Your Staff

Administrative Staff

Andrea Burgess

Andrea Burgess

Executive Director
Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Clinical Director
Sarah Yardley

Sarah Yardley

Admissions Director
Matt Crosby

Matt Crosby

Residential Director
Janet McGrew

Janet McGrew

HR Director
Lee Bingham

Lee Bingham

Equine Director Equine Director
Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director
David Mosse

David Mosse

Recreation Director
Jessica Sume

Jessica Sume

Performing Arts Director

Andrea Burgess

Executive Director

Andrea has always known that she would be involved in some aspect of therapeutic services. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Family Science at Brigham Young University, she volunteered at The Women’s and Children’s Crisis Center as well as the Utah Valley Crisis Line. Once she graduated from Brigham Young University, she completed a graduate certification from the University of Utah as a certified addictions counselor.Her 22-year journey in the adolescent treatment industry began as a direct care staff and then a supervisor in a Residential Treatment Center for adjudicated adolescent males. She was then promoted to the Director of Individual Residential Treatment, a program that is tasked with placing adjudicated males from a Residential Treatment Center setting into the homes of approved and trained families.Andrea then transferred to Redcliff Ascent, a premier therapeutic wilderness program for struggling teens. She began her role as a member of the Redcliff Ascent Management Team as a Parent Liaison and was promoted to Assistant Executive Director. In 2002, Andrea became the Executive Director of Redcliff Ascent and served in that capacity for 12 years. During her tenure as Redcliff Ascent’s Executive Director, she served as vice-chair for the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council from 2011 – 2013, an industry association that promotes program standards, ethics, and risk management as well as facilitating outcome research of the efficacy of wilderness programs.In the fall of 2011, Andrea co-founded Evolving Women, an industry association for women in the adolescent therapeutic industry. Evolving Women’s mission is to provide networking opportunities, professional development, and service. The organization continues to grow in membership and influence for some of the industry’s most talented women.In April of 2013, Andrea left her beloved post at Redcliff Ascent and was given the remarkable opportunity to lead a dynamic team as the Executive Director of Discovery Ranch for Girls. Set on a 66-acre ranch with a lake, riding arena, barn, and homey living spaces, Andrea began learning more about the intricacies of providing outstanding treatment a Residential Treatment setting.Andrea is dedicated to providing a program that is safe, therapeutic and effective for students and families. She and her husband have two boys, two dogs, and two cats and enjoy the outdoor life in Southern Utah.

Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Clinical Director

Dr. Brian Daniels has been at the ranch since 2015 and has worked in residential settings since 2005. He is a graduate of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Child and Adolescent Track and completed his APA-accredited Predoctoral Internship at OhioGuidestone in Brook Park, Ohio. Dr. Daniels has specialized foundational training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and utilizes DBT in individual, group, and family therapy. Brian has expertise in treating teenagers and families experiencing complex challenges including relational traumas, adverse childhood experiences, and disrupted attachments. Dr. Daniels specializes in treating Borderline Personality Disorder, emotional dysregulation, interpersonal distress, and assisting families in rebuilding relationships. His background in child development lends to a comprehensive approach to attachment work in therapy. Brian’s theoretical orientation is integrative with foundations in psychodynamic, developmental, and humanistic theories. Dr. Daniels’s professional interests are in the areas of wilderness therapy; the role nature plays in self-discovery, relationships, and youth development; play based modalities; relational and strengths-based approaches to therapy; subjective experiences and phenomenological research; and developmental and object relations theory.Prior to working at Discovery Ranch for Girls, Brian gained experience as a therapist working with young adults in a wilderness therapy program. He fulfilled his practica as an Advanced Therapy Extern at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago, as a Therapy Extern at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, and as a Diagnostic Extern at the Counseling Center of Lakeview. Brian contributed to When Diagnostic Labels Mask Trauma. In addition to his internship and work experience, Brian has performed comprehensive research in the field of clinical psychology and residential treatment, including publications, professional presentations, and conference presentations. Brian received his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University, his M.S. in Child Development from the Erikson Institute, and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.You can read his dissertation here: Adolescent Subjective Experience of Wilderness Therapy: A Phenomenological Approach Brian is a member of the Utah Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Brian enjoys going to concerts, arts and culture events, camping, mountain biking, hiking with his dog Rex, rooting for the Cleveland Indians and Cavaliers, and exploring the vast wilderness of Southern Utah.

Sarah Yardley

Admissions Director

Sarah began working at Discovery Ranch for Girls in 2015 as a Residential Mentor. She is glad for her time spent working directly with students and grateful for all that she has learned from her various positions. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with families in Admissions and is happy that she gets to continue in that role as the Admissions Director.Sarah herself is a mother and feels that she can put herself in the shoes of the parents who are making the difficult decision to place their child in a treatment facility. Her favorite part of working at Discovery Ranch for Girls is seeing the progress in the girls’ relationships, and the change in their demeanor as they go through the program and become strong, purposeful young women.

Matt Crosby

Residential Director

Matt Crosby began working with troubled youth in 1998 when, as an undergraduate student, he took a part-time job working with juvenile sex offenders. In the fifteen years since, he has worked for a variety of residential treatment programs helping teens and adolescents struggling with a range of issues.Matt has held a longtime fascination with the effectiveness of residential treatment, and the differences in approach for those programs that actually facilitate meaningful and long-lasting changes in young people’s lives. He is passionate about making Discovery Ranch for Girls one of those programs. As part of the original team that started Discovery Ranch, Matt helped design and implement their unique and highly successful approach to treatment. He is a strong believer in the power of experiential activities and adventures, and in working with animals, as agents of healing and change.Matt is also a writer and teacher. He has an MA and an MFA in English and Creative Writing and has taught writing courses for years at the college level. He and his beautiful wife are the parents of three little boys, ages 5, 3, and 8 weeks. They also have a wonderful little beagle, Sally, two years old, who is a money pit and constant headache. She’s for sale!

Janet McGrew

HR Director

Janet is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She and her husband David, who also works for Discovery Ranch for Girls, have lived in Cedar City, Utah for the past 15 years. They have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters. Janet joined Discovery Ranch for Girls after serving as the office administrator at The Midwest Center for Attacking Anxiety and Depression. Janet is the HR Director at the ranch and with her southern accent and readiness to help offers a warm welcome to all our guests and residents. She loves to hold “crawfish boils”, spend time with her family, and spoil her cat, Bob! She and David have been married for 32 years.

