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Our Wolf Creek Academy Family

At Wolf Creek Academy boarding school for troubled teens, we believe in the power of family. We have families. We work with families. We hire families. We are a family! Serving the students and families of Wolf Creek Academy binds us together giving us not
just a shared interest, but a shared purpose! We come together to forge healthy relationships
for successful family restoration.

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Jeremey Jones: Chief Executive Officer/Program Director

The fearless leader of Wolf Creek Academy has a sense of adventure and tenacity that led him to get off the porch and into action. He loves camping as it allows him to unplug and rejuvenate. He is all about relationships and family. Jeremey and Angela have five sons, (affectionately known as the Tribe of Five), so one would think that he has “enough” family, but the truth is, their family has grown to include many students, families, and coworkers over the years. Building lifelong relationships is easy for Jeremey, “all you have to do is be present on a regular basis, and love people without judgment.” He was taught not to judge people from their exterior by his parents, and the lesson has been continually reinforced by the students he has worked with over the years. Jeremey knows that the students can all do amazing things when we believe in them. “They truly want to be amazing, they simply need someone to see their potential and believe in them!” Jeremey loves watching his boys play sports and is quick to get off the porch and into any game his boys, the students, or the rest of the “family” are playing at the time!

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Angela Jones: Vice President

Angela Jones is more than the Vice President of Wolf Creek Academy, she is Jeremey’s right (and sometimes left) hand! She helps to transform his passion into a plan. Together they see it through. These “best friends” have worked in church-based youth ministry, as house parents for at-risk youth, built successful businesses, and raised 5 awesome young men. Angela knows that no student, family, or situation is the same as the next, so it is important to adjust the way we approach each individual and address each situation. When this is done well the lasting impact on the behavior, outlook, and attitude of both the student and their family is truly remarkable! Although success will look different for each student or family, all are capable of attaining success. Angela enjoys camping, snowboarding, and spending quality time with family and friends. Her genuine love for others and desire to see them become the best version of themselves fuels the work she does at Wolf Creek.

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Jesse Veres: Chief Financial Officer
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John Shelley: Director of Therapy, LCMHC, NCC

John Shelley is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor who brings a wealth of expertise to his role at Wolf Creek Academy. With a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and ongoing training in Traumatic Stress Studies through the Trauma Research Foundation’s Certificate Program, he is committed to providing comprehensive care to adolescents in need. In addition to his professional qualifications, John finds solace in life’s simple pleasures, indulging in thoughtful chess games over a cup of dark coffee on cool mornings. His favorite indulgences include chocolate, pecan pie, and the serenity of a hammock, all accompanied by the soothing melodies of U2 and Mumford & Sons. John draws inspiration from creativity and art, recognizing their profound impact on healing and self-expression. At Wolf Creek Academy, John is deeply touched by the beauty of the setting and the compassionate care provided by the staff. He takes pride in knowing that every teen who walks through the doors is met with personalized therapy and unwavering support. John cherishes the workplace culture at Wolf Creek Academy, where serving those in need is valued above all else. With his dedication and compassion, he continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of adolescents seeking guidance and healing.

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Amanda Snipes: Therapist, LCMHC, NCC

Amanda, a beacon of warmth and expertise at Wolf Creek Academy, possesses a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, solidifying her credentials as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor. Armed with Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and a Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society membership, she is well-equipped to provide compassionate care to those in need. Amanda’s dedication to her work shines through in every interaction, as she effortlessly brings comfort and reassurance to those she serves. At Wolf Creek Academy, she finds fulfillment in conducting Family Therapy sessions, guiding families through the intricate process of healing and reconnection. Through her experiences at Wolf Creek, Amanda has gained a profound appreciation for the formative nature of the teenage years, recognizing them as a crucial stage in human development. Outside of her professional endeavors, Amanda finds joy in the company of her two sons, relishing in moments spent swimming together and delighting in the sound of their laughter. As an integral Wolf Creek Academy family member, Amanda’s presence enriches staff and residents’ lives. Her unwavering dedication and genuine compassion make her a cherished asset to the community, embodying the spirit of empathy and support that defines the institution.

