Asheville Academy’s highly experienced staff has been helping girls in Troubled Youth Boarding School settings for years with positive results. Our accredited and professionally trained staff has helped troubled girls change their lives and improved the quality of the family as a whole. Let our Therapeutic Boarding School help your family find a solution to your behavioral problems.
Bryan has been managing girls’ therapeutic middle schools for over 7 years. He began as a classroom teacher at New Leaf Academy (NC) in 2004, quickly became lead teacher, and was academic director before his second full year. He is now utilizing his unique experience designing and implementing therapeutic programs to help create Asheville Academy for Girls, in beautiful, rural Weaverville (15 miles north of Asheville). His primary focus, other than his job, is his family. With his wife and six year-old son, he explores all that Western North Carolina has to offer; hiking, arts and crafts, music, and sports.
With more than fifteen years in the industry, Kathryn has extensive experience working with struggling adolescents and pre-adolescents in residential and wilderness settings. Kathryn’s background includes helping to develop, and providing admissions support, for the first wilderness program in the country specifically for 10 to 13-year-olds, and serving as a founding member and Admissions Director for a personal development boarding school for girls ages 10 to 14. With her long history of serving this population, as well as having two young daughters of her own, Kathryn recognizes the necessity and value in providing families and their loved ones with a safe, nurturing and fun environment that recognizes and addresses the unique developmental needs of our specific age group. She considers it a privilege and a treat to be part of a caring organization dedicated to helping young girls and their families improve relationships and achieve healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys reading, movies, yoga, jumping rope and losing at Wii to her two daughters, Ellie (age 10) and Frances (age 9).
Rebecca “Becca” Jefferies has been working in residential life at all girls’ therapeutic boarding school for more than 7 years. Becca’s many years of experience with this demographic gives her unique insight into the needs of the Academy’s population. As Program Director, Becca is responsible for the management and training of Asheville Academy’s residential staff. Becca has lived in Asheville, NC for 12 years and has lived her entire life in the mountains of North Carolina. Her comfort and stability brings a strong essence of home to the girls at the school. In her own time, she enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, time with her dog “Tucker,” reading and music.
Steve started working with youth in his early teens and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. In the early 1980′s, he went to work for the Boy Scouts of America holding various positions including Program Director, Camp Director and District Executive. It was because of his passion and devotion of working with youth in scouts that he started Adventure Wilderness Programs in North Carolina, a summer camp and year round education center working with boys and girls ages 7-18. Steve is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and General Contractor in North Carolina and has served on various non-profit boards, including a recent stint as President of the Buncombe County Schools Foundation. As a father, raising his daughter Taylor, he is very familiar with the needs of young girls and their families.
Mary has experience working with special needs youth, adolescents, and their families as an instructor, and therapist in equine assisted therapeutic programming. In 2006, Mary transitioned to a therapeutic wilderness setting as a therapist working adolescent girls and their families. Mary uses strengths based and relational approaches to build rapport, trust, and safety in the therapeutic process while facilitating a shift away from self-defeating behavioral patterns and a shift toward personal agency. Mary introduces Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills training to help students better manage and regulate emotions, negative thought patterns, impulse control, and distress tolerance.
Robert (Rob) Jacoby has years of experience in a wide variety of therapeutic settings. He has worked in private practice, in residential school/home settings, and been responsible for facilitating therapeutic groups in the areas of Dual Diagnosis, CBT, interpersonal process, mindfulness, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Rob has assisted in the creation and implementation of Positive Peer Culture behavior modification programs in residential and day treatment programs. Rob enjoys spending time with his three year old daughter, horses, writing and the outdoors.
Shelley enjoys and has experience in treating parents and children during the two most challenging junctures in the development of their relationship: infancy/toddler and adolescence. Early on in her career, Shelley worked with new mothers struggling with Post Partum Depression and adjustment issues to increase overall parenting satisfaction and connection in the early phases of parenting. Her focus shifted after running a mother-daughter early-adolescent group which led her to work with middle school aged children in wilderness and school settings. Shelley uses a person-centered approach that is founded CBT and mindfulness and is passionate about supporting both parents and children in finding success in their relationships and their lives. Shelley’s inspiration is parenting her two boys and understands the struggles, rewards and opportunities for growth that parenting offers. Shelley has her B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University and her M.S. in Community Counseling from Western Carolina University.
Michael DeHart is a Board Certified Music Therapist. After receiving his education at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania he moved to Asheville to complete his internship with a local hospice. Currently Michael works with Asheville Academy for Girls and is running a private practice. He is a member of the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina. Additionally, Michael enjoys performing with both Cantaria and the Asheville Choral Society.