Lee Bingham

Equine Director Equine Director

Lee Bingham is currently the Equine Director at Discovery Ranch For Girls. Equine therapy can be a strong part of your daughters therapy. There are many experiential learning opportunities at our more than 60 acre location! The girls will have the opportunity to work with horses, calves, cooking, swimming, fishing, boating, climbing and ropes courses, yoga, hiking, winter activities and so much more. To learn more about our Equine Therapy program click here: Equine TherapyLee has never known a life without horses or cattle. She was raised on a local ranch here in Cedar City, Utah. Taking the reins of her own horse, at three years old, sparked her love for these noble and trustworthy animals.Her rodeo career began at the age of nine, competing in junior rodeos, then on to high school and college. She earned two National High School Goat Tying Titles and one National College Title along the way. Lee volunteers throughout the state offering private goat tying lessons to youth.She earned her bachelor degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Southern Utah University in 2002.Lee values hard work, honesty, and integrity. She enjoys watching the girls at the ranch develop these skills from working with the horses and calves. The most fulfilling piece of her job is watching the deep relationships the girls build with the animals and waiting for that “in the moment” teaching experience to unfold between them.Lee loves spending time with her husband and their three boys. They enjoy working and riding on their ranch, farming, camping, fishing, hunting, team roping, golfing, and playing basketball and baseball.“We reach goals one step at a time. We cannot be perfect today or tomorrow but we can be better than we were yesterday.” —Author Unknown–

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director

Elizabeth Grant is thrilled to join the fantastic team at Discovery Ranch for Girls as the new Academic Director. She has been working to improve learning and lives for students with learning differences, giftedness and 2E for more than thirteen years in California and Colorado. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Mild/Moderate Special Education from Brigham Young University and earned a Masters of Education in Prevention Science Practice from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Her particular focus has been on striving to mitigate anxiety in students with learning differences in order to support wellbeing and successful life transitions. Elizabeth is certified in Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Twice Exceptionality in the state of Colorado.Elizabeth loves to visit her four children who live throughout the US and France and she enjoys yoga, singing in choirs, cooking, hiking, art, gardening and exploring locally and going on worldwide adventures.

David Mosse

Recreation Director

David has been a member of the Discovery Ranch for Girls team since May of 2016. Initially, David came to work at Discovery Ranch for Girls as a mentor and was promoted to a position as a Residential Supervisor. David has always viewed the therapeutic process as being multi-faceted with adventure education being at the heart of the process of change that clients embark on while at Discovery Ranch for Girls . In 2009 he completed his Master’s degree which focused on the impact of adventure and challenged based programming on the ability of adolescents to overcome diverse and challenging experiences. As Recreation Director David’s goal is to continue to enhance the effectiveness of programming through extensive collaboration with the clinical team as well as developing exciting adventure programming to such as skiing, snowboarding, winter sports, outdoor survival skills, extended river trips, climbing, and canyoneering trips. David views adventure education and peak experiences as effective means to truly empower the young women at Discovery Ranch for Girls.Prior to Discovery Ranch for Girls David established a strong reputation as a wilderness therapy professional and served as Field Director for New Vision Wilderness (NVW). Under his leadership at this nationally recognized wilderness treatment program, he proudly contributed to a 200 percent enrollment increase during his tenure through several program development initiatives, marketing, and outstanding communication with consultants, parents and most importantly, enrolled clients. In 2010 David moved to Ireland where he served as the Program Coordinator for the Arts for Peace Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to community outreach, development and the development of healthy recreational opportunities for Irish youth.When David is not leading groups of youth into the backcountry or facilitating activities, he enjoys rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, canyoneering, skiing, backpacking, and canoeing. David, his wife, and their dog – in the fall of 2016 – paddled 2300 miles from the source of the Mississippi in Northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Jessica Sume

Performing Arts Director

I fell in love with theatre and music as a child, and experienced the transformative power of the arts through my teenage years. After high school, I continued my education in the Performing Arts at Weber State University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Integrated Studies in Physics, Math, and Computer Science.Over the past few years, I have gained professional scenic and prop design experience with Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative on various projects, including the Disney Wish and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have worked professionally as a character performer in Utah, and worked in Entertainment at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.Joining the Discovery Ranch for Girls team is an honor and a privilege. As a teen girl, the arts gave me hope for my future and the impact I could one day leave on the world. I am so thankful to be part of the story of hope, healing, and self-discovery being written in the lives of these young women.

Clinical Staff

Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Clinical Director
Cindy Shrum

Cindy Shrum

Advanced SUDC
Amanda Mosse, LCSW

Amanda Mosse, LCSW

Therapist
Jeron Parry, LMFT

Jeron Parry, LMFT

Therapist
Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Therapist
Patrick Dotson, LCSW

Patrick Dotson, LCSW

Therapist
Ashley Buckner, LMFT

Ashley Buckner, LMFT

Therapist
Bob Brown, LCSW

Bob Brown, LCSW

Therapist
Courtnie Perry, LCSW

Courtnie Perry, LCSW

Therapist
Heather Ross, CSW

Heather Ross, CSW

Therapist
Brandon Chiapuzio, CSW, M.S.

Brandon Chiapuzio, CSW, M.S.

Therapist
Morgan Scherschel, ACMHC

Morgan Scherschel, ACMHC

Therapist
Rebecca Powell MSW, CSWI

Rebecca Powell MSW, CSWI

Therapist
Jesus Martinez

Jesus Martinez

Clinical Coordinator
Brett Talbot, Ph.D.

Brett Talbot, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Quality / Consulting Licensed Psychologist

Brian Daniels, Psy.D., M.S.

Clinical Director

Dr. Brian Daniels has been at the ranch since 2015 and has worked in residential settings since 2005. He is a graduate of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Child and Adolescent Track and completed his APA-accredited Predoctoral Internship at OhioGuidestone in Brook Park, Ohio. Dr. Daniels has specialized foundational training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and utilizes DBT in individual, group, and family therapy. Brian has expertise in treating teenagers and families experiencing complex challenges including relational traumas, adverse childhood experiences, and disrupted attachments. Dr. Daniels specializes in treating Borderline Personality Disorder, emotional dysregulation, interpersonal distress, and assisting families in rebuilding relationships. His background in child development lends to a comprehensive approach to attachment work in therapy. Brian’s theoretical orientation is integrative with foundations in psychodynamic, developmental, and humanistic theories. Dr. Daniels’s professional interests are in the areas of wilderness therapy; the role nature plays in self-discovery, relationships, and youth development; play based modalities; relational and strengths-based approaches to therapy; subjective experiences and phenomenological research; and developmental and object relations theory.Prior to working at Discovery Ranch for Girls, Brian gained experience as a therapist working with young adults in a wilderness therapy program. He fulfilled his practica as an Advanced Therapy Extern at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago, as a Therapy Extern at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, and as a Diagnostic Extern at the Counseling Center of Lakeview. Brian contributed to When Diagnostic Labels Mask Trauma. In addition to his internship and work experience, Brian has performed comprehensive research in the field of clinical psychology and residential treatment, including publications, professional presentations, and conference presentations. Brian received his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University, his M.S. in Child Development from the Erikson Institute, and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.You can read his dissertation here: Adolescent Subjective Experience of Wilderness Therapy: A Phenomenological Approach Brian is a member of the Utah Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Brian enjoys going to concerts, arts and culture events, camping, mountain biking, hiking with his dog Rex, rooting for the Cleveland Indians and Cavaliers, and exploring the vast wilderness of Southern Utah.

Cindy Shrum

Advanced SUDC

Cindy is a licensed Advance Substance Counselor with the state of Utah. She began her career in 1992 and was trained in Pastoral Dialogical counseling skills and Gestalt trauma work with the United States Navy Chaplains organization. Cindy participated in personal and spiritual growth retreats from 1992-1997. She then began substance counseling experience in 1997 with Volunteers of America residential programs located in San Diego California and worked her way to becoming the Residential Program Manager. During her time in California, she attended San Diego City College Alcohol and other Drugs Study program and graduated in 2001. After her time at the Volunteers of America program, she began working in the Criminal Justice Program known as Drug Court with the organization Community Connection from 2001- 2004. During that time she held 2 California certifications CATS & CADACII. In 2004 Cindy and her family relocated to Utah where she continued her career with Homeless Outreach, Residential programs, collaborated with two Counseling center’s outpatient programs in designing substance abuse/addiction programs. Cindy also earned her Utah License in substance abuse counseling. Cindy’s other certifications include anger management, domestic violence, and family addiction with social services in San Diego California.Cindy is married with 5 children ages 13- 43 with 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She and her husband John have been foster parents and have adopted one child.

