Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spotlight 4-23-2009

Shaley Spizenberger is one of Diamond Ranch Academy’s Staff Supervisors. She said, “working at here is like being paid to do something I would volunteer to do.” That is the caliber of employees Diamond Ranch Academy is fortunate to have.

Shaley was raised in North Ogden, Utah. In the 6th grade she took 2nd place in the State Spelling Bee. In high school, she traded those spelling skills for athletics. She played both basketball and volleyball. Shaley still enjoys playing those sports when she gets the chance. Shaley loves to work out and stay in shape and is the type of person who is willing to try anything.

Shaley is one of our newlyweds here on campus. She married Howard Spizenberger on December 26, 2008, in St. Paul Minnesota. Shaley met Howard on the Dixie State College campus, playing ultimate frisbee. Howard literally ran into Shaley while they were playing, and knocked her down. When the game was over, Shaley said, “how about you walk two beautiful ladies home?” Howard made the right decision and escorted her and her friend home. This led to studying together, which quickly led to falling in love.

Shaley is a white/blue personality. She said she is able to stay calm in escalated situations at the ranch, especially working with the girls. If the girls see her staying calm, they are more likely to stay that way themselves. What a great addition to our team!

Cody Wardle is her supervisor; he had the following comments to say about her:
Shaley is a Shift Supervisor at Diamond Ranch Academy and has been very positive in her interactions with the girls. She seems very confident and calm in her approach. At Diamond Ranch Academy we look to hire staff who are proactive, educated, and who are willing to continue to learn. Shaley fits the mold very well. She is someone that has made significant contributions in a seemingly short time. Thanks Shaley for all that you do to help the girls to become better. You’re a great example!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spotlight 4-21-2009

This weeks spotlight was born in the small town of Thatcher Arizona, moved to Idaho, and raised in St. George, Utah all to become Diamond Ranch Academy’s daytime Assistant Program Director over Stone Ridge. Travis Bentley our “jack of all trades, and master of none”, has proven to be invaluable here at Diamond Ranch Academy. He has a great sense of humor so we can tease him a little.

Travis is one of our “professional students”, he has obtained an Associates in Science from Dixie State College, and is “slowly but surely” completing his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Southern Utah University. He has served a 2 year LDS mission in Oklahoma, where he gained much leadership experience, and has since held many management positions.

Travis has been to all but 6 of the states. He also recently has been involved in helping aspiring musicians get connected with producers. He and his father have spent some time in Nashville working with producers (including LeAnn Rimes and Trick Pony's producers) and various writers and have taken an active part since in helping musicians get noticed and get signed.

Travis also loves sports, especially baseball. He played middle infield in high school. He enjoys hunting and fishing and anything outdoors. He loves to ride his motorcycle and can play the guitar. He has a real love for music.

Travis feels his current position here at Diamond Ranch Academy has been very rewarding. He said he loves helping the youth, and seeing the positive changes they make in their lives. Each day there are new challenges, and there's nothing more rewarding to him than being a part of the kid's lives and seeing the progress each student makes and the confidence they gain when they make positive changes.

Ricky Dias is Travis’s direct supervisor. He wrote the following words about Travis:

Travis has been at diamond ranch academy for quite a while. He has been a HYDS, night time APD and a daytime APD. He is a very fast learner and has excelled in every situation that we have put him in. When you ask Travis to get something done he never complains and has it done before you expected. He has a great sense of humor and brings a lot of laughs to the office. He works great with the youth and has built a great rapport with those that he comes in contact with. I feel very luck to have such an incredible assistant!

We are lucky to have Travis on our team!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spotlight 4-16-2009

If you hear the sounds of music in the hills of Hurricane, Utah you can only guess it is from our amazing music teacher at Diamond Ranch Academy, Geoff Meyers, who is willing and proud to share his gift of music with the students who attend there.

