Monday, October 19, 2009

Diamond Ranch Academy Equine Specialist Spotlight

Gary Ferguson is a good ol’ Lehi Pioneer. He grew up a true cowboy and can even do what the students at Diamond Ranch Academy call, “The Cowboy Shuffle”. Gary will challenge our students to a foot race and he can speed walk (shuffle) faster than the students can run. Gary said he has enjoyed his job at Diamond Ranch Academy more than he has any other job.

Gary is Diamond Ranch Academy’s career’s teacher and equine specialist. Gary has two Bachelors degrees from Utah State University, one in Agribusiness, and one in general business, and two associates degrees; one in animal science, the other in beef production management. He has worked most of his life as a rancher on big ranches in Florida and in Nebraska. He is also skilled as a machinist. He loves to train horses and loves feeding and caring for the horses at Diamond Ranch Academy. Gary has a blue/white personality. He is very quiet, gentle and a hard worker. He quietly goes about his business, doing his job, and enjoys the students thoroughly. His reserved nature has kept him from being very adventurous, however his son just recently talked him into going zip lining. Gary loved it and was glad to spend the time with his son who just entered the Missionary Training Center to serve a two year LDS mission. Gary is very talented with his hands. He builds beautiful furniture and homes. One of his hobbies is remodeling homes and building frames for his wife’s art business.

Gary is a true outdoorsman. He never thought he would like the desert landscape of Southern Utah after living in various parts of the United States, and has been surprised how much he does enjoy it here. We are glad he loves it, because Gary has helped our equine therapy program grow and is a great asset here.

Gary’s supervisor Ephraim Hanks, made the following comments:

Gary is an integral part of the clinical team. He is dedicated and loyal and works hard to keep our Equine Program in top shape. The students love him and the horses have nothing but positive things to say! Thanks Gary for your hard work and dedication.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reeve Knighton Spotlight

Reeve Knighton is one of Diamond Ranch Academy’s veterans. He has been one of our core teachers for almost six years. He was raised in Leeds, Utah, and has stayed living in Southern Utah his whole life. He attended Dixie College and Southern Utah University to earn a Bachelors degree in teaching. He eventually completed his Master’s degree in Education Leadership. Reeve has certainly shown his educational leadership at Diamond Ranch Academy.

Reeve is a white/blue on the color code, but has equal amounts of yellow and red. What an all round guy! When working with the students, Reeve is very calm, he doesn’t get ruffled easily, he know how to joke, he is friendly and open, yet he can set boundaries, and smile while he is writing a citation. Reeve is very meticulous and does things a certain way, and extremely thorough. We found a very good man in Reeve and have benefited from his great work.

On his day off Reeve has spent most of his time working on his new home in Washington, Utah. He is married with 3 boys and 1 girl. They keep him pretty busy. He likes to relax and read books. He treasures his alone time when he can get it and enjoys sketching and doodling.

Reeve hopes to see Diamond Ranch Academy grow and expand its capabilities, so he can grow right along with them. He wants to excel as an educational leader and is hoping Diamond Ranch will continue to be the place where he can.

Reeve’s supervisor had the following comments: Reeve Knighton is a one of a kind individual. Reeve originally started at DRA as a our History Teacher. It we was quickly recognized that he had a gift for reaching students that had unique academic challenges. Reeve took on additional education and obtained his licensure in Special Education and has become an integral part of the Special Education services provided by DRA. Reeve always talks about his students with true interest and compassion as he strives to make a difference with the students that he works with. Reeve is on a continual quest for excellence in both his professional and personal life. I can say that I am a better person for knowing Reeve and it has been my priviledge to work side by side him for the last several years.