Amanda Mosse, LCSW

Therapist

Amanda Mosse received her Master’s degree in social work from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2009 and has been working in a variety of therapeutic settings since 2008. Before coming to Discovery Ranch for Girls Amanda was a lead wilderness therapist in Wisconsin where she specialized in trauma and attachment and became level 1 and 2 Brainspotting trained. Over the years Amanda has developed extensive experience working with individuals and their families struggling with depression, anxiety, unhealthy family dynamics, drug and alcohol dependence, suicidal ideation, trauma, and attachment disorders. While working in the wilderness, she was known for being able to bring an experiential component to therapeutic groups and individual sessions. Amanda is a firm believer in meeting the clients where they are at while also challenging them in their process. Prior to becoming a therapist, Amanda worked as a field instructor for approximately 4 years at various wilderness programs.This has given Amanda a unique view of how to effectively work with youth who are struggling. In 2009 Amanda worked in Ireland as a program coordinator for the Arts for Peace Foundation providing experiential therapeutic experiences in a variety of settings. In this role, she worked with elementary aged children working on communication and trust through art projects and experiential activities. She also worked for a brief period in St. Patrick prison in Dublin facilitating experiential activities based on healthy communication and building trust. When not working with youth Amanda enjoys backpacking, hiking, spending time with friends and family and canoeing. Recently Amanda and her husband completed a 2,552-mile journey down the Mississippi River starting at its ultimate source in Northern Minnesota and ending at the Gulf of Mexico. This journey was directly related to her other passion which is helping homeless youth. This journey was not just an expedition down the largest river in the country, it was also in an effort to raise money for a non-profit organization in Colorado which supports and provides resources to homeless youth.

Jeron Parry, LMFT

Therapist

Jeron Parry received his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Abilene Christian University, Texas. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Utah. He has intensive training in family systems and has also been trained in over 21 hours of Brief Systemic Therapy from the Mental Research Institute. Recently, he has completed over 40 hours of EMDR training, which helps him in treating clients with traumatic and difficult experiences. While in Texas he treated low-income families and couples who faced a variety of issues, while also working with girls who struggled with serious addictions of all kinds; especially eating disorders. Most recently he treated individuals, families, and groups at a residential treatment center for adolescent girls. This experience has taught him the great need we have to increase the empathy that we show and receive in order to eliminate feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. One of Jeron’s strengths is solution-focused brief therapy where he helps his clients create a new, more positive outlook while achieving their therapeutic goals and increasing hope, compassion, and self-efficacy.Jeron practices a relational approach to his work. A passion of his is to see relationships strengthen and grow as his clients embrace their strengths and resources they may not have known they had. He also specializes in attachment, depression, anxiety, emotional regulation, and avoidance issues. On his own time, he enjoys running long distance races, hiking, camping, movies, and most importantly playing and watching soccer.

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Therapist

For more than 14 years, Rashell Stubbs has worked with adolescents in many different settings. She began her career working as a line staff for the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services in a juvenile detention center. Working in that position made her want to do more to help troubled youth and their families.Rashell chose to pursue her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She graduated in 2008. After graduation, she went on to work at a program that included both a residential treatment center for adolescent boys and an outpatient program for boys and girls in foster care. She was able to counsel youth with depression, anxiety, attachment issues, trauma, defiance, family issues and reunification, autism, and addictions.Rashell also gained experience in group and family therapy. She worked at this program for nine years before coming to Discovery Ranch. Rashell leads the Radically Open DBT (RO DBT) group on campus, as well as the Body Image group.

Patrick Dotson, LCSW

Therapist

Patrick Dotson received his Master’s degree in social work from Utah State University in 2014. Since he obtained his licensure as a Certified Social Worker, Patrick has worked with many different populations in a variety of therapeutic settings—most recently as a Program Therapist at a therapeutic boarding school on the Pacific Island of Samoa. While in Samoa, Patrick fine-tuned his therapeutic experience with adolescents struggling with drug and alcohol dependence, depression, anxiety, unhealthy family communication, and interpersonal skills. Patrick is also trained and certified in EMDR.

Ashley Buckner, LMFT

Therapist

Ashley Buckner grew up in Cedar City, Utah where she fell in love with the mountains, riding horses, and spending time with her family. After high school, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended college at Loyola Marymount University. This was a bit of culture shock initially, but it quickly became an opportunity for growth and a path that would lead Ashley to spend the next 11 years in Southern California.In 2010, Ashley graduated with her degree in Sociology and moved to San Diego to start graduate school. She completed her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2012 at the University of San Diego. During her time in graduate school, Ashley discovered her true passion, working with adolescents. Ashley has been providing therapeutic services to adolescents and their families for the past seven years. She has worked in various treatment settings such as outpatient clinics, police diversion programs, and school-based therapy services.In 2014, Ashley co-created an organization, Mending Matters, with a mission is to give adolescents better access to mental health care by providing services on school campuses. As the Mental Health Programs Director for Mending Matters, Ashley conducted individual, family, and group therapy for students as well as helped grow the program to 10 high school sites in San Diego County.Ashley views herself as a strength-based therapist and believes in a holistic approach to treatment. She has a wide range of experience with the adolescent population and specializes in working with relational trauma, attachment, anxiety, depression, and emotion regulation. Specific areas of expertise include gang affiliation and violence, sexually exploited children, and sexual abuse.Ashley and her husband moved back to Cedar City in February of 2018 to be closer to the family. While they will miss the beautiful weather in San Diego, they are enjoying their adventure in Utah. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, visiting her family’s cabin, and being active.

Bob Brown, LCSW

Therapist

Bob Brown has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for close to 15 years. He a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He has had the opportunity to work in many different environments, including Adolescent Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment, Adult and Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment, contracting with Illinois Department of Corrections, and as a Therapist and Clinical Director at a number of Adolescent Residential Treatment Centers.Bob’s passion is helping young people process through and learn skills to thrive after experiencing complex traumas. He has spoken on local, regional, and state levels to other providers about the implementation of Trauma-Informed and Trauma Responsive programs. Bob believes that the key to recovery for a young person is not to ask, “What’s wrong with this child?” but to ask, “What’s happened to this child?”. He is trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). He leads one of the DBT groups on campus.

Courtnie Perry, LCSW

Therapist

Courtnie began her career working as a line staff at a residential treatment center for adolescent girls in Northern Utah which inspired her to pursue an education in social work. She attended the University of Utah for her undergraduate degree, which led to earning her Master’s degree from the University of Louisville and is now a Clinical Social Worker in the state of Utah. Throughout her education and since her licensure, she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of different populations – including children, adolescents, and adults, leading individual, family, and group therapy. She has worked in many different settings, including outpatient, in-home, residential, and with clients in the foster care system. She has a background of counseling those with anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, family conflict, attachment issues, substance use, autism, and trauma. She is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her experience has led her to take a relational approach to those she works with. She is an advocate for building healthy relationships to encourage understanding, healing, growth, and progress.Courtnie is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is trained in Brainspotting. Her experience has led her to take a relational approach to those she works with. She is an advocate for building healthy relationships to encourage understanding, healing, growth, and progress.Outside of work, Courtnie enjoys sports (especially volleyball), movies, music, reading, fishing, camping, discovering new places, and spending time with her husband and their two daughters.