Geoff Meyers was born and raised in Long Island, New York. One unique thing about Geoff, he has an identical twin bother that lives in Northern Utah. You can tell the difference between the two of them if you asked his brother to play a music piece; he won’t be able to, as he focused his learning toward computers. From the beginning Geoff was exposed to all types of culture. He has had to opportunity to see many different entertainers and artists perform live, attend the Radio City Music Hall, and even played in its broadcasting studio.
His education began at Brigham Young University, where he obtained a bachelors degree in Music, he then traveled east to pursue a Masters degree in Music at Notre Dame, and finally ended up on the west coast at Stanford for a doctoral studies. We are very fortunate to have such a well versed music teacher in our midst.

While attending Stanford, Geoff met his wife Connie, of 20 years. Together they have two children, a girl, 17, and boy, 11. They moved to St. George originally with the idea they would just “house sit” for Connie’s parents, and here they have stayed 16 years later. Before coming to Diamond Ranch Academy, Geoff worked as a music teacher at Redrock School, and at the Trinity Lutheran School. He is still the organist for the School. He is an adjunct professor at Dixie State College where he teaches the organ. He has also taught at Southern Utah University.

In his spare time, Geoff enjoys playing the organ, keyboard, and computer music. He loves to ride his bike and swim. He enjoys putting on monthly recitals at the Tabernacle, and during Christmas time he plays for nearly 40 to 45 separate events. He is a blue/white personality which makes him an amazing music performer. He appears humble and then attacks his piece of music, surprising the audiences. He is an outgoing person who makes friends easily. Geoff enjoys working at Diamond Ranch Academy to help young people have what often times might be there first exposure to different styles of music. He loves to help teenagers become interested in all sorts of music. He believes in teams, which makes him a great fit for our team here at Diamond Ranch Academy.

Bo Iverson is Geoff’s direct supervisor; he had the following comments to make about him:

Mr. Meyers has been a great addition to the Diamond Ranch Academy team. It is always great to find someone that has a passion as great as Mr. Meyer's does for teaching what he loves. His tremendous musical talent and variety of teaching experience has made him a great fit for Diamond Ranch Academy. We are fortunate to have such a great talent and individual working with our students on a daily basis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Diamond Ranch Academy Employee Spotlight 4-14-2009

Nathan Meng is the newest addition to Diamond Ranch Academy’s therapy team. He and his family moved here from Mississippi, where he was doing an internship at the University of Southern Mississippi. Before moving to Mississippi, Nathan began his educational career at Brigham Young University/Idaho, and completed his bachelor’s degree at the Utah State University in Psychology and Business. He continued on to Seattle Pacific University to study Marriage and Family Therapy and there obtained a Masters degree in that field. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Nathan’s specialty is working with adolescents, as well as conducting premarital counseling and marriage counseling. He was attracted to Diamond Ranch Academy because of the chance to work with adolescents as well as the positive atmosphere and down to earth employees. Nathan is a joker, and a tease by nature, and felt he would fit in with the others.

Nathan was born and raised in Rigby, Idaho. He has been married to his wife Leah for 10 years. The two met at Utah State University where they both danced for the Ballroom dance team. They are the parents of three children, two boys, and one girl, ages 8, 5, and almost 2. Nathan enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, and working out in the yard. He is a real handyman, (look out Kelby, you may have some competition) and loves to garden. He is real down to earth person who works very hard at everything he does. He enjoys serving others and gives of himself freely.

Nathan and his family felt strongly that Diamond Ranch Academy was the place for him to work and associate with the good people here. They have been exposed to Hurricane, Utah for a little more than a week. We hope they enjoy all Hurricane has to offer, such as the new Panda Buffet, the Coral Cliffs Cinema, and we can’t forget Ted and Allens.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Congratulations to our Diamond Ranch Academy Staff!!!

McKel A and Ephraim H added a boy to each of their families. Fotu S added a little girl to his family as well. Congratulations!