teaching License endorsement in Language Arts grades K-12

  • Member of the National Education Association 

  • 7 years in alternative education 

  • Published author

Traci Worthington, BA/MA
(she/ her)
Special Education Teacher

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education
  • Master’s Degree in Special Education
  • TSPC Legacy Teaching License in Oregon
  • 25 years of Administration and Teaching Experience
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), QPR Suicide Prevention and Trauma-Informed Trainings
  • Enjoys camping, fishing and paddle boarding.
  • Mother of four fantastic teenagers.

Jayde Loya
(she/ her)
Art Teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education (Class of 2026)
  • 10+ years’ experience in Art, Music and Theatre
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • 5+ years of experience in a leadership role for youth
  • Active participant in local art and theatre opportunities

Program Staff

Treatment Coordinator at a Therapeutic Boarding School

Kate Boismenu, BS
(she/ her)
Treatment Coordinator

  • 8 years experience working in residential treatment facilities
  • Trained in leading support groups for women in transition and crisis
  • Experience teaching in early childhood education
  • Trained in Motivational Interviewing
  • Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA)
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified in QPR Suicide Prevention
  • CPC (Certified Parent Coach)

Francesca Sanfelippo, BS
(she/ her)
Treatment Coordinator

  • 5 years’ experience working with at-risk youth in residential treatment facilities
  • 9 years’ experience working with adolescents in a variety of educational and therapeutic settings
  • Certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)
  • Certified in QPR Suicide Prevention
  • Certified in Child Abuse Prevention
PE Teacher boarding school

Annalee Collinson, BS
(she/ her)
Treatment Coordinator & Physical Education Coordinator

  • Bachelor’s degree in Science from Marylhurst University 
  • Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for the last 9 years
  • 8 years in Healthcare Administration with a multi-specialty surgical group
  • Currently working towards a personal training certification through NASM
  • Avid outdoor enthusiast and CrossFit participant of the last 5 years

Jade Hauser, BS
(she/ her)
Treatment Coordinator

  • BS In Psychology and minor in Human Development
  • Full bio coming soon

Health and Wellness Staff

Bonnie A. McMillan
(they/ them)
Activities Coordinator

  • 5 years experience working with at-risk youths in inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Certified in CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention)
  • Experience volunteering at youth camps, leading activities and groups
  • Experience volunteering at Boy & Girls Club of Central Oregon
  • 15+ years customer service experience

Chef David Gonzalez
(he/him)
Food Service Director

  • 7 years of experience in the food industry
  • 4 years of experience in fine dining/ from scratch
  • 4 years of experience working with students and families with the Bend La pine school district as a Spanish interpreter
  • 1 year of experience as a food coordinator with the Bend international school
  • Currently pursuing a culinary degree through Cascade Culinary institute 
certification partner at a therapeutic boarding school
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