Heather Ross, CSW

Therapist

Heather Ross received her Master’s degree in Social Work in 2017 from Edinboro University. Throughout her Undergraduate Education at the University of Utah, Heather expanded her expertise through field experience in a variety of roles supporting children, adolescents, adults, and people with disabilities. Before joining Discovery Ranch, Heather worked as a manager, caseworker, social worker, mentor and recovery coach in outpatient, residential, and the foster care system providing a breadth of understanding to the range of challenges facing both the individuals and families seeking support. Her experience includes advocating for those working to overcome addiction, depression, substance misuse, trauma, anxiety, and domestic violence.When Heather isn’t working, she can often be found camping, reading, traveling and discovering new places and spending time with her husband and daughters.

Brandon Chiapuzio, CSW, M.S.

Therapist

Brandon received two Master’s degrees in Social Work and Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire. He has had the opportunity to work on a wide range of settings including, community based mental health, wilderness therapy, and residential treatment. Brandon has also worked with a wide range of adolescent clients including those struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use, attachment issues, emerging personality/behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and early childhood trauma, to name a few. Brandon likes to meet clients on their level and help the client co-create their own therapy experience. Brandon appreciates the value of experience in therapy and loves engaging in activities that promote social/emotional learning and growth. Brandon especially enjoys working with groups and has enjoyed engaging in equine therapy groups at Discovery Ranch. Brandon is also one of Discovery Ranch For Girls DBT therapists.Brandon was born and raised in Southern California where he discovered a love of the outdoors and a passion for working for teens through his experience volunteering as a camp counselor. In his free time, Brandon enjoys rock climbing, surfing, hiking, snowboarding, reading, running, canoeing, camping, and spending time with his loved ones.

Morgan Scherschel, ACMHC

Therapist

Morgan received two Master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and Education from the University of Florida. She specializes in working with children, teens, and their families struggling with trauma, anger, anxiety, body image, developmental disabilities, disrupted attachments, substance abuse, autism spectrum disorder, and truancy in school and community settings. Morgan is versed in a variety of interventions including play-based therapies, trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy, ecotherapy, art therapy, and relational therapies. Along with her clinical work she has experience as a supervisor, gymnastics coach, hall director, crisis intervention trainer, and collegiate competitive pole vaulter.Morgan is an explorer at heart and eagerly traded the beaches of Florida for the mountains of Utah. She enjoys hiking, rock climbing, swimming, team sports, board games, art and cosplaying with loved ones.

Rebecca Powell MSW, CSWI

Therapist

Rebecca Powell received her Master’s degree in social work at Columbia University in New York City with a concentration in clinical family, youth, and children’s services. Rebecca is passionate about social justice and has worked with diverse, multicultural populations, including homeless youth, LGBTQIA+ youth, and adults with various mental health diagnoses. She also speaks Spanish. Prior to working at Discovery Ranch for Girls, Rebecca worked as an equine therapist in New Jersey and as a high school counselor in Harlem. Rebecca hopes to help the girls at DRG to discover their passions, develop confidence, gain effective coping skills, and adapt to life’s challenges. Rebecca collaborates with her clients to set meaningful goals. She believes that clients often engage in maladaptive behaviors in an attempt to cope with adversity. Utilizing techniques from motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Rebecca helps clients to replace destructive habits with more adaptive behaviors that improve their quality of life.Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys rock climbing, traveling, and playing with her dog, Max.

Jesus Martinez

Clinical Coordinator

As Clinical Coordinator, Jesus works closely with the therapists and is the bridge between the Clinical department and all other departments at Discovery Ranch for Girls. His goal is to help the program run as smoothly as it can by being punctual and diligent with communication with other departments.Jesus has had a multitude of occupations but working at Discovery Ranch for Girls has been the most rewarding. When Jesus moved to Cedar City, he began working as a Mentor at Discovery Ranch for Girls. He soon became a Shift Supervisor. His life has been enriched with joy by seeing the progress that the clients make. Seeing them grow as healthy individuals propels him to work even harder with them. Jesus was a Shift Supervisor for over two years before becoming the Clinical Coordinator.Jesus is originally from Las Vegas. He began his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Once he was married and began to start a family, he moved to Cedar City, Utah. Cedar City is his wife’s home town. Jesus transferred to Southern Utah University to complete his bachelor’s degree in psychology.Jesus’s life goal has been to help people find their voice and restore their ability to make a change in their lives. He is compassionate. He has an endless supply of patience when working with the students. Jesus also has a strong work ethic that was instilled in him by his late father. He has a sense of hope that was instilled by his mother.Jesus has a strong desire to return to school and become a therapist as well and continue to grow in the DRG family. When Jesus is not at the ranch, he loves to spend time with his family. He enjoys portrait art, photography, costume design, and prop building. Jesus also enjoys mindfulness Tai-chi meditation.

Brett Talbot, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Quality / Consulting Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Brett Talbot, PhD is a licensed Psychologist and the Senior Director of Research and Quality at the Ascent Programs. Prior, Dr. Talbot was a Chief Clinical Officer and an Executive Clinical Director for residential group practices.Brett is certified in both Project Management and Lean Six Sigma Healthcare Management. Administratively he specializes in program development, performance improvement, quality assurance, and risk management. Clinically he specializes in working with treatment teams struggling with youth who are treatment resistant and/or requiring specialized services (e.g. Stabilization, Testing/Assessment, substance use programming, Neuro/bio-feedback, etc.).Brett’s research has focused on program design for adolescent wilderness and residential treatment programs, emphasizing the effective integration of the family into treatment; and family functioning related to adolescent and young adult health risk behaviors. Brett also has experience in several settings such as Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital adolescent disordered eating, DeBakey VA Hospital, Behavioral Consultants/Methodist Hospital, and several college counseling centers.Brett is a faculty member at Utah Valley University and has a private practice focused on psychological consultation and testing. Brett’s is fun, easy to talk to, and is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, camping, backpacking, fly fishing, and anything that gets him out into nature. Brett is married and has 3 children.

Academic Staff

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director
Monica Venida

Monica Venida

Assistant Academic Director
Jessica Bulloch

Jessica Bulloch

Special Education Coordinator
Jade Barney

Jade Barney

Assistant Special Education Coordinator
Micah Baker

Micah Baker

Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director
Brooke Behling

Brooke Behling

Social Studies Tutor
Kyle Peterson

Kyle Peterson

Social Studies Tutor
Vicki Heaton

Vicki Heaton

Math and Physics Teacher
Angel Pena

Angel Pena

Math Tutor
Sasha Hardman

Sasha Hardman

Math Tutor
Tyler Hugentobler

Tyler Hugentobler

Math Tutor
Cierra Salcido

Cierra Salcido

Math Tutor
Rebekah Yamashita

Rebekah Yamashita

Science and Math Tutor
Rick Haag

Rick Haag

English Teacher
Kasei McGhie

Kasei McGhie

English tutor
Tasha Worth

Tasha Worth

English tutor/Jammerz Team
Hailee Rogers

Hailee Rogers

Science Tutor
Alex Niemala

Alex Niemala

Science Tutor

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director

Elizabeth Grant is thrilled to join the fantastic team at Discovery Ranch for Girls as the new Academic Director. She has been working to improve learning and lives for students with learning differences, giftedness and 2E for more than thirteen years in California and Colorado. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Mild/Moderate Special Education from Brigham Young University and earned a Masters of Education in Prevention Science Practice from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Her particular focus has been on striving to mitigate anxiety in students with learning differences in order to support wellbeing and successful life transitions. Elizabeth is certified in Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Twice Exceptionality in the state of Colorado.Elizabeth loves to visit her four children who live throughout the US and France and she enjoys yoga, singing in choirs, cooking, hiking, art, gardening and exploring locally and going on worldwide adventures.

