Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a highly motivated red/red on the personality color code. What a worker we have. She has been at Diamond Ranch Academy for 10 months and has enjoyed her time here. Brooke came here at the same time two of our students were admitted. She has been able to work with them from the beginning and will see them graduate. Brooke said that is the most rewarding part of her job. She is glad to have the opportunity to work at Diamond Ranch Academy and has learned some great life skills while being here.

Brooke is currently attending Dixie State College full time, studying Chemistry. She is planning on pursuing a medical degree from the University of Utah, in hopes of becoming a doctor. Brooke also has her cosmetologist’s license, so she will not only be able to tell you what is wrong with your insides, she will help you look great on the outside.

Brooke is from Cedar City, Utah. Her hobbies are reading, playing violin, outdoors, hiking, swimming, boating, and snowboarding. She has a unique love of eating lemons with salt on them.

Brooke is a part of our HYDS staff who says she loves to work. What a great person to have at Diamond Ranch Academy!

Brooke’s supervisor made the following comments:

Brooke is very motivated in everything that she does. She is a hard worker and is always willing to take on extra responsibilities. Her great work ethic shows by the way she looks for ways to improve what we do and puts in the extra time to make it a reality. She works very well with the students and is able to hold them accountable. Diamond Ranch is lucky to have Brooke as an employee and we have definitely benefited from her hard work and dedication.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ephraim Hanks

Not many save our students at Diamond Ranch Academy and a few others have heard the music styling’s of our very own Clinical Director, Ephraim Hanks. In the 1980’s Ephraim sported a mullet, sang in a band, and played the guitar. Today, although his hair is a little more reserved, he still loves all kinds of big hair 80’s bands and continues to write his own music, sing, and play the guitar.

Ephraim was born in Hawaii, where his father was an Institute instructor at the University of Hawaii. His family later moved to Pleasant Grove, and eventually Hurricane, Utah, where he attended high school. Ephraim served an LDS mission to Sydney, Australia. Upon his return home he pursued a Bachelors degree at Utah Valley University in Psychology. He was employed at the Provo Canyon Boys School for six years as a front line staff. He has had hands on experience with struggling teens, and is completed invested in the students. He met his wife Megan while living in Provo. Together they have three cute little boys.

Ephraim and his wife moved to the University of Louisville to obtain a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Ephraim’s first career job was as a school counselor at a Catholic school in Louisville. He also had his own private practice. Ephraim’s move back west brought him to Diamond Ranch Academy; he has been here since 2006. He is a white/blue personality. Ephraim is calm, level headed, and really takes things in stride. He is devoted to the students and their successes. He loves them and enjoys working at Diamond Ranch Academy. Ephraim first love is working with people, his second, is eating meat. He is an excellent director with a skill for leading the clinical team.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doug Heideman

Doug Heideman has been at Diamond Ranch Academy for 4 ½ years.  He is our History teacher.  Doug has proven his worth over the years and said he is happy to come to work each day.  The students give him motivation to keep working and he gets much satisfaction in seeing the students change their lives around.  Doug started out teaching, moved to retail for years, then back to teaching.  He feels he has a real knack for teaching and motivating students.  He feels working at Diamond Ranch Academy is an excellent place to work with a great philosophy and feels our company comes out on top for helping students with all different backgrounds.

Doug has lived all over Utah.  He has taken his wife of 38 years and his 4 children to places such as Orem, Salt Lake City, and Price.  They have lived in Hurricane for 15 years where Doug worked in the retail industry.  Doug bought a business distributorship and distributed Little Debbie Cookies, and Mission Tortillas.  He has a degree from BYU in psychology and went back later to get his teaching certificate.  Doug is a real advocate of education and of his 3 boys, one is an attorney, a dentist, and one studying to be a Physicians Assistant.  His girl is one year away from completing her degree in exercise science. 

Doug’s hobbies are doing things in the outdoors.  He loves to hunt, and fish.  He has a caribou hanging on the wall of his home and said his wife actually likes it.  He has had the opportunity to hunt Russian Boar and collects all types of guns, ammunition, rifles, and pistols. 

Doug and his son were fishing halibut in Alaska and found that no matter what boat his group was on, they were the most successful out of the group.  One day he was eating a banana on the boat and the captain grabbed the banana, chucked it out of the boat and told Doug that bananas were bad luck on a fishing trip.  It was hard to believe so Doug and his sons made a joke out it.  They left a case of bananas on the boat for a practical joke, only to find the next morning after a huge storm, all the other fishing boats were fine, but the one with the case of bananas on it was lifted 50 feet out of the water and on to the shore.  When the captain found out about this, he followed Doug and company all the way to the airport.  Doug has had many laughs about this incident. 

