Your Staff

Executive Team

Andrea Burgess

Andrea Burgess

Executive Director
Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Associate Executive Director, Clinical Director
Sarah Yardley

Sarah Yardley

Admissions Director
Tati Payne

Tati Payne

Admissions Coordinator
Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Associate Clinical Director
Chase Morgan

Chase Morgan

Residential Director
Janet McGrew

Janet McGrew

HR Director
Lee Bingham

Lee Bingham

Equine Director
Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director
David Mosse

David Mosse

Recreation Director
Emma Folwell

Emma Folwell

Performing Arts Director
Bre Englebrecht

Bre Englebrecht

Director of Utilization Review

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.

Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Associate Executive Director, Clinical Director

Originally from Southern California, Jennifer came to Utah to attend both undergraduate and graduate school. She comes to Discovery Ranch for Girls, after being an integral part of Moonridge Academy and RedCliff Ascent Wilderness Therapy where she served as Clinical Director in both programs. Prior to joining her previous teams, she spent 19 years in academia working in student development and counseling. While her experience has been diverse, Jennifer found her passion working with teens in 2008. She finds joy in helping young people gain confidence in the understanding and expression of personal emotion. She enjoys helping teens navigate the difficult journey of self-discovery. Along that road she finds opportunities to help with the following:
  • Learning to integrate traumatic experiences into life, as well as letting go of the pain associated with these experiences (trauma recovery).
  • Learning to achieve a positive self-identity as a LGBTQ+ teen.
  • Gaining a positive body image and learning to have a healthy relationship with food.
  • Learning to navigate relationships with a definite sense of self and appropriate boundaries.
Jennifer not only loves working with youth but believes that strong family work is an integral part of the change process. She is trained in EMDR and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Jennifer likes to utilize experiential approaches in therapy including imrpov, sociometry, sandtray therapy and psychodrama.Jennifer loves to help educate young people and their parents on how the nervous system impacts their responses to stressful situations and then help them gain tools to feel more in control.Jennifer loves laughing, traveling, trying new and exciting foods and exploring the outdoors. Her newest adventure is navigating the waters of being an empty nester.

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.

Tati Payne

Admissions Coordinator

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Associate Clinical Director

Rashell has been with Discovery Ranch For Girls since 2017 and became Assistant Clinical Director in 2021. Prior to joining the Discovery Ranch For Girls Team Rashell has worked with Adolescents since 2005 as a residential staff and therapist. Rashell graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2008. She has worked primarily with adolescents during her career. She has experience working with youth who experience depression, anxiety, attachment challenges, trauma, and those with Autism. Rashell has completed the Level 1 Intensive Training for Radically Open DBT, and Phase 1 of Brainspotting. Rashell currently leads the RO DBT group and a Horsemanship Group. Rashell loves working at Discovery Ranch For Girls. She loves to see the healing of the students and families. She is grateful and appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this process in the lives of students. Rashell’s background includes riding horses and raising livestock. Naturally one of her favorite things about Discovery Ranch For Girls is the calf and equine program. Rashell is married, has three daughters and a dog, Posh, who comes to work with her each day. Outside of life at Discovery Ranch For Girls you will find Rashell spending time with her family at their cabin, on the lake, golfing or hiking in the many places that Southern Utah has to offer.

Chase Morgan

Residential Director

Chase was very fortunate to start in this field as a struggling 17-year-old kid looking for a mentor and something to be passionate about. Wilderness therapy was Chase’s first stop and was truly a transcendental experience for him. Chase has an enormous love for this line of work and the ability that it has in creating change in everyone involved. Chase's biggest belief is the power a mentor, strong, healthy relationships, and accountability can have on anyone, especially youth. Taking a very relational approach to his work, Chase has always been very relatable to the students he works with. Being able to understand and relate to a vast variety of the same struggles as a lot of the students he works with has been able to help him continue to grow, learn, and teach. Chase believes that with great rapport and trust, he can use his experience to continue to coach and train new staff, and has the ability to find those staff with the passion for this industry, and help them grow. His love and passion can be felt the moment you talk with Chase about this line of work and he passes that on to others he works with. In his spare time you will find Chase cheering for the Eagles, Yankees, and Mavericks, hanging out with his brother, learning more about Eastern Psychology, and continuing to grow and learn.

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

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.

Emma Folwell

Performing Arts Director

Bre Englebrecht

Director of Utilization Review

Bre has worked in Behavioral Health for over 15 years. She has an extensive Utilization Review background working with some of the leading mental health organizations nationwide such as Newport Academy and Embark BH. Bre has served in various leadership capacities over the years and took part in building multiple short- and long-term programs as well as assisted with Joint Commission accreditations, audits, etc. She finds great joy serving others and has a growth mindset. She is passionate about advocating for insurance coverage and being a voice for clients and families alike. She is an active member in her community and enjoys volunteering with her children when able. Bre and her partner have three children and spend most of their time outdoors, hiking, fishing, off-roading and camping. Her greatest joy is when they are spending time together.