Monica Venida

Assistant Academic Director

Monica started working at Discovery Ranch for Girls in 2018 as a mentor. She has moved forward to become the Assistant Academic Director.Monica graduated from Southern Utah University (SUU) in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Life and Human Development with minors in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies and an emphasis in Family Services.Monica was involved in various things around SUU’s campus as well as the Cedar City community, including being a part of the Student Programming Board, which planned events for the student body. She also volunteered at the Women’s Crisis Center.When Monica is not at Discovery Ranch for Girls, she enjoys painting, yoga, reading, being outside, and spending time with friends and family.

Jessica Bulloch

Special Education Coordinator

Jessica has worked at Discovery Ranch for Girls for many years. She loves working with students and their families. She loves to swim, to be near the water, to travel, and to have her grandkids over so that she can spoil them.

Jade Barney

Assistant Special Education Coordinator

Jade is the special education aide at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She is currently attending Southern Utah University to earn her degree in Education with a Special Education emphasis.Jade has learned a lot throughout her years at the ranch. She has learned about how to provide aid to students with various emotional disabilities. She loves working with the students at DRG and has enjoyed gaining special education experience. Jade grew up in Cedar City and enjoyed exploring and experiencing the natural beauties found in Southern Utah.

Micah Baker

Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director

Micah Baker is the Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in History Education from Southern Utah University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012. Micah has been with the Ranch from the beginning and loves sharing her passion for learning with her students. She is also the Academic Experiential Director. Some of her favorite activities have been: building and launching model rockets, teaching Braille, discovering the wide world of origami, exploring animation and Skyping with legendary animator Don Bluth, creating Medieval coat of arms, and helping students foster of love of Shakespeare by attending an all-day field trip to Cedar City’s Shakespeare Festival. When she isn’t teaching, Micah can often be found folding paper for her latest origami creation or solving puzzles. She is also quite the connoisseur of movies and enjoys finding lesser-known films to add to her eclectic collection. We are excited to share that Micah won the 2015 NATSAP Service Award! We shared more details about this accomplishment on our blog: Micah Baker 2015 NATSAP Service Award.

Brooke Behling

Social Studies Tutor

Brooke Behling has an Associate degree from Snow College. She is from Fountain Green, Utah. Brooke enjoys being a mom, baking, and cake decorating. She also likes riding horses and being outdoors.

Kyle Peterson

Social Studies Tutor

Kyle is a native of Cedar City native and grew up hiking some of the world’s most beautiful countrysides. He’s an Eagle Scout, a deeply spiritual person, an avid inviter, accepting of all people from all walks of life. For the past four years, he lived near the Canadian border in Minot, North Dakota. Kyle enjoys biking (especially in the snow), CrossFit, playing and teaching the piano, and working as a team of individuals to serve and improve our community. Future goals include pursuing a Ph.D., as well as hiking the Zion Narrows with his kids. He hopes to coach swim and Waterpolo teams and get his tennis and golf game back.

Vicki Heaton

Math and Physics Teacher

Vicki Heaton is the math teacher at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She is married and lives in Cedar City, Utah. She recently retired as a Math and Physics teacher at Cedar City High School. Vicki obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with an Art minor from Southern Utah University. Later, she earned a Master’s of Education with a Science Emphasis also from SUU. This included an endorsement to teach Physics. In addition to loving to read and do artwork, Vicki trained to become a luthier. She currently builds and repairs violins and guitars at her family business Whittlesticks in Cedar City. When time allows, she pulls a few weeds from her garden. She loves the outdoors, especially being in the mountains since she was born and spent her early years in Sun Valley, Idaho. Currently, she is learning how to engrave metal. It should be apparent that Vicki loves learning and hopes to continue doing that her whole life. She wants to share that love of learning with the young women at DRG.

Angel Pena

Math Tutor

Angel grew up in northern Utah then later moved to Cedar City to attend Southern Utah University. He graduated with a degree in Physical Education. While working at Discovery Ranch for Girls, he discovered his passion for teaching. When not at work, he likes to spend time with his wife and son.

Sasha Hardman

Math Tutor

Sasha Hardman is our head tutor at Discovery Ranch for Girls. Sasha is currently attending Western Governors University. She is working toward her Bachelor of Secondary Mathematics Education.Sasha is passionate about teaching and working with children and teens. Sasha is excited to become a high school math teacher and work with teens on overcoming obstacles with school and math.When Sasha is not working or in school, she loves spending time with her three children. Sasha spends a lot of her free time outdoors with her family, camping, fishing, and hunting.

Tyler Hugentobler

Math Tutor

Tyler Hugentobler has been working at the ranch as a math tutor since November 2017. He recently graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. His goal is to continue his education and earn a Master of Accounting degree so that he can become a Certified Public Accountant.Tyler grew up in Moab, Utah, where he learned to love the outdoors. On a typical summer day, you can find him riding his dirt bike, hiking, mountain biking, or hanging out with his wife. He loves watching and playing sports. He is also a huge Oregon Duck fan.

Cierra Salcido

Math Tutor

Cierra is a student at Southern Utah University and is studying Biology and Mechanical Engineering. She has a math minor, and she loves using that knowledge to help others learn math. Cierra is from Arizona, and she loves to camp!

Rebekah Yamashita

Science and Math Tutor

Rebekah Yamashita grew up in Parowan, Utah. Rebekah works as a science and math tutor. She attends Southern Utah University and is working towards her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. Rebekah is motivated to get a career in aerospace engineering after graduation. She enjoys encouraging the girls to pursue STEM and helps them gain a better understanding of STEM subjects.

Rick Haag

English Teacher

Rick Haag moved to southern Utah in 2005. His life has been an adventure. He grew up on a horse ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Rick has been a professional rodeo athlete, a horse trainer, and a certified corrective horseshoer. He studied at Merced College and Southern Utah University with a literature emphasis. Rick has written a novel and is a professional copywriter. His life is centered on spending time with his family and coaching youth soccer. Rick believes that we are all here to bring value to this world and to overcome adversity. Rick loves helping the girls at Discovery Ranch believe in their individual intrinsic worth as they develop academically, athletically, and personally.

Kasei McGhie

English tutor

Kasei currently attends Southern Utah University. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Kasei was raised in Cedar City, Utah. In her free time, Kasei enjoys reading, watching baking shows, or going hammocking.

Tasha Worth

English tutor/Jammerz Team

Tasha Worth is an English tutor/Jammerz Team. She also teaches in the school’s Jammers program and assists in the guitar class. She is working hard toward her Bachelor’s degree in Family Life and Human Development at Southern Utah University. Tasha has a passion for learning, making music, trying new things, and making meaningful connections with people. She spends her free time hiking new trails, playing the piano, hanging out with her family, and playing ultimate frisbee.

Hailee Rogers

Science Tutor

Hailee Rogers is a science tutor for Discovery Ranch for Girls. She graduated with a degree in Biology in 2014. After working for several years in the biomedical field, she decided to start a career in education. She is in the process of getting her teaching certification. She loves to travel and has lived in several states including Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, California, and Utah. Hailee loves spending time with her family and fur babies, playing music, and learning new things. Hailee brings her enthusiasm for science and love of learning to the students at DRG!

