Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jodie Frandsen Employee Spotlight!!


Jodie Frandsen is Diamond Ranch Academy’s science teacher. Not only is she our science teacher, she brings with her a great knowledge and understanding of biology, chemistry and physiology. She studied at Southern Utah University where she received a Bachelors degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry. While attending school, Jodie worked as a teacher assistant for the microbiology, and biology classes. She excelled in her academics and was on the Dean’s list for her exceptional grades.

Jodie has nine years of experience working with youth. She put herself through school by working at other residential treatment centers, coached youth basketball for four years, and at one time was an Assistant Program Director. She also has experience in taking youth on wilderness treks, and geological hiking excursions.

Jodie is originally from Kanab, Utah and moved to Hurricane after attending Southern Utah University. In her free time she loves water sports, boating, hiking in the outdoors, and watching football. One unique thing about Jodie is she loves spinach. Maybe that is where she gets the strength to motivate and hold our students up to such high standards. She also loves reptiles, which is perfect for anyone who has seen the size of snakes that cross the Diamond Ranch Academy campus. Most importantly, Jodie is a mother to her 10 year old daughter, Kayla.

Jodie enjoys working at Diamond Ranch Academy because of the integrity of the program. She feels the owners are genuinely concerned about the youth and they truly live up to their motto. She particularly enjoys working in the private school setting because she can become more involved with the students academic success. Jodie is a core red/yellow personality. Her drive to succeed personally trickles down to the students. Jodie expects her students to excel and holds them accountable for achieving their academic goals. She places a high emphasis on education and has motivated the students to not only obtain their high school diplomas, but to continue on to college and beyond.

Bo Iverson, Jodie’s supervisor, wrote the following comments about Jodie:

Finding certified science teachers is hard enough, let alone one as great as Jodie. Jodie worked at a few different treatment centers while she was working her way through college and earning her teaching degree. She has a great understanding of residential treatment and how behavior influences academic achievement. She is tireless in her efforts to motivate students and discovering ways to help them reach their academic potential. Everyday I find myself thinking how fortunate we are to have Jodie working with the students of DRA on a daily basis. Thanks Jodie, for choosing to make a difference.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kade Mathews Employee Spotlight


Kade Mathews is Diamond Ranch Academy’s Assistant Clinical Director. His yellow/blue (personality color) makes him a favored therapist. He brings humor and ease to his students, a fun loving attitude, and care and concern for his students.

Kade grew up in Orem, Utah. He has one brother and two sisters. Many people do not know that Kade speaks fluent Spanish; it’s one of his hidden talents. He married his wife Mary almost 9 years ago. They have two boys, Kellin, age 4, and Ethan, age 2. They have lived in St.George for three years. Kade loves being a dad; he said one of his favorite things is to hang out with his boys. In his spare time he loves to watch movies, particularly drama and action films. He is a sports fan, plays the guitar, and uniquely enough, he enjoys clay sculpting (hmmm, is this true?) He has broken his nose 4 times in his life, maybe it was while clay sculpting, it’s a pretty dangerous hobby.

Kade obtained his bachelors degree from Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University). He then studied at the University of Utah to receive his Masters in Social Work. Kade said he never imagined himself going that far in school, but his is so happy he did. He loves working with families, and the students. His areas of expertise range from trauma, adolescents, drug and alcohol, and play therapy. Kade enjoys Diamond Ranch Academy for it’s team approach, and loves his co-workers.

His supervisor, Ephraim Hanks, added the following comments about Kade: Kade has been with the ranch for 3 years and is the Assistant Clinical Director. He is very dedicated and reliable. His gifts include his ability to make anyone feel comfortable and his sense of humor. Kade is a yellow and knows how to have fun. Kade is loved by his students. I appreciate Kade’s work ethic and attention to detail. “We’re lucky to have you Kade!”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Karma Lund Employee Spotlight


Karma Lund is a true veteran to the nursing profession. She just hit her one year mark at DRA, but has “years and years” of nursing experience. Karma attended school at Washington State University, where she obtained an LPN. Since then, she has held many jobs throughout the western United States. She has experience in hospitals, home health care, clinics, offices, and public health care. Years ago, while living in Wayne County, Utah, Karma was the only medical professional for miles. She delivered babies, sutured lacerations, worked as the school nurse, and used her home as an office! She was even in charge of the ambulance, which, at that time, was little more than a glorified station wagon.

Karma has proved to have had enough experience to feel confident in her abilities. She is a take charge type of person, which comes from her 50/50 red blue personality. She is an excellent diagnostician for the students who see her.

Personally, Karma is the mother of 7 children, 27 grandchildren, and 34 great grandchildren. What a great heritage! She was born in Ephraim, Utah and has lived in many places, such as Utah, Missouri, California, and Arizona, during her lifetime. Karma lived her early married years in Washington where she raised her children. The untimely death of her husband left her to support her family on her own. Her children rave about her, saying she is a wonderful mother who worked hard to support and care for them.

Karma loves to crochet blankets, read, work in the yard, and take her two poodles on walks. She especially has lots of fun with her great grandchildren. She moved to Southern Utah because of the weather, and has been here for the last 10 years. Karma has especially enjoyed working at DRA because of the students. She is thrilled to see kids change from sick, to well adjusted, happy individuals. She said she will never tire of seeing it.

Her supervisor, Jan Bills, wrote the following comments about Karma:

Karma lives up to her primary color in that she is “true blue” in terms of loyalty and dependability. She has never been tardy and she has always been willing to go the extra mile, whether in terms of added job tasks or staying late on the spur of the moment. You will never hear her complain.

Karma brings such a broad history of nursing experience that she can offer insight into diabetes, allergies, STDs, wound care, skin conditions, ear complaints, and digestive issues. She is also responsible for taking care of our lab work and ordering supplies.

Caring, kind, and motivated to “jump right in” and take care the problem, Karma is also willing to receive direction and accept 100% accountability. I can’t think of a more ideal team player. Her personal life is a reflection, as well, of the giving and caring person that she is. She is, simply put, “good Karma!”

Spotlight 4-28-2009


Brittany Wright, is Diamond Ranch Academy’s Purchasing Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant. She is an awesome first contact for new students and parents to meet when they arrive at the ranch. Brittany’s professional manner and welcoming attitude makes her the perfect fit for our front office.


Brittany was born and raised in Kanab, Utah. A little known fact about Kanab, it is home to the scrapbooking stamps and accessories giant, “Stampin’ Up”. That must be why she has a great love and knack for scrapbooking. She also loves water sports, volleyball and especially four wheeling in the sand dunes. Her two children, Octavia 10, and Zander, 6, both love to join her. She has been married for 11 years and has resided in Hurricane for a little more than that time. Brittany could definitely be a ready reference for us newer Hurricane residents and visitors about the do’s and don’ts of Hurricane, Utah.


Brittany loves working at Diamond Ranch Academy. She feels from day one, the ranch employees have been family to her. She loves those she works with and feels they all pull together for a good common cause. Brittany especially loves working with families, and interacting with the students (even the challenging ones). Her blue personality offers a selfless attitude and a listening ear to any and all that need it. Brittany said she has good organizational skills, once she has the time to get organized.


We couldn’t ask for a better front line employee. She brings much to the ranch and has given of herself to help those around her and to do a great job.