Clinical Staff

Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Associate Executive Director, Clinical Director
Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Associate Clinical Director
Michaela Gregory

Michaela Gregory

Clinical Coordinator
Amanda Mosse, LCSW

Amanda Mosse, LCSW

Therapist
Jeron Parry, LMFT

Jeron Parry, LMFT

Therapist
Patrick Dotson, LCSW

Patrick Dotson, LCSW

Therapist
Bob Brown, LCSW

Bob Brown, LCSW

Therapist
Heather Ross, CSW

Heather Ross, CSW

Therapist
Morgan Scherschel, CMHC

Morgan Scherschel, CMHC

Therapist
Mackenzie Benson

Mackenzie Benson

Therapist
Brittany Harward, LCSW, CSAT

Brittany Harward, LCSW, CSAT

Therapist
Rebecca Thiegs

Rebecca Thiegs

Therapist
Brett Talbot, Ph.D.

Brett Talbot, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Quality / Consulting Licensed Psychologist

Jennifer Hedrick, MS, LCMHC

Associate Executive Director, Clinical Director

Originally from Southern California, Jennifer came to Utah to attend both undergraduate and graduate school. She comes to Discovery Ranch for Girls, after being an integral part of Moonridge Academy and RedCliff Ascent Wilderness Therapy where she served as Clinical Director in both programs. Prior to joining her previous teams, she spent 19 years in academia working in student development and counseling. While her experience has been diverse, Jennifer found her passion working with teens in 2008. She finds joy in helping young people gain confidence in the understanding and expression of personal emotion. She enjoys helping teens navigate the difficult journey of self-discovery. Along that road she finds opportunities to help with the following:
  • Learning to integrate traumatic experiences into life, as well as letting go of the pain associated with these experiences (trauma recovery).
  • Learning to achieve a positive self-identity as a LGBTQ+ teen.
  • Gaining a positive body image and learning to have a healthy relationship with food.
  • Learning to navigate relationships with a definite sense of self and appropriate boundaries.
Jennifer not only loves working with youth but believes that strong family work is an integral part of the change process. She is trained in EMDR and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Jennifer likes to utilize experiential approaches in therapy including imrpov, sociometry, sandtray therapy and psychodrama.Jennifer loves to help educate young people and their parents on how the nervous system impacts their responses to stressful situations and then help them gain tools to feel more in control.Jennifer loves laughing, traveling, trying new and exciting foods and exploring the outdoors. Her newest adventure is navigating the waters of being an empty nester.

Rashell Stubbs, LCMHC

Associate Clinical Director

Rashell has been with Discovery Ranch For Girls since 2017 and became Assistant Clinical Director in 2021. Prior to joining the Discovery Ranch For Girls Team Rashell has worked with Adolescents since 2005 as a residential staff and therapist. Rashell graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2008. She has worked primarily with adolescents during her career. She has experience working with youth who experience depression, anxiety, attachment challenges, trauma, and those with Autism. Rashell has completed the Level 1 Intensive Training for Radically Open DBT, and Phase 1 of Brainspotting. Rashell currently leads the RO DBT group and a Horsemanship Group. Rashell loves working at Discovery Ranch For Girls. She loves to see the healing of the students and families. She is grateful and appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this process in the lives of students. Rashell’s background includes riding horses and raising livestock. Naturally one of her favorite things about Discovery Ranch For Girls is the calf and equine program. Rashell is married, has three daughters and a dog, Posh, who comes to work with her each day. Outside of life at Discovery Ranch For Girls you will find Rashell spending time with her family at their cabin, on the lake, golfing or hiking in the many places that Southern Utah has to offer.

Michaela Gregory

Clinical Coordinator

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.

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.

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.

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, daughter, and son.

Morgan Scherschel, CMHC

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.

Mackenzie Benson

Therapist

Mackenzie Benson received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University in 2020 with an emphasis in medical family therapy. She has recently been working in integrated care clinical settings serving the rural populations of North Carolina. She specializes in serving individuals and families who have experienced medical trauma. Prior to becoming a therapist, Mackenzie obtained her bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Brigham Young University, during which time she worked with young adults with mental and physical disabilities, serving them and their families as an activities and education coordinator for North Eastern Services. Mackenzie finds special satisfaction in helping young women to find their voice and creating hope for their future. Practicing primarily from a socio-culturally attuned narrative family therapy perspective, she believes that when young women are given the opportunity to become authors of their own life story, they experience a level of empowerment that allows them to face life’s challenges with hope and capability. Underlying all of her therapeutic practice is the assumption that health is derived from four main areas—biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Healing must, therefore, occur in all of these areas to promote genuine change. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mackenzie has a great appreciation and love for the outdoors and is excited to be here in Southern Utah experiencing all that the area has to offer with her husband, her golden retriever, and her new baby boy.