Alex Niemala

Science Tutor

Alex Niemela is a science tutor for Discovery Ranch for Girls. He is passionate about education and has a general love for the sciences.Alex is working towards finishing his degree in chemistry. He hopes to pursue a career in pharmacology. Besides work, Alex also enjoys sports, computer technology, and reading everything from novels to research studies.

Medical Staff

Sheral Fish, PA-C, R.N.

Sheral Fish, PA-C, R.N.

Nurse
Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts

APRN
Ryan Williams, MD

Ryan Williams, MD

Psychiatrist

Sheral Fish, PA-C, R.N.

Nurse

Sheral Fish joined Discovery Ranch for Girls in December 2018 as a registered nurse. In this role, she assesses the medical needs of the girls she cares for and works closely with Dr. Williams during his psychiatric visits.Sheral graduated from Great Basin Community College in 1985 as a registered nurse. Ten years later, she graduated from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine program, Medex Northwest, as a physician assistant. She has used both licenses during her medical career and is grateful for the vast medical knowledge and experience she has gained. Her knowledge and expertise have already helped her to treat myriad health issues at Discovery Ranch.For the past 20 years, Sheral has been living in Cedar City and raising her family of six. She also has a beloved Yorkie, Abigail. Her youngest three children compete in cross country and track teams on scholarship at Dixie State University. In her free time, Sheral enjoys drawing with charcoal and watercolor painting. She loves DIY projects and recently laid wood floors in her home by herself.

Jake Roberts

APRN

Jacob “Jake” Roberts has worked in the psychiatric medical field for the last 12 years. While he earned his Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Degree at the University of Utah, he worked at the behavioral health unit in the IHC Hospital in St. George Utah and the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah.He has worked in multiple levels of behavioral health treatment settings including inpatient, outpatient, wilderness and a number of residential programs. He has grown to love treating the adolescent and young adult population and customizes every treatment plan to their situation.His theory on medication management is to use the least amount of medication possible to stabilize the individual. This, in turn, allows the patient to develop appropriate coping skills and do not always have to rely on medication to solve the problem at hand.He is also licensed in the State of Nevada where he serves the underprivileged population in Southern Nevada.While he’s not treating patients, he spends his time outdoors, either hiking, mountain biking, or boating. He especially enjoys spending time with his young grandchildren.

Ryan Williams, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Williams is a highly trained child and adolescent psychiatrist with board certification in the fields of General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. While not currently practicing pediatrics, he is also board certified as a pediatrician and has fellowship training in child abuse and neglect. He has trained with prominent national leaders and approaches psychiatry from a developmental perspective, seeing in his patients not only their current difficulties but also their long-term potential. Dr. Williams has focused his career on treating severe but correctable maladies. He views medication as an important tool in treatment but one that is best used temporarily, while internal regulatory capacities are developed. Personally, Dr. Williams is a true academic, who enjoys learning about the complexities of life in general and the human experience more specifically.

Residential And Management Staff

David McGrew

David McGrew

Maintenance Supervisor
Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan

Residential Coordinator
Albert Beiling

Albert Beiling

Training Coordinator

David McGrew

Maintenance Supervisor

David is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has lived in Utah for the past 15 years with his wife Janet and two daughters. For the past 13 years, David has created all the landscaping on the property along with maintaining it for the previous owners. Discovery Ranch for Girls invited him to stay on and continue keeping the grounds looking like a tranquil resort with the flowing streams and beautifully trimmed green lawns. Being from Louisiana, David is a die-hard LSU fan! From time to time, you may even see an LSU Tiger flag flying above his residence. His favorite past times are golf, playing with his grandchildren, starting new landscaping projects on the ranch and of course Cajun food!

Jennifer Morgan

Residential Coordinator

Jennifer Morgan initially came to work at Discovery Ranch for Girls in 2018 after spending three years as a field staff working for a wilderness therapy program in Southern Utah. Jenn believes firmly that “going to wilderness CAN change your life, but working wilderness WILL change your life!” She will forever be grateful for what working within the outdoor industry has taught her and she couldn’t imagine life without working and supporting adolescents in their journey through life. And that’s how Jenn started her career at DRG. After mentoring for a few months, she quickly transitioned into the Assistant Recreation Director position. She had also been one of DRG’s Yoga Instructors.

Jenn has recently become one of our Residential Coordinators at DRG. She is excited to have her first “9 to 5” ever in her 30 years of life and is looking forward to finding new ways to influence the lives of DRG’s teenagers and their parents.

Prior to settling in Southern Utah, Jenn grew up in Houston, Texas and quickly followed her love of adventure and the outdoors to Colorado Springs when she turned 18. She has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Although she was a nerd in college, Jenn moved to Colorado to be able to snowboard almost any day that she didn’t have classes and loves living close to the mountains here in Cedar.

Nowadays, you can find Jenn and her husband outside working on their house and property. They have hopes of setting up their aquaponic gardening system this next spring and look forward to planting more fruit trees. When she isn’t outside working in the yard, you can find Jenn playing with her two cats and two dogs, or being the world’s best chicken mama to her flock. Jenn also likes mountain biking and of course snowboarding along with hiking and exploring outside while collecting “cool rocks”.

Albert Beiling

Training Coordinator

Albert began working with youth as a youth himself in the Boy Scouts of America. The idea of confidence in overcoming challenges resonated with Albert and he went on to work with youth in many settings including wilderness therapy. Albert grew up in rural Utah where he spent lots of time working on his grandpa’s farm. He has always been independent and likes experiencing new things. He even lived in Albania for two years where he made many friends, fell in love with the culture and learned to speak, read and write Albanian fluently. Of the many hobbies Albert has, he most enjoys weightlifting and primitive skills. Albert and his wife just welcomed their first baby, a beautiful little girl, into the world in August. During his time at Discovery Ranch for Girls Albert has worked as a Mentor and a Supervisor before becoming a Residential Coordinator. Albert loves thinking of new ways to help the staff be the best they can be and is passionate about bringing skill, teamwork, and positivity into the lives of the staff at Discovery Ranch for Girls.

Chef & Culinary Arts Staff

Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell

Executive Chef
Kris Spaugy

Kris Spaugy

Chef Assistant

Jerry Mitchell

Executive Chef

Jerry L. Mitchell was interested in food many years before he started his career in the food business. It all started sixteen years prior to attending culinary school when he married his wife Pam and began cooking as a hobby. In 1985, when he had the opportunity for a career change, he attended Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. Within his first month after completing his training, he became an executive chef at Savories Gourmet and Fine Wines in Corte Madera, California. This was one of the upstart businesses for the concept of gourmet delis, similar to delis like Whole Foods today. From there he managed the catering and restaurants for the members of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, California. After his tenure there, he was hired as executive chef at the Ramp Restaurant in San Francisco where he designed a newly remodeled kitchen and menu resulting in brunch that evolved from 100 covers per weekend day to 500 covers. The restaurant consultant who had recommended him for the Ramp then hired him to help open a new restaurant on California Street, The Curbside Cafe in which he designed a menu which many components are still in use to this day. After his 10 year tenure as executive chef for the Curbside, Jerry started to work with three catering companies in the Bay area, and many other aspects of the food business including cafeteria management and management of large volume soup production at the now popular Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax, California. In all Jerry has almost thirty years of experience serving in various executive chef and food service management positions. He has created many entrees, salads, and deserts during his career. Jerry has worked many catered functions involving top names in the bay area such as Robin Williams, Bon Jovi, George Lucas and Michael Savage to name a few. He constantly researches and looks to new trends in the food business focusing highly on nutrition and health. Jerry is happy to be a part of Discovery Ranch for Girls where he is able to apply his accumulated knowledge in creating great food and a pleasant atmosphere for the girls.