We are fortunate to have Doug as one of our teachers and find his humor, and life’s experiences really help our students at Diamond Ranch Academy.

Doug’s supervisor had the following comments:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Michelle Drake

Michelle Drake is a Medical Technician for Diamond Ranch Academy. Without our medical staff, Diamond Ranch Academy could not run properly. Michelle graduated from Mohave Community College and while going to college worked as a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA), and Medical Assistant. She has had work experience in pediatrics, urgent care, OB/GYN orthopedics, podiatry (which we need for the boys on the football team), and as CNA for the Beehive Homes Alzheimer’s House. She has also had her own business as a daycare/preschool provider.

Michelle is originally from Salt Lake City and has lived in LaVerkin, Utah for 9 years. She really enjoys working in the medical field, especially with kids. Michelle has tried all aspects of the medical field from front and back office work, to billing and medical records. She loves to learn and try new things. She has a 97 year old friend that she used to take meals to because she wants to help him in any way. Her philosophy in life is “Let go, let God”and“This Too Shall Pass.”

Michelle enjoys getting to know the students and learning from them. She enjoys the staff at Diamond Ranch Academy and thinks everyone is very friendly. Michelle says she is learning a lot from her work at the Ranch and feels it’s great to go home after a long day and feel like she’s been a help to others.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joe and Jen Demke

This week’s spotlights come from our husband and wife team.  Joe Demke works for the boy’s campus and Jen Demke works for the girl’s campus at Diamond Ranch Academy.  Each has enjoyed working with the students and finds joy in seeing a change in them.

Joe is a white/yellow personality.  He says while working at Diamond Ranch Academy his qualities help him to understand where the “white” students are coming from and he feels he is great at handing challenging students.  He feels that working at Diamond Ranch Academy brings a new challenge every day.  Even if the job is the same, each day brings about a new situation which helps him gain an all round perspective. 

Joe grew up in St. George, Utah.  He said he didn’t do much with his life until he met his beautiful wife Jen, which helped him “step up”.  Joe loves to play games, go to movies, camp, and hike.  He especially loves bike riding with his wife.  Joe met his wife Jen through some mutual friends.  They’ve known each other for three years and have been married for a year and a half.  They are trying together to make the perfect pizza.  Eventually they would like to open up a pizza parlor together because they love people, love cooking, and love pizza!

Joe’s supervisor, Travis Bentley had the following comments:
I've just recently transitioned back to nights, and haven't supervised Joe for very long. However, in that short amount of time I've been very impressed with Joe. He works very well with the youth he is supervising and is very professional. Probably the best compliment I could give Joe is that I never have to worry about what is going on in Joe's dorm. He always has things under control and the kids enjoy being in his family. Joe is a hard worker and is constantly improving himself as a Head Youth Development Staff. We are very fortunate to have Joe as an employee at Diamond Ranch.
Jen Demke has worked for Diamond Ranch Academy before as a homeless staff.  She came to us fresh out of college from Brigham Young University/Idaho with a Bachelors degree in Communications.  She felt working with the students would be a great career.  Jen took some time off and found that she missed working with our students, and later returned to work on the girl’s campus.  She enjoys Diamond Ranch Academy and the way they help them make better choices, and show them a better way to live.  Jen loves to see the transition in students that come to Diamond Ranch Academy and being a part of transition.  She said, “It helps her to be a better person.” 

Jen is a blue/white personality.  She has compassion while understanding the meaning of tough love and her blue helps her understand the big picture. She loves cooking, bike riding, and photography.  She is the kind of person who loves adventure and rediscovering old adventures.  Opening a pizza parlor with her husband Joe, might be a new adventure, and also an old adventure as they continue to try to achieve the “perfect pizza”. Look out for the Demke’s, Pizza Hut!

Jen’s supervisor had the following comments:
 Jen is very passionate about her work.  She is always looking for ways that she can improve and takes advice very well.  She truly cares about the girls and the progress that they are making.  She wants to help these girls make changes so they can have healthy lives. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shane Johnson Employee Spotlight!

Shane Johnson is our Observation and Assessment Supervisor here at Diamond Ranch Academy. He is one of the first people parents and students interact with when a student enters DRA. He is in charge of parent communication and intake staff. His six years of experience at DRA is essential for his job. His blue/red personality gives him the confidence, and commitment to follow through with tough situations and assignments. His blue definitely helps him appreciate the change he sees in the students from when they enter O&A to when they leave.