Brittany Harward, LCSW, CSAT

Therapist

Brittany has been a valuable therapist to our clinical team, with her ability to connect easily with our families, patient personality and her attention to fine detail. She attended Southern Utah University for her bachelor in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Family Services and attained her Masters of Social Work at the University of Utah, College of Social Work. She has worked at Wasatch School district managing at-risk youth cases and helping them to be successful in school, home and social spaces. She has also worked at Utah Valley Regional hospital working on the Neuro, Shock, and Trauma ICU which allowed her to become very proficient at handling crises, and working under pressure to help patients that arrived on the floor. Her real love came when she worked at another Residential Treatment Center with students on the spectrum, who she has a natural ability and skill set to work with. Her patience and ability to help her students feel comfortable and laugh allow her to work very well with our students and families at Oxbow Academy.Brittany grew up in North Sanpete. She enjoys spending time reading, learning to do new things, hiking, spending time with her husband and family. We are excited to have her as part of our Clinical Team! Education
  • Masters of Social Work, University of Utah
  • Bachelors of Science, Southern Utah University, Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Family Services
  • Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT)
Interest 
  • Reading
  • Learning to do new things
  • Hiking
  • Spending time with her family

Rebecca Thiegs

Therapist

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
Vicki Heaton

Vicki Heaton

Math and Physics Teacher
Hailee Rogers

Hailee Rogers

Science Teacher
Justin Keyes

Justin Keyes

Special Education Teacher
Alejandro Ruiz, M.Ed

Alejandro Ruiz, M.Ed

School Counselor

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.

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.

Hailee Rogers

Science Teacher

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!

Justin Keyes

Special Education Teacher

Justin grew up in Wyoming where he spent most of his time outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking. If he wasn't doing those, he was busy traveling the state playing baseball. Justin attended Southern Utah University where he earned a degree in Special Education and Secondary Physical Education. Justin later attended the University of Utah to get his license in Severe Special Education. Justin has been teaching for 14 years. He loves working with kids and spending time with his own kids.

Alejandro Ruiz, M.Ed

School Counselor

Alejandro grew up in Boston, MA, and graduated from the University of Vermont where he ran cross-country and track. He moved to Utah in 2015 to work at a wilderness therapy program where he mentored adolescents and young adults through backpacking and therapeutic groups. Alejandro is proud to have received his Master’s degree in Educational Psychology in 2021 from the University of Utah. He worked as a school counselor in St. George this past year. At DRG Alejandro hopes to integrate his skills learned working wilderness and in his Master’s program to help the students achieve academically from a trauma-informed perspective. On the weekends you may find Alejandro backcountry skiing, mountain biking, or climbing. He and his wife have two dogs and are currently working on remodeling their home.

Medical Staff

Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts

APRN
Ryan Williams, MD

Ryan Williams, MD

Psychiatrist
Ashley Sanders

Ashley Sanders

Medical Coordinator
Amanda Twichell, RN

Amanda Twichell, RN

Lead Nurse
Celeste Sorensen, RN

Celeste Sorensen, RN

Nurse
Hannah Steele, RN

Hannah Steele, RN

Nurse

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.

Ashley Sanders

Medical Coordinator

Amanda Twichell, RN

Lead Nurse

Celeste Sorensen, RN

Nurse

Hannah Steele, RN

Nurse

Residential And Management Staff

Chase Morgan

Chase Morgan

Residential Director
Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan

Residential Coordinator
David McGrew

David McGrew

Maintenance Supervisor
Susan Simpkins

Susan Simpkins

Staffing Coordinator

Chase Morgan

Residential Director

Chase was very fortunate to start in this field as a struggling 17-year-old kid looking for a mentor and something to be passionate about. Wilderness therapy was Chase’s first stop and was truly a transcendental experience for him. Chase has an enormous love for this line of work and the ability that it has in creating change in everyone involved. Chase's biggest belief is the power a mentor, strong, healthy relationships, and accountability can have on anyone, especially youth. Taking a very relational approach to his work, Chase has always been very relatable to the students he works with. Being able to understand and relate to a vast variety of the same struggles as a lot of the students he works with has been able to help him continue to grow, learn, and teach. Chase believes that with great rapport and trust, he can use his experience to continue to coach and train new staff, and has the ability to find those staff with the passion for this industry, and help them grow. His love and passion can be felt the moment you talk with Chase about this line of work and he passes that on to others he works with. In his spare time you will find Chase cheering for the Eagles, Yankees, and Mavericks, hanging out with his brother, learning more about Eastern Psychology, and continuing to grow and learn.

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”.

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!

Susan Simpkins

Staffing Coordinator

Chef & Culinary Arts Staff

Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell

Executive Chef
Sam Slade

Sam Slade

Kitchen Coordinator

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.

Sam Slade

Kitchen Coordinator

Equine Team

Cali

Cali

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)
Chico

Chico

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

Fred and Ed

Equine Team - (Grounds)
Sir Henry

Sir Henry

Sir Henry
Pendeton

Pendeton

Equine Team
Norman

Norman

Equine Team
Maple

Maple

Equine Team
Lewie

Lewie

Equine Team
Jeff

Jeff

Equine Team
Jasper

Jasper

Equine Team
Benny

Benny

Equine Team

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sir Henry

Sir Henry

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.

Pendeton

Equine Team

Norman

Equine Team

Maple

Equine Team

Lewie

Equine Team

Jeff

Equine Team

Jasper

Equine Team

Benny

Equine Team