Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy

Discovery Academy is a sister program to RedCliff Ascent, Discovery Ranch, Discovery Ranch For Girls, and Oxbow Academy. Each of these unique programs is nationally recognized for excellence in treating troubled teens with very specific needs.


The companies were created by brothers Scott and Steve Petersen, and their partners, Dane Kay, Jim Salisbury, Steve Nadauld and Brent Hall. This management group has been together for more than 20 years and is still providing “hands on” leadership in the day to day activities of the RedCliff family – a fact that is almost unheard of in the therapeutic industry.


Scott and Steve grew up working the family’s large cattle ranch in Wyoming. As young men they worked side by side with their troubled cousins from the city, watching the transformation brought on by hard work and positive peer mentoring.


Dane and Brent spent their youth working on potato farms and dairy farms in Idaho. Jim played professional baseball and Steve traveled the country as his father served as president of two universities.


Although their backgrounds are diverse, for each of these men, hard work and the self- esteem that comes from accomplishment, are hallmark characteristics of their lives and the programs they created. Their example of trust and friendship is the foundation of an organizational culture where commitment, stability, integrity, and a sense of humor, helped them attract the best employees in the business.

Essentially, their business model has six core components:

  1. Our programs are only as good as the people who work with our students.
  2. Program counselors and staff must be vested in a relationship with each and every child.
  3. Academics must be individualized to meet each and every student’s needs and potential.
  4. Experiential activities are the foundation of therapeutic success. Therapy is not about sitting on a couch and talking about the problems in life. It is about touching, feeling, smelling and seeing what life has to offer. Through experiential activities, students manifest their true emotions and behaviors as individuals and peers.
  5. There must be daily access to experiential opportunities where students can find success through achievement and productivity.
  6. We must always remember that we have been entrusted with the care of a child by loving parents who have suffered and sacrificed to place their child in our care.

Discovery Academy and the rest of the RedCliff Ascent family are honored to extend to your family the very best in adolescent therapy.


If you have questions about enrolling in Discovery Academy, fill out our assessment or contact our admissions department at 855-645-0484.