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Elizabeth Ness: Therapist, LCSW-A

Elizabeth brings a dynamic blend of warmth and expertise to her role as an Associate Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Wolf Creek Academy. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Western Carolina University and a dedication to ongoing learning, she is committed to providing compassionate support to those in need. Originally hailing from the University of Southern Mississippi, Elizabeth’s journey in social work has been marked by her energetic and friendly demeanor. She thrives on the connections she forms with students and staff, engaging them in deep, meaningful conversations that foster growth and understanding. Elizabeth finds joy in participating in activities with the students, particularly relishing the opportunity to go bouldering with them at the climbing gym. Through these shared experiences, she builds rapport and trust, creating a safe space for exploration and healing. In reflecting on her time at Wolf Creek Academy, Elizabeth acknowledges the ongoing nature of personal growth, emphasizing the importance of celebrating even the most minor victories. Outside of her professional pursuits, she finds solace in swimming and enjoys immersing herself in literature, recently finding inspiration in “Rascal” by Sterling North. Wolf Creek Academy is truly fortunate to have Elizabeth as part of the team, where her vibrant personality and unwavering dedication contribute to the nurturing and supportive environment that defines the institution.

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Emerson Cook: Therapy Intern, BSAP, CMHC Intern

Emerson Cook brings a spirited dedication to her role as a CMHC Intern at Wolf Creek Academy, where she is currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Building upon a foundation in psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Emerson is committed to honing her skills and knowledge to better serve the community. Emerson holds dear the vibrant camaraderie among students at WCA, fondly recalling the playful moment when a group of girls collaborated to toss her supervisor into the pond on the last day of summer. This sense of connection and joy fuels Emerson’s passion for making a positive impact on the lives of others. With a deep-rooted commitment to empathy and service, Emerson endeavors to provide compassionate support and guidance to those in need. Emerson finds respite in her favorite outdoor activity outside her professional pursuits—swimming. Immersed in the water’s cool embrace, she delights in exploring the underwater world and marveling at the hidden wonders beneath the surface. Emerson draws inspiration from the resilience and spirit of Taylor Swift, whose music has been a source of strength since childhood. Taylor Swift’s unwavering determination serves as a guiding light for Emerson, shaping their outlook on life and providing a model of perseverance and authenticity. As she continues her journey at Wolf Creek Academy, Emerson’s unwavering dedication and genuine compassion enrich the lives of staff and residents.

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Rob Gunter: Chief of Operations / Director of Outdoor Adventure

To say that Rob loves the outdoors is a huge understatement. Whether it is biking, hiking, or traversing glaciers while climbing the world’s tallest peaks, Rob is in for the adventure! He understands the value of a “mountain top experience” and desires to share that experience with each of our Wolf Creek Academy students. However, the highlight of his job comes when the student begins to recognize how much they have grown and experienced while at Wolf Creek and it drives them to be the best version of themselves. Rob knows that as much as we work to serve the students in their growth, we also are impacted and grow as a result of the students’ time with us. Although Rob has earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he constantly adds more tools to his toolbox through continuing education in Outdoor Activities and safety. Rob might just have the BEST job at Wolf Creek Academy, and he is the perfect person for it!

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Jen Marie: Direct Care Lead

Working at Wolf Creek Academy has reminded Jen of raising and homeschooling her two children. From her first-hand interactions with the students to the completion ceremonies, where we celebrate students completing the C.L.I.M.B. Program, working here reminds her of family. Jen loves the completion ceremonies because she sees the students be proud of themselves and realize that they have accomplished something great that will give them a better future. Jen’s favorite thing about Wolf Creek is the feeling of family and community we have here and knowing that we can provide that to our students. Jen said that if she could have any superpower, she would want to be an empath so she could feel the emotions that others are feeling and better relate to and support the people around her. When she is not on campus, Jen loves spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and reading. We are so blessed to have her on our team!

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Charity Melton: Houseparent

Charity is a cherished member of our Wolf Creek Academy family. One of her fondest memories here at Wolf Creek involves the 4th of July picnic and fireworks show, where she reveled in water balloon fights, whipped cream attacks, and lively line dances before the fireworks dazzled the night sky. Through her time at Wolf Creek Academy, Charity has learned the invaluable lesson of celebrating each student’s unique strengths rather than fixating on their weaknesses. She draws inspiration from the courage displayed by our students as they conquer their fears and challenges. When she’s not at Wolf Creek, you can find Charity outdoors, enjoying her favorite activity of tossing a frisbee while engaging in lively conversations with friends. She’s an avid reader with a penchant for science fiction, recently immersed in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ while cherishing classics from authors like Andy Weir, Michael Crichton, and Isaac Asimov.

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Kathryn Young: Houseparent

Kathryn Young is a dedicated member of the WCA family, embodying a profound commitment to nurturing relationships and fostering personal growth among the girls in her care. With a psychology and human services background. She cherishes the familial bond among the girls and staff, recognizing it as a cornerstone of support and belonging. Kathryn believes her work at WCA is imbued with a God-given purpose—to facilitate the growth and development of the girls in any way she can. One of Kathryn’s most impactful lessons from a WCA student is the importance of not judging others based on appearances. She has come to appreciate the uniqueness and individuality of each person, understanding that everyone has a unique purpose and value. In her leisure time, Kathryn finds solace and joy in her favorite outdoor activity—reading a good book while basking in the sunshine. She treasures the tranquility of nature and the immersive experience of delving into the pages of a captivating story amidst the beauty of the outdoors.

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Aria Hess: Houseparent

Aria Hess brings a wealth of experience in therapeutic settings and a passion for outdoor education to her role at WCA. With a degree in Outdoor Education and Adventure-Based Counseling, Aria has been dedicated to working with teenagers in therapeutic environments since 2018, providing guidance and support for their personal growth and development. One of Aria’s most cherished memories at WCA is the experience of listening to the girls’ poetry and songwriting during an enrichment group session. She was deeply moved by their profound insights, creativity, and emotional depth, highlighting the transformative power of self-expression. Aria finds immense fulfillment in the mutual accountability fostered among the students at WCA. She values the opportunity to reflect on the impact of words and actions with the students, recognizing it as a catalyst for growth and self-awareness for both parties. Aria enjoys indulging in her favorite outdoor activity in her leisure time—mountain biking. She finds solace and exhilaration in riding downhill and participating in enduro bike races, immersing herself in the therapeutic experience of navigating technical mountain trails while being one with nature and her bike. One of her all-time favorite serious books is “The Body Keeps The Score,” which delves into the complexities of trauma and emphasizes the concept of hope. Aria Hess brings her expertise, compassion, and love for the outdoors to her role at WCA. She enriches students’ lives and fosters a supportive and empowering environment for their journey toward healing and personal growth.

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Katelyn Jones: Part-Time Houseparent

Katelyn is a sweet, loving young woman currently pursuing a nursing degree at A-B Tech. She loves learning about behavioral and mental health almost as much as spending time and building relationships with the students. She has joined the team as a Houseparent Assistant and is absolutely crushing it! One of Katelyn’s favorite memories at Wolf Creek Academy is playing laser tag with the girls on an outing. Katelyn loves hiking, especially if the view is beautiful, and loves watching baseball. Her favorite thing about working at Wolf Creek is watching the girls grow and become closer to God throughout their time here. Having Katelyn on the team is a blessing; the love and compassion she has for the students is truly one of a kind.

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Trevor Jones: Houseparent

Trevor is a kindhearted, funny young man studying Physical Therapy at Mars Hill University. Growing up around Wolf Creek Academy, he knew that when the time came, he would take his place on the team. While a house parent, Trevor has learned that his favorite part about being at Wolf Creek is getting to know and hanging out with the boys. Trevor loves learning from the students, whether learning to solve a Rubix cube or learning to spot recurring behavioral patterns. So far, his favorite memory at Wolf Creek Academy is bowling with the boys. Trevor loves going on walks with his wife in his free time, and if he could have any superpower, he would want to be able to read minds on command. The boys adore Trevor and look forward to any shift he is working. We are so thankful to have Trevor on our team!

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Chase Blackwell-Jones: Direct Care Lead

Working at Wolf Creek Academy has reminded Chase that people will often surprise you. Chase is surprised and encouraged to see the boys take the initiative to start their days off on the right foot by accomplishing their chores and setting goals for their days. Some would say the students have the odds stacked against them, but they can and will find a way to rise to the challenge and persevere when given the opportunity. The Wolf Creek Academy students are survivors, and they are just beginning to grasp how capable they are. It is inspiring to work with the Wolf Creek students and their families. When not working, Chase enjoys camping, football, and spending time with friends and family.

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Griff Melton: Houseparent

Griff Melton brings his unique experiences and passion for mentoring to his role at WCA. Before joining the team, Griff gained valuable insights into leadership and community engagement through his work at a church in Norfolk, VA. One of Griff’s greatest joys at WCA is witnessing the personal growth and development of the boys under his care. He finds fulfillment in creating a supportive environment where individuals feel empowered to embrace their authentic selves and flourish. Griff’s time at WCA has been filled with unexpected lessons, including a crash course in baking courtesy of the boys. In just a few months, he’s learned more about the art of baking from them than in his entire life—a testament to the students’ diverse talents and interests. Outside of work, Griff finds solace and exhilaration in mountain biking and lacrosse, immersing himself in the thrill of outdoor adventures. Regarding literature, his favorite book is “The Brothers Karamazov,” reflecting his appreciation for deep philosophical exploration and rich storytelling. As a dedicated member of the WCA team, Griff continues to inspire and support the students on their journey toward personal growth and self-discovery.

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Marc Cadet: Houseparent

Marc Cadet brings a wealth of experience and a compassionate heart to his role at WCA, drawing from his diverse background and extensive work with youth. Hailing from Haiti, Marc’s upbringing served as his educational foundation, instilling a sense of purpose and a commitment to charitable endeavors. With over six years of teaching experience in middle and high schools in Haiti, coupled with his work with teenage boys in a residential setting in Tennessee, Marc is well-equipped to fulfill his mission of positively impacting young lives. At WCA, Marc finds fulfillment in the collaborative efforts to support the students. He values the collective responsibility and shared dedication among staff members, recognizing it as a strong foundation for transformative work. One of Marc’s fondest memories at WCA is the first day he visited and had the opportunity to connect with the boys. Their vibrant energy, genuine concerns, and moments of happiness were a poignant reminder of the significance of the work to uplift and empower them. Marc’s literary influences include Nietzsche, whose philosophical insights into the complexities of life resonate deeply with him. In his leisure time, Marc enjoys sitting around a fire and engaging in meaningful conversations—a cherished pastime that fosters connection and reflection. Marc embodies the spirit of dedication and empathy, contributing to the transformative journey of the students at WCA with his unwavering commitment and compassionate approach.

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Hannah Garman: Operational Support Specialist

Hannah brings training, experience, passion, a great sense of humor, and a love for animals to our Direct Care team. Her years of experience, Professional Parent training, and classes in adolescent development, psychology, and sociology have Hannah uniquely trained for her role as Direct Care Staff. Her calm demeanor and sense of humor provide balance to her adherence to the structure and rules in the lodge. One of Hannah’s desires is to meet the kids where they are and find common ground and shared interests. She enjoys the opportunity to bring her dog Altas to work with her, and so do the Wolf Creek students. They like to hang out with Atlas and pour attention and affection on him. Hannah is an avid reader citing her favorite book as The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) while currently reading Wild at Heart (John Eldredge).

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Summer Hensley: Houseparent

Summer joined the Direct Care staff in May of 2021. Her love for helping people of all ages find their passion and Godly purpose in life has prepared her perfectly for her position at Wolf Creek Academy. Summer enjoys watching the students grow and seeing their excitement as they accomplish something new. She has begun a collection of extraordinary Wolf Creek experiences thus far, but the opportunity to watch students get baptized currently tops the list. Summer hobbies include hiking in the Western North Carolina wilderness and reading, especially books by her favorite author, Francine Rivers.

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John “JD” Dyess: Classroom Supervisor

JD’s laid-back persona and easy-going smile make him someone students relate to quickly. However, it is his quick wit and one-liners that make him a favorite! JD earned his master’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Auburn University and is a huge Auburn Tigers sports fan. This fandom is another way that JD builds relationships with students because you are either an Auburn fan or well… you are not! JD Has a wife and three sons and has been a part of the Jones family and Wolf Creek Academy for over 30 years! He has always enjoyed seeing the look in a teenager’s eye when they learn to do something, they never imagined that they could do. Seeing the joy of overcoming their fears and the confidence it gives them to take on all of life’s challenges is one of his greatest rewards. JD loves the outdoors and enjoys camping and other activities involving nature.

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Michael Seay: Classroom Supervisor

Michael is an experienced professional in the mental health/substance use field. With 19 years of experience working with at-risk adolescents and adults, he has honed his skills through various work settings, including school, psychiatric units, and outpatient community mental health. Along with this, Michael has served as a Youth Pastor at several churches in Wolf Creek Academy due to his ordination as a minister. At Wolf Creek, Michael finds satisfaction in positively impacting the next generation. In his free time, Michael likes to hunt for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn out west. He is also an avid college football fan and supports the Florida State Seminoles.

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Vicki Arrowood: Classroom Supervisor

Vicki is a dedicated member of the team at Wolf Creek Academy. Vicki brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her position, having obtained a 2-year Associate’s Degree and worked for several years at an elementary school as a teaching assistant. At Wolf Creek, Vicki’s favorite thing is the love shown for the kids and the opportunity to treat every child with the same care and concern she would show her own family. She also places a high value on individuality, having learned through her experience at Wolf Creek that everyone has a unique story. When Vicki isn’t busy at work, she enjoys her favorite outdoor activity – camping at the beach. She loves the calming sound of the waves and finds joy in relaxing with her feet in the sand. If she’s not outside, Vicki can be found cozying up with a romance novel written by Danielle Steele.

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Teresa Ingram: Director of Academics

With a heart for making true connections with the students, showing them love, patience, and guidance, Teresa Ingram is the perfect fit for a Wolf Creek Academy classroom. She brings her Bachelor of Arts in Education and over 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher along with her. Add to the equation, over 30 years of marriage to Ricky and the successful raising of their son Rick, and you have a recipe for success in the classroom! However, it is Teresa’s heart that takes center stage. Her desire to build relationships with the students and staff of Wolf Creek Academy, creating a family for all who are brought here, leads her to invest time and love to build quality connections with our students and families. She is a North Carolina girl who loves to watch Tar Heel Basketball and soak up the sun, sand, and saltwater at the beach. A word of warning to all… watch out for her strange but witty sense of humor!

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James Carver: Property Manager

With an operation the size and scope of Wolf Creek Academy there is always a part of our facilities and properties that can use a little extra TLC and we have just the guy for the job, James Carver! James is the kind of guy who likes to get his hands dirty on a project and loves to leave everything just a little bit better than he found it. With a background in agriculture, construction, and service James is well suited to tackle any project we can throw at him and there is no shortage of projects. James is happily married and has two children. Working at Wolf Creek Academy keeps him close to home and allows him the opportunity to add his family to the Wolf Creek family. His favorite thing about Wolf Creek Academy is that we are one, big, happy, family! He was impressed by this from the very start as his first day was the 2021 Fall Festival. Wolf Creek is blessed to have James and his family as part of our family!

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Curtis Sharp: Chef

Curtis is a funny, energetic man who knows better than to take life too seriously, bringing an extensive knowledge of the culinary arts with him to the team. Curtis studied at several culinary schools in Indiana and Pennsylvania. After his education, he went on to spend nine years as a Chef at the Biltmore Estate, seven years in fine dining, and almost nine years at UNCA. On campus, he likes to joke around with the students and staff and loves talking with the students about the menu and what they would like to see on it. Outside work, Curtis spends his free time outdoors, whether it be fishing, hunting, or golfing.

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Tanner Blackwell-Jones: Director of Digital Media

Upon his graduation from Western Carolina University, Tanner Jones officially joined the team at Wolf Creek Academy! He brings with him a lifetime of memories and experiences from growing up around Wolf Creek Academy. Among his favorite memories are the tug-of-war competitions across the pond at the Girls’ Campus! Tanner relishes the opportunities for growth Wolf Creek offers. Whether it is the students growing into the best version of themselves or the staff growing as we learn from, and assist one another no matter which department we work in. If he could have any superpower, Tanner would choose teleportation! Not only would teleportation solve the mystery that is Asheville traffic, but he could also travel around the world without the cost of a ticket. Wolf Creek Academy is blessed to welcome Tanner to the team!

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