Dr. Kiratzis is a partner at Biltmore Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology, of Asheville, North Carolina, where he has been providing services to children, adolescents and their families for over a decade. In addition to private practice, Dr. Kiratzis is a consultant to boarding schools and medical director of the Regional Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. Dr. Kiratzis is an active member of the North Carolina Medical Society and North Carolina Psychiatric Association.
Cheryl has just returned to the United States after living in England for the past 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and certification to teach from New Jersey. She gained further teaching qualifications while in England. It was during her time abroad that she founded and was the director of the Drama Studio Workshop, an after-school program that used a mixture of acting skills, puppets, masks, radio drama and improvisation to expose children to a variety of ways that they could have fun while expressing themselves in a creative environment. Both she and her husband are thrilled to now be living in Asheville.
A lifelong Western North Carolina native, Dan Coleman received his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2009 with University Honors and Departmental Distinction. Dan is a licensed math instructor, and a North Carolina Teaching Fellow that has spent his professional career working with adolescents in therapeutic education environments. Dan enjoys cooking, music, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying the great outdoors. As an educator that is passionate about promoting diversity in the mathematical community, Dan came to Asheville Academy with a vision for developing a classroom environment that encourages young women to become more engaged in science and mathematics.
Abigail Wyatt received her BA in Elementary Education from Clemson University and promptly moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina to begin her teaching career. She has taught in a variety of settings, including traditional and non-traditional schools in the area. Through these experiences, she realized her love for helping students realize their true potentials and aiding them in the process of learning how to be successful in a classroom environment. She enjoys all of the outdoor adventures offered in this area and is currently renovating a farmhouse with her husband and their dog, Oscar.
Chef Casey spent 4 years in the United States Coast Guard developing her food preparation and kitchen management skills. She graduated from Tracen Culinary School with a degree in Food Service in 2006. Casey also received a certificate in Nutrition and Wellness while working under Chef Patricia Harte. She was awarded the Good Conduct Medal 2007, Sailor of the Quarter Award 2008, and the Sea Service Ribbon 2008 by the USCG. She has experience in residential school kitchen management as well as years working as an artisanal baker. Casey enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and new puppy!
As a registered nurse in the State of North Carolina, Chase has worked at a summer camp for boys and in the long term care setting. Prior to receiving a nursing degree, she worked for three summers as a camp counselor at the oldest all-girl’s summer camp in the Southeast. She graduated from the University of Florida and moved to North Carolina to enjoy the mild weather and beautiful scenery. Chase utilizes her knowledge and experience in child development to provide the best possible care for the students. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, playing board games, and running.
Barbara has worked with adolescent girls in therapeutic settings for over 6 years. Barbara is married with one son and daughter-in-law and one grandson. She loves working with horses and is looking forward to helping with Asheville Academy’s horse program.
Darlene has been working with young people, predominantly young women, in a troubled youth boarding school setting for over 6 years. She is a native of Western North Carolina. She loves being in the mountains! Darlene has two children, a son and daughter, and three grandchildren. She enjoys spending time watching her granddaughter play soccer, reading, and needlework.
After graduating from Central Michigan University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in Parks and Recreation, Melissa spent two years working as a wilderness instructor for at-risk teens in the Adirondacks. She moved in North Carolina in 2008, where she spent over two years as a Residential Coach at New Leaf Academy a troubled youth boarding school, a therapeutic boarding school for at-risk, teenage girls. She then spent one year as a teacher’s assistant at Talisman Academy, a residential boarding school for youth with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is currently in the process of obtaining her teaching license in special education. She enjoys cooking, making crafts, and hiking with her fiancé, daughter, and two dogs.
Teresa is a native of Western North Carolina where she has raised her two sons and now has a young grandson. She has worked previously in an all-girls boarding school. She likes spending time with her family and many pets as well as crocheting and scrapbooking. But her absolute favorite past time is going to NASCAR races. Go Dale Jr.!!!
Meagan was born and raised in Miami, Florida.She spent a few summers at a wonderful camp in Western North Carolina, and fell in love with this area.She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree.She is a licensed teacher in Florida and North Carolina. She hold 3 certifications; General Education, Special Education, and Art Education. She has over 8 years of teaching experience. She currently work as a private tutor and as a Residential Counselor at Asheville Academy for Girls. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their 2 dogs and 3 cats. They like to travel to visit family and friends and they like to visit new places
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls based in Asheville, North Carolina. Built on a strong foundation to help troubled youth and troubled girls, we have become one of the best girls academy programs in the US. Families come from all over the country, including Raleigh, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Miami, Florida, the D.C. area, Maryland, New York, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and New Jersey.