This is a  staff list for Cherokee Creek Boys School in Westminster, SC

(a.k.a. CEDU-Related )

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)

 

We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at the Cherokee Creek Boys School.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Cherokee Creek Boys School, you have the right to take action.

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Cherokee Creek Boys School, please contact info@heal-online.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.This will help!†  Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.

 

Please donít place your loved one in  Cherokee Creek Boys School and rescue them if they are there now. 

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Beth Black Founder/President Black and her husband subjected their own son to an unnamed wilderness program in Northern Idaho and thought "hey, we could warehouse kids and rip-off parents too" (sarcasm).  Being a parent who could not deal with their own "troubled child", it is highly doubtful that they have learned anything valuable in the legitimate treatment of youth.  Black is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
David LePere Executive Director Former director of CEDU High School and Wilderness Quest.  LePere is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Sharon Stricker Program Director (Former) Stricker is not a licensed counselor in South Carolina.  Stricker is not a licensed psychologist in South Carolina.  Stricker was formerly a licensed independent social worker but lost her license after having inappropriate sexual contact with a "client".  For South Carolina's reports on this woman, click here and here.  Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx  Stricker is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Betsy Deane Admissions Deane is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Phil Fairbrother Operations Director Fairbrother is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Jane Barker Therapist Barker is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Robin Hagy Therapist Hagy is a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina and has been since 2002.  Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Erin Maurer Therapist Maurer is a licensed professional counselor (& supervisor) in South Carolina and has been since 2009.  Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Mike Deal Counselor Deal is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Talina Carver Counselor (Former) Carver is not a licensed counselor in South Carolina.  Carver is not a licensed psychologist in South Carolina.  Carver is not a licensed social worker in South Carolina.  Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx
Shawn Ziluck Counselor (Former) Ziluck is not a licensed counselor in South Carolina.  Ziluck is not a licensed psychologist in South Carolina.  Ziluck is not a licensed social worker in South Carolina.  Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx