Meet Our Team

Leadership Team

Lisa Hester – Executive Director

Lisa Hester1Lisa has dedicated her career to working with children and has done so for more than 25 years. Her experience includes working for a state human services division where she worked with children in the welfare system, provided sexual abuse treatment, counseling and family mediation. She has also worked as a life skills coordinator and in a therapeutic foster care setting. Lisa completed her undergraduate studies at Central Michigan University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Work. She has worked towards obtaining her master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver and is a certified Mediator. When not on campus, Lisa can be found enjoying the abundance of outdoor activities our area provides including boating and exploring the back country. She also plays guitar for her own enjoyment and is learning to play the ukulele.

 

Charla Suppe, M.S. – Academic Director & Business Development Director

Charla SuppeInspiring students, as much as they inspire her, guides Charla in her work on behalf of our students. She has more than 25 years of experience working in an academic setting. She has taught for most of those years and also held administrative roles as a principal for eight years and a vice principal for nine years. Charla received her undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University in English and participated in a Reading Specialist Program from St. Mary’s College. She is a credentialed teacher and holds a master’s degree in Special Education. In her spare time you’ll find her with her family and riding her Harley.

 

Lynn Marshall, Psy.D. – Clinical Director

Lynn MarshallLynn uses her extensive experience from working within child and adolescent development to bring optimism, passion, humor, as well as kindness every day at Boulder Creek Academy. She specializes in anxiety, depression, self-harm, childhood trauma, psychological assessments and differential diagnosis. She has specific training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), parent-child psychotherapy and suicide assessment. In addition to her specialties and training Lynn also holds degrees in Clinical Psychology from undergrad all the way to the doctorate level. She appreciates the challenge of understanding each student’s unique life story and finding the key components that can support them in building a life they want to live. When not at work you can find Lynn playing with her son and daughter. Together with her husband they strive to be outside; they take their kids hiking, climbing, camping and skiing, just to name a few of their biggest passions. She also loves the comfort in reading and learning about new things. Often times with relaxation bring on a warm cup of chia tea or decaf coffee with LOTS of creamer and nothing but dark chocolate or Milky Way’s, can you say guilty pleasure….
A quote she lives by: “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley

 

Jeff Miller – Dean of Students

Jeff MillerJeff’s unmatched organization, warmth and unshakable calm assist him in directing students to their appropriate places throughout each day. Hope, purpose, meaningfulness, and strength that young people start to experience when they find their hook is what inspires Jeff in his daily work and he has been shaping the lives of teens for over 18 years. Jeff has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Boise State University. He is certified in CPR, first aid and motivational interviewing. When he’s not working, he can be found mountain biking, hiking and enjoying water activities with his wife and three sons.

 

Tiwi Nicks, M.Ed. – Director of Admissions

Tiwi NicksTiwi comes to Boulder Creek Academy from the public-school sector where she worked for a school district meeting the needs of diverse learners with autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD and more. She led a team that helped facilitate the proper placement and/or accommodations and interventions for students. Her work in a traditional school environment has driven her keen interest in helping families faced with having a child that doesn’t fit in a specific societal box. And, as the mother of two daughters, she brings compassion and understanding to families wanting to provide their child with resources for leading a happy and well-adjusted life. Tiwi holds a master’s degree in Education from Arizona State University.

 

Tai Komanec – Chief Executive Officer

Tai KomanecTai has been with Boulder Creek Academy since 1996. Through her years of experience, she has developed a solid understanding of the many factors involved in providing quality healthcare on our campus. Tai collaborates with regional, state and national agencies to ensure that we are following the most current healthcare standards. Her other responsibilities include recruiting and staff training. Tai holds an Associate’s Degree from Northern Arizona University/ Arizona Western College. She lives in Clark Fork, Idaho, with her husband and her daughter who recently began attending college. In her spare time Tai enjoys the outdoors, NASCAR, and reading.

 

Jolene Hubbard, CPA – Chief Financial Officer

Jolene HubbardJolene is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Idaho and while much of her work is done behind the scenes, it is her accounting strategies and financial savvy that keeps our daily operations running smoothly. Jolene’s experience includes owning and operating an accounting firm and working as an accounting manager. She holds an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. She is the mother of two boys and when not working can be found reading classic books, running, hiking, horseback riding, and baking with her children. Her specialty is gourmet cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache, coconut, or Boston Cream.

 

Academic Team

Charla Suppe, M.S. – Academic Director

Charla SuppeInspiring students, as much as they inspire her, guides Charla in her work on behalf of our students. She has more than 25 years of experience working in an academic setting. She has taught for most of those years and also held administrative roles as a principal for eight years and a vice principal for nine years. Charla received her undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University in English and participated in a Reading Specialist Program from St. Mary’s College. She is a credentialed teacher and holds a master’s degree in Special Education. In her spare time you’ll find her with her family and riding her Harley.

 

Valerie Thompson, M.Ed.- English Teacher

Valerie ThompsonIn her sixteen years at Boulder Creek Academy, Val has had the privilege of organizing and developing curricula for our English and literature courses. Her role as Curriculum Coordinator provides her with the opportunity to collaborate with Clinical Services and Life Skills to create an integrated, dynamic approach that challenges and empowers our students to reach their academic potentials. She approaches teaching as a straightforward, honest, talkative, and empathic mentor who provides a roadmap for students as they navigate the academic world. Valerie enjoys research and presentation opportunities, sharing classroom strategies and approaches with educators, administrators, and consultants in regional and national presentations and workshops. Her favorite modes of teaching include what she refers to as a “guided constructivist” approach to Socratic inquiry, presentation, direct instruction, and role playing. She works with individuals to change their perspectives on learning, focusing on each student’s unique needs and literary “story,” while delivering an anchoring curriculum to the class as a whole. Val received a bachelor’s degree in English from Gonzaga University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho.

 

Robert Gonzales – Social Science Teacher

Rob Gonzales webRobert has been working with children for 10 years and enjoys bringing humor and advice into the lives of his students. As a substitute teacher in California, he has taught kindergarten to high school and enjoys hearing all of the kids’ stories and insights. Robert has his undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and his credentials include secondary schools teaching certificate, trauma informed care training, attachment disorder training and CPR certification. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son and doing all things outdoors. Robert also enjoys coaching basketball and loves to check out new recipes for inspiring home meals.

Learning Center Team

Cynthia Stovall-Sanders, M.Ed. – Special Education Coordinator

Cynthia Stovall-SandersCynthia came to Boulder Creek Academy after teaching Special Education for 25 years in both California and Idaho public school systems. She has a passion for seeing students succeed. Cynthia has designed and implemented Multi-Tiered Systems of Support along with Response to Intervention processes for her local school district. During her career she mentored many other student teachers and para professionals. Cynthia was a panel member of the Peer Assistance and Review Consulting Teacher, while holding a demonstration classroom. She is always seeking ways to support students, and is continuously searching for new interventions to meet their needs. She has training in multiple interventions including but not limited to the Herman Method, REWARDS, SRA Corrective for Reading and Language! She achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a minor in Communicative Disorders from California State University, and a Masters of Education in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University. She has obtained the following Idaho Credentials: Standard Elementary, All Subjects K/8, English 6/9, and Standard Exceptional Child Generalist K/12. She also achieved California Professional Clear Multiple Subject teaching credential with supplementary authorization in English, Professional Clear Specialist Instruction Credential in Special Education Learning Handicapped, and Clear Resource Specialist certification of Competence. She is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Writing project, International Dyslexic Association, and the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Given her extensive background and understanding on how Academics can have a multitude of approaches, Cynthia is a valued asset to the Boulder Creek Team and is an incredible resource for each and every student.
Her life’s motto has been: A little Love, A Little Trust, A Soft Impulse, A Sudden Dream, and Life as dry as Desert Dust is Fresher than a Mountain Stream. Unknown.

Martha Jones, M.Ed. – Reading Specialist

Martha JonesMartha Jones is Boulder Creek’s Reading Specialist. She has a vast array of experience. Her teaching credentials include General Subjects, Learning and Severely Handicapped, Resource Specialist, and Reading Specialist. Her work as a special education coordinator for a Special Education Instructional Materials Center resulted in thirty schools having access to more than 10,000 special education instructional materials. She has more than 20 years experience working as a Resource Specialist for a California school district. Here Martha was responsible for creating a Reading Center that aided with more than 70 students daily. After retiring from the Coachella Valley USD in California, they hired her back as a consultant. She finally bid farewell to California, and she and her husband moved to Naples, Idaho, in March of 2005. It was then that she joined the Boulder Creek Academy team and has continued her work on behalf of exceptional students. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma. She holds a Reading Specialist certification from Central State University.

 

Clinical and Life Skills Team

Dr. Alan S. Unis, M.D. – Psychiatrist

Alan S. UnisDr. Unis is our licensed independent physician who has focused his practice on utilizing opportunities to study the early stages of mental illness in children and to minimize the impact of such illnesses upon their lives. His expansive knowledge stems from his professional background and the experience he has acquired. He fulfilled a Mead Johnson Fellowship with the American College of Neuro-Psychopharmacology and earned the prestigious Thomas H. Holmes Scholarship, which he used at the University of Washington to enhance his knowledge of research and psychiatry practices. Dr. Unis is a member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry. His work has been recognized by his nomination as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Unis earned his doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. He fulfilled a fellowship program in Neuropharmacology at the University of Utah Health Care, and a residency and fellowship in general, child and adolescent psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he became accredited as a diplomat in child and adolescent psychiatry and as a diplomat in general psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

 

Lynn Marshall, Psy.D. – Clinical Director

Lynn MarshallLynn uses her extensive experience from working within child and adolescent development to bring optimism, passion, humor, as well as kindness every day at Boulder Creek Academy. She specializes in anxiety, depression, self-harm, childhood trauma, psychological assessments and differential diagnosis. She has specific training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), parent-child psychotherapy and suicide assessment. In addition to her specialties and training Lynn also holds degrees in Clinical Psychology from undergrad all the way to the doctorate level. She appreciates the challenge of understanding each student’s unique life story and finding the key components that can support them in building a life they want to live. When not at work you can find Lynn playing with her son and daughter. Together with her husband they strive to be outside; they take their kids hiking, climbing, camping and skiing, just to name a few of their biggest passions. She also loves the comfort in reading and learning about new things. Often times with relaxation bring on a warm cup of chia tea or decaf coffee with LOTS of creamer and nothing but dark chocolate or Milky Way’s, can you say guilty pleasure….
A quote she lives by: “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley

 

Kim Carey, LCSW – Senior Therapist

Kim CareyKim has been trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, and Seeking Safety. She has worked as a therapist at an inpatient substance abuse treatment center and in both public and state run adolescent treatment centers. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Social Work and her master’s of Social Work from Eastern Washington University. Family time is the most important and rewarding for Kim and in her free-time can be found spending time in the beautiful outdoors of Northern Idaho, cooking, doing crafts and reading books with her son.

 

Jared Sartell, LCSW – Senior Therapist

Jared SartellJared’s approach with students is relationship-based. He builds on this connection to help students come to understand their own value and develop healthy skills and positive passions. His areas of specialty include anxiety, adoption/attachment, and sexual offending behavior. Jared has worked with children and adolescents in a variety of settings including therapeutic boarding schools, juvenile probation and parole, and individual and family counseling with a private agency. Jared holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. He is licensed in the State of Idaho in Social Work and is a trained Search and Rescuer. When not working with our students, Jared can be found playing with his wife and two daughters in the outdoors. Favorite activities include fly fishing, backpacking, mountain biking and archery.

 

Jeanne Racer, LMSW – Clinical Therapist

Jeanne RacerJeanne is energetic as well as patient and has years of experience working with adolescents in therapeutic residential settings. She specializes in helping children and families to achieve safety and stability in the reunification process as well as with families that have dual diagnosis within the family unit. She began her career working with teenagers at a wilderness therapy program. In addition she has worked in therapeutic group home settings as well as therapeutic boarding schools. Most recently she worked with children and families at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Jeanne received her master’s degree in Social Work from Boise State University and her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Lewis Clark State College. She is a licensed Master Social Worker. Relevant trainings include: Truth Based Relational Intervention, Family Centered Service Planning, Motivational Interviewing, Family Group Decision Making, Cultural Humility, Substance Addiction and Treatment, and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Jeanne possesses an Eagala certification for Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy.

 

Rebecca Cloud – Clinical Therapist

Rebecca CloudI was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. I have a Paralegal Degree and a Master’s Degree in Community Psychology, both earned at University of Alaska Fairbanks. I have been working with adolescents and their families since 2004, most of which took place in a residential facility run by Division of Juvenile Justice. I have also worked in a non-profit clinical setting. I have been trained in Trauma Informed Care and Motivational Interviewing, both of which I use daily, and have used the 7 Challenges framework for working with adolescent substance abuse. I believe relationships with the kids and families are key to forward movement, and that a strength based approach is best. I have raised five teenagers myself, and now have healthy adults who, when I am not working, are my partners in hiking, paddle boarding, and just generally enjoying the outdoors of Idaho!”

 

Jeff Miller – Dean of Students

Jeff MillerJeff’s unmatched organization, warmth and unshakable calm assist him in directing students to their appropriate places throughout each day. Hope, purpose, meaningfulness, and strength that young people start to experience when they find their hook is what inspires Jeff in his daily work and he has been shaping the lives of teens for over 18 years. Jeff has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Boise State University. He is certified in CPR, first aid and motivational interviewing. When he’s not working, he can be found mountain biking, hiking and enjoying water activities with his wife and three sons.

 

Jeremy Huisentruit – Team Manager

Jeremy HuisentruitJeremy has worked with adolescents for more than 10 years. He values the opportunity to witness our students as they begin to respond in a positive way to the structure clear boundaries we create for them at Boulder Creek Academy. Jeremy graduated from the University of Montana and also holds a wilderness first responder certification. When not working, you can find Jeremy fly fishing, hiking, camping, and playing racquetball. In the winter he enjoys cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

 

Tammy Davis –  Team Manager

Tammy DavisTammy has been on the Boulder Creek team for over six years, and her daily inspiration steams from seeing students and their families who make a drastic change and growth for the better while they are here. She pulls this energy due her pervious experiences of managing facilities for adults and children who experience developmental disabilities for a collective of nineteen years. In addition to her daily working life Tammy has also sent 23 years, and continues to volunteer as a chaperone for an organization that provides dream vacations to amazing destinations around the world for all ages with disabilities. These collective experiences allow Tammy to feel passion for changing lives for the better. As well as, helping others look outside their comfort zone and to learn to be as independent as they possibly can. In her spare time you can find Tammy enjoying a good cup of coffee with her children in “The Great Outdoors”; typically they are found hunting, fishing, hiking, metal detecting, antiquing and searching for collectibles. If you have something unique, either tangible or personality, Tammy wants to hear all about it! A quote she lives by: “The best way to success in life is to act on the advice we give to others.”

 

Admissions Team

Tiwi Nicks, M.Ed. – Director of Admissions

Tiwi NicksTiwi comes to Boulder Creek Academy from the public-school sector where she worked for a school district meeting the needs of diverse learners with autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD and more. She led a team that helped facilitate the proper placement and/or accommodations and interventions for students. Her work in a traditional school environment has driven her keen interest in helping families faced with having a child that doesn’t fit in a specific societal box. And, as the mother of two daughters, she brings compassion and understanding to families wanting to provide their child with resources for leading a happy and well-adjusted life. Tiwi holds a master’s degree in Education from Arizona State University.

 

Dean Schillinger – Admissions Counselor

Dean SchillingerDean has spent his career assisting people in unique settings. Prior to starting as the Admissions Counselor, Dean worked across multiple domains within Boulder Creek Academy. His experience as Logistics Coordinator, Adventure Education Guide, and Student Life Counselor allows him to speak directly to the student experience, putting him in a unique position to provide support to new students and families. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, Marketing and Advertising which contributes to the creativity and organization he brings to the admissions team.

 

Equine Skills Staff

Feathers – Behavior Specialist

FeathersFeathers takes her work seriously and enjoys working with BCA students. Feathers specializes in teaching students about attitude, self-control, and how her rider’s feelings transfer to her while in the ring. She is inspired by students who are calm, relaxed and practicing patience with her. In her spare time, she likes to hang with her other horse buddies and share tips about student behaviors over a game of swish your tail.

 

Tater Tot – Director of Hay

Tater Tot
Tater Tot is our 13 year old Haflinger/quarter horse cross. He is our newest equine staff member and his responsibilities include training students to horse-back ride and the keys to positive animal communication. His calm demeanor and dry sense of humor make him a student favorite and his Tot’s hobbies include hay tasting and reviewing, horse fashion blogging and Scrabble.

 

Tux – Communication Director

Tux

As our Equine Communication Director, Tux specializes in communication and teaching students the value of reading body language. He is 17, which he finds beneficial in allowing him to find common ground with our 13-18 year old student body. Tux was a professional show horse for 13 years where he learned that it’s not about what you look like, it’s about who you are on the inside.

 

Moonshadow Agate – Fashion Director

Moonshadow AgateMoonshadow Agate is the newest member of our equine therapy staff. She is a 17 year old registered Quarter horse and has spent the majority of her career teaching in the adolescent therapeutic community. Her friendly demeanor, unusual smoky gray coloring and dorsal stripe have earned her the unofficial title of Fashion Director. Aggie is always up for a chat and, being a teenager herself, finds she has much in common with our students and their many interests. In her spare time, Aggie can be found hanging out at the local feed store and blogging about the latest equine fashion trends.