Brent Hall, LMFT, and Executive Director at Discovery Academy shared this perspective on Discovery Academy’s 20th anniversary.
I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by numbers. For some reason, it’s easy for me to remember them – especially when they’re grouped in clusters. Ask me how to spell “their,” and I’m temporarily dumbfounded. Ask me the number to the washer repairman and I can rattle it off with no problem.
Lately I’ve been thinking about some numbers important to the history, and future, of Discovery Academy. I’d like to share some of them with you.
Discovery Academy was founded 20 years ago. Alan Barrett, our Business Manager was its very first employee. He’s still with us today holding that same position. In 1992, Discovery Academy moved into its current location in the Ivy Tower, and Laura Elliker joined the Academy team. That same year therapists Dorothy Ah Quin, Raoul Willard, and Gene Shumway began their careers at Discovery and Elaine Layosa and Max Thomas were hired on as faculty.
All six of these individuals are still at Discovery Academy today, bringing their quest for excellence and their vast experience to our residential, academic and therapeutic programs. They are the nucleus for what makes Discovery Academy great.
The fact that such an outstanding group of professionals is still the core of our operation is virtually unheard of in our industry. It may be due, in part, to what happened at Discovery Academy in 2003.
In 2003, RedCliff Ascent, the premier provider of wilderness therapy for adolescents, expanded its outreach to include residential care and purchased Discovery Academy. RedCliff brought financial stability and commitment to the Academy, along with years of experience helping troubled teens.
In 2008 we have added three fine therapists to our team, Nathan Mitchell, Dr. Tristen Morgan and Dr. David Hillstead. We refined our drama therapy program and gave new direction for our Wilderness Renewal group. We also introduced Echoes, a remarkable after-care program for Discovery students and their families.
And, of course, 2008 was the year we opened our new Academic Center. To date, more than 200 guests have toured this beautiful state-of-the-art building. Each of them has had a first hand look at how our facility supports our experiential program.
Throughout the past six years Discovery Academy has honed its mission and its message. We have discovered what we call our “heartbeat,” the very essence of our being. That heartbeat is our people, our program, and our facility.
Many years, many lives, and many struggles have all clustered to create one – one child who sees himself, and his world, with new eyes.