Kris Spaugy

Chef Assistant

Kris is originally from Corona California, moving to Utah in 2009. She loves her new laid-back lifestyle which allows her to spend more time with her children. Kris has 2 grown daughters and 1 high school age son. Her previous background in the grocery wholesale business as a Buyer brings organization and inside knowledge of running the administrative side of the kitchen at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She considers it a real privilege to cook for and serve these girls. They touch her heart each day! Her hobbies include reading, exploring new hiking trails & taking in plenty of Cedar High football games, GO REDMEN!

Equine Team

Cali

Cali

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)
Jazz

Jazz

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)
Cash

Cash

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)
Tex

Tex

Equine Team - (Advanced)
Carmel

Carmel

Equine Team - (medium- advanced)
Martin

Martin

Equine Team - (Grounds-Intermediate-Advanced)
Appy

Appy

Equine Team - (Grounds - Intermediate-Advanced)
Aspen

Aspen

Equine Team - (Grounds - Intermediate-Advanced)
Ginger

Ginger

Equine Team - (Intermediate-Advanced)
Chico

Chico

Equine Team - (The all-around… use for anything)
Pete

Pete

Equine Team - (Grounds-Beginner-Intermediate)
Elvis

Elvis

Equine Team - (Grounds-Beginner-Intermediate)
Fred and Ed

Fred and Ed

Equine Team - (Grounds)
Dora

Dora

Equine Team - (Grounds)
Sir Henry

Sir Henry

Sir Henry - (To Be Determined)

Cali

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)

Cali is a prime example of the saying “Great things come in small packages”. Cali is one of the favorite horses to trail ride and learn to gallop on. She makes up the third part of our grounds group. Cali shows patience and yet requires that her girls come to her using respect, love, and clear communication. Stubborn is another one of Cali’s greatest traits. When a girl tries to push or asks Cali to do what they want, Cali provides them with responses to let the girl know how ineffective their approaches are at that moment.

Jazz

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)

Jazz comes to the ranch with many years of experience working with teenagers. In her youth, she was a champion cutter. Jazz is an essential part of Discovery Ranch for Girls' equine program she is the leader (alpha) of our grounds group. Jazz is truly a therapist at heart. She is understanding, patient, tolerant and a caretaker for any girl who needs support. She takes our girls into her loving arms and when it is all said and done Jazz has made a friend for life. Girls feel they are invincible when they ride Jazz because she has the ability to make them believe in their fullest potential. Jazz will never let your child cheat or cut corners. She always expects them to communicate well, set firm boundaries and give her respect in return. The girls don’t complain much by what Jazz expects because when it is all said and done they know she will reward them with the gift of self.

Cash

Equine Team - (Level, Beginner)

Cash is Jazz’s best friend and teammate in our grounds group. She too has had extensive experience working with teenagers and in her youth was also a champion cutter. Cash is patient, understanding and does a good job taking care of those who are new to riding. She is wonderful when working with girls due to her ability to mirror the emotions which the girls bring into Equine. Cash understands the importance of healthy relationships and will help your child learn about respect, firm boundaries, and clear communication. If your child or others are struggling and bringing anger or frustration to the group, Cash mirrors such. Cash is really good about allowing your child to see just what it is like to be a parent dealing with an out of hand teenager. She will act out and this in part helps us be able to discuss aspects of home life that a lot of students never wish to look at.

Tex

Equine Team - (Advanced)

Tex – Another of our males, came to work here at Discovery Ranch for Girls with his own history of abuse and maltreatment. Not much is known specifically about Tex’s abuse other than it left this beautiful horse, with little to no belief in himself. Tex resembles a lot of the girls who come here to Discovery Ranch for Girls; two individuals who are very capable, yet unable to see their full potential. Tex needs the belief, the trust, and vision of another to live up to his potential. His struggles allow him to help our girls. It is wonderful to see how the two grow together. The miracle doesn’t just happen in an instant. It takes a lot of time, patience, and understanding based on a strong foundation of respect. Tex pays off your daughter’s willingness and determination handsomely with what can only be described as the “perfect ride.”

Carmel

Equine Team - (medium- advanced)

Carmel is a 5 year old female and a true teenager at heart. She loves to have things her way. Carmel could be described as being nosy; she loves being the center of attention and can be quite dramatic. She often invites herself to situations without having been asked. If she could talk, I think she would say she hates boundaries and rules. Carmel argues. She pushes limits and rebels against anyone who tries to use a heavy hand. She resembles so many of our girls and it is interesting to watch as the girls learn about themselves through the struggles they have in working with her.

Martin

Equine Team - (Grounds-Intermediate-Advanced)

Martin was raised at a performance horse facility here in a rural part of Utah. He comes from a long line of working cow and performance horses. The facility he came from is known for their high quality horses. The underlying fact that makes Martin’s background so neat, is he was ridden and trained not only by a professional rodeo cowboy, but as well as young men that are learning their own ropes at their own residential treatment center. Martin came to us by what we see as fate. He had a little of what we would call, a strange gait… which means he probably wouldn’t have made the cut as a performance horse… which then led him to us. He was then donated to Discovery Ranch for Girls, and fit the part almost immediately. His pretty coat and curious personality draws many students to him. Martin is one of our young guns here on the ranch. Don’t let his young age fool you though… he is very well knowledgeable of his work here. He allows the girls to see that too much pressure isn’t always the answer, and not enough, doesn’t suffice, either. He gives them the opportunity to see that soft hands, and a calm presence are much more rewarding than not. Martin’s curiosity really allows movement in our grounds groups… But if not directed in the right way, Martin has a way of showing that if the path is not quite right for him, he isn’t going to take it.

Appy

Equine Team - (Grounds - Intermediate-Advanced)

Appy has been good friends with Martin for a couple of years prior to Discovery Ranch for Girls, as they were pastured together at the same facility. As fate would have it, we got a call a couple months after receiving Martin, in which Appy was in need of a new home. We welcomed him with open arms. He brings some “color” to the ranch. He is an appaloosa, with a very distinct snow capped coat, with soft brown eyes. His looks alone draw students to him. Although a little stand offish at first, Appy has a very soft spot for building relationships. He stands off in the distance, waiting for someone to take the first step in building that relationship with him. He is often overlooked because of his shy nature, but opens up with trust. He offers the students a unique experience once they take that chance on him.

Aspen

Equine Team - (Grounds - Intermediate-Advanced)

Aspen is another one of our young and upcoming horses. Aspen was donated to the ranch as a yearling, and has grown up to be quite the looker, with an incredibly outgoing personality. He is very sweet, and curious. He provides many of the students with an opportunity to set goals... Where he is not ready to be ridden by a lot of the students yet, because he is young and still learning the ropes, many of the students want to make it a goal to ride him once they are both ready. He is such a character, and always has the students laughing. You can count on him to be sticking his head over the fence just waiting for attention. Aspen does require a lot of patience. He has just recently began his journey has a horsemanship horse here at Discovery Ranch for Girls and still lacks all of the fine-tuned training. Students that have begun to ride Aspen really have to remember that he is still just learning. He really has taken to his new found duties, and really clicks well with the students. It’s fun to watch him and the students grow together in this process.

Ginger

Equine Team - (Intermediate-Advanced)

Ginger is a ball of fire, wrapped up in a little body. Don’t let her size fool you though… she has a lot of spunk. Ginger came to the ranch in 2017 and has made her mark here. She was originally with a family that had children who were competing on her in 4H competitions. Many students hear stories about “Ginger”, and judge her before getting to know her. She has the ability of challenging students in a way that only makes sense to those working with her. Ginger searches for trust, and will push students until they finally trust themselves... In return, she puts her full trust in them. She has an incredible knack for helping students overcome fear. Once Ginger and a student find that connection, it’s hard for them to steer away from each other. Although that connection is not easy at first, time and patience with Ginger usually pays off in the end. She offers the students a sense of accomplishment, and a goal of not giving up on a difficult situation.

Chico

Equine Team - (The all-around… use for anything)

If there was one acronym to describe Chico, it would most definitely be the MVP. Chico was actually given to Lee and her children from a family friend, so he doubles as a junior rodeo/ranch horse for her family, and a therapeutic horse for Discovery Ranch. Although he may be in his mid 20’s, Chico doesn’t show his age remotely. Chico has a huge heart and an incredible role here at the ranch. He makes the students feel welcomed, and he also makes sure that the students don’t let him go unnoticed, either. If he does not get his introduction fast enough, he will make sure he does it himself. He is a horse that we can whole-heartedly trust to do the work that he’s needed to do, whether it be cheer up a student that is sad and lonely, or finish an obstacle course at any speed. Words cannot even begin to describe the relationship students are able to build with Chico. He provides us with so many opportunities to ask the right questions. We are lucky to share Chico with Lee and her family.

Pete

Equine Team - (Grounds-Beginner-Intermediate)

Pete is a true definition of older gentleman. He has an old soul, and a spritely spirit. Pete is fairly new to the ranch, but he doesn’t show it. His first day, he took to it all like a seasoned vet. Pete came from a family who used him in many 4H competitions, took him moving cows, and used him as a caring babysitter for the younger kids. He carries the title of “protector” very well. In one of his fairly new groups, Pete actually picked up on the fact that one of the other horses was being a little too rambunctious for the group that day. In noticing that, Pete took his role as the protector very serious. He created a barricade between the students and other horse. He wouldn’t let that horse near them, as he could tell that the other horse was making the students a little anxious. He is kind and considerate, and has really found his role here at Discovery Ranch for Girls. As many of the other horses, Pete had a comeback story. A few years ago, his previous owners were told that he had a career ending injury. He was then laid off for a while to see if he would recover. When brought back, Pete acted as if nothing had happened, and was ready to go again. We’re glad to have found Pete, and we hope that his story of never giving up, and finding his role at Discovery Ranch for Girls provides hope for any student that interacts with him.

Elvis

Equine Team - (Grounds-Beginner-Intermediate)

Elvis represents his name well. He is talented, a fan favorite, stunning, and reliable. During his time before the ranch, he was very involved in rodeo competitions. Elvis became sore after some time, and was taken in to see a veterinarian. They decided to do a surgery on his joints to help fix some of the damage. The surgery performed didn’t go as planned, and Elvis was forced to retire from competition. Instead of giving up on him and his life, the owners decided that with his sweet personality, and huge heart, they would donate him to Discovery Ranch for Girls. He wants to please everyone, but is not afraid to hold his ground when he doesn’t feel things are right. Elvis is very patient and kind, and shows the students what it’s like to persevere even through the hardest of times. His story gives hope to many students who struggle with feeling they are not enough anymore. The biggest moral that Elvis gives us, is that when one door closes, another one opens.

Fred and Ed

Equine Team - (Grounds)

Fred and Ed bring variety and fun to Discovery Ranch for Girls. These two little miniature donkeys provide such a unique dynamic to our grounds group. In 2017, we picked these little guys up here in Southern Utah to kind of use as a “test run”. We had only ever had horses, and weren’t quite sure what mini donkeys would bring to the table. They have now exceeded our expectations, and more. At first, Fred and Ed had no trust in humans. They were scared, easily frightened, and would never separate from one another. It was easy for them to take the “flight” mode in hopes that no interaction would happen between them and anyone else. Over time, the donkeys have evolved from being terrified little creatures, to incredibly accepting animals. With a lot of use, human interaction, love, and of course, treats, the donkeys have formed an incredible trust in students. Although… that trust is not incredibly easy to gain. They are very receptive to clear and precise communication and guidelines. If that clear communication is not there, Fred and Ed have a very good way of showing that they do not understand. They provide so much movement in the grounds group when asked correctly. Fred and Ed now have established enough rapport with everyone, that they feel comfortable enough to be guided and directed individually. It took some time for them to be comfortable without one another, but because of the gentle acts and kindness that the girls have showed them, they truly know they are safe here at Discovery Ranch for Girls.

Dora

Equine Team - (Grounds)

Dora makes up the third tier of our miniature triangle. She is a miniature pony, who came to Discovery Ranch for Girls with a bad haircut (Hence the name Dora, from Dora the Explorer) and no trust in anyone. Before Dora was donated, she led a life of abandonment. Some mutual friends found her wandering on their desert land permit where they run cattle. It had appeared that she was dropped off, and left to fend for herself. The owners of the land were able to bring her back to town, but had no luck in finding the previous owners. By word of mouth, it was rumored that the owners did not want her, and didn’t know what else to do with her. She was then taken in by a family, but as you can imagine, she was fearful and untamed in a sense. The family then reached out to Discovery Ranch for Girls. To this day, Dora is still very, very, timid… but that doesn’t stop her from reaching out and looking for relationships. Dora is becoming very accepting of people, although she shies away at first. She is learning that the students are here to love and take care of her, instead of use and abuse her. She has come a long way since the first day at Discovery Ranch for Girls. You can now see her walking up to the fence out of curiosity, waiting for someone to pet her or give her a treat. Her trust with humans is still being repaired, but it goes to show that the process isn’t always fast or easy. Dora really represents something much bigger than just being a cute little horse… she represents the fact that big things do come in small packages, and although the process may be slow, it is well worth it.

Sir Henry

Sir Henry - (To Be Determined)

Sir Henry is a huge addition to Discovery Ranch for Girls. And when we say huge, we aren’t kidding. Sir Henry is an English Shire… one of the biggest breeds of horses. Sir Henry was donated to us by a local family who owns and raises English Shire Horses. The Diamond Z English Shire Hitch travels all over the United States to perform in shows, rodeos, and parades. Sir Henry sustained an injury to his shoulder that would hinder him from being able to be a part of the hitch, so we were lucky enough to take him in. He is truly the definition of a gentle giant. Although his back stands above the highest fence rail, he doesn’t let his size get in his way. Sir Henry adds a unique feel to the horses of Discovery Ranch for Girls, because he is the only one of his kind and stature on the ranch. For the students here, it is neat for them to look at Sir Henry and know that it is okay to stand out, and to be different. Sir Henry actually shares a pasture with our miniature horse Dora, and the miniature donkeys, Fred & Ed. You can just imagine that picture. Having them all together, with all of their different sizes, personalities, and species, really creates an accepting atmosphere. We have plenty of ideas for the big guy here at Discovery Ranch for Girls, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
TOP