His favorite thing about working at Diamond Ranch Academy is seeing the program actually work. DRA’s motto “Healing families on youth at a time” is really working. DRA’s goal is to change the world, one family at a time. Shane feels that DRA offers the proper tools necessary to actually accomplish this goal.

Shane is a father of 5 children and has tried to use the standards and tools he has learned at Diamond Ranch in his own family. He says that family is where it’s at. His best time is spent with his kids outdoors doing all sorts of fun activities. He enjoys working on motorcycles, snowboarding, fishing, camping and target shooting. He is a local boy, and has lived most of his life in the Southern Utah area and loves being here. He spent some time living in California as well. Shane is a hard worker and greatly appreciated for his experience and compassion he shows the staff and students at Diamond Ranch Academy.

We are pleased to have Shane as part of the Diamond Ranch team. Shane and I go way back to the good ol’ days of Hurricane where we attended High School together. Shane is dependable and puts his whole heart into helping the youth he works with. The students come to appreciate Shane’s empathy and understanding as he guides them through one of the most challenging components of the program.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Caleb Steele

Caleb Steele is a therapist here at Diamond Ranch Academy. He has been at the ranch for almost two years. You can tell it is Caleb coming up that good old dirt road in a distinguishable 1972 orange GMC Jimmy. On the outside it looks like a piece of junk, but in Caleb’s eyes it is as nice as a Rolls Royce.

Caleb loves living in a small town such as Hurricane. He is used to the slower pace and small town feel. He grew up on Middleton Idaho. He didn’t take much time in outside of school to pursue hobbies, from the time he was a freshman in high school until his senior year he worked as a butcher at the local marked called Starmerc. From high school he went on to serve an LDS mission to Melbourne Australia, and served in Tasmania as well. While he was in Australia, a beautiful girl named Stephanie and her family moved next door to Caleb’s family. Caleb went on his first date with his new next door neighbor and eventually married her. They now have 2 ½ kids, one boy and one girl, and expecting another girl in 5 months.

Caleb attended Brigham Young University/Idaho where he received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology. He pursued his master’s degree at the University of Utah in Social Work. His first job out of school is here at Diamond Ranch Academy. Caleb loves it here. He loves his fellow employees, and enjoys working with the students. Caleb eventually would like to complete a PhD and teach at a college. He is a white/blue personality. He loves to play basketball and work out at the gym. Caleb is an excellent therapist and fits well into the Diamond Ranch Academy family.

Caleb’s supervisor made the following comments:

Caleb is an exceptional therapist and employee and provides much needed comic relief to the Clinical Department. Caleb is a dedicated therapist and is well liked by his students and co-workers. Caleb’s easy going personality and friendly nature allow him to connect with people easily and form trusting relationships. Caleb is a real asset to the clinical team.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stuart Squires

Stuart Squires is one of our great therapists at Diamond Ranch Academy. He has been with us for 4 years. He took a brief sabbatical to live near his family in American Fork, but realized his true place was with Diamond Ranch Academy in Southern, Utah. Stuart has a Master’s in Social Work from Brigham Young University, he mentioned Nike has tried to endorse him for years but he was not ready to sign with them, he is waiting to hear back from Coca-Cola.

Some of his areas of expertise are working with traumatized children, substance abuse, and mood disorders. Stuart really enjoys working with the youth in the program. He enjoys learning about their lives and getting to know them. He also enjoys working with the clinical team. There is always a good laugh or two when the team gets together. Stuart has a lot of yellow and white in his personality color scheme. He enjoys having a lot of fun but also try’s to keep it under control.

Stuart has published a few articles with some of his college professors in noted journals. He received a few awards in High School. The most noted were the prom king and an all-state athlete.

Stuart was born in Denver, Colorado. He has lived a majority of my life in American Fork, Utah, and comes from a family 10. He has 6 sisters and 3 brothers. Stuart has been married for almost 10 years now and has 5 children. They just recently had their 5th child, a little girl.

Stuart enjoys all sports, especially football and basketball. His favorite thing to do around this time is to go blackpowder hunting for deer. He also enjoys fishing and camping with his 4 boys.

Stuart’s supervisor made the following comments:

Stuart is a wonderful therapist and connects easily with his students. He has a great sense of humor and keeps things lively in the clinical department. We are lucky to have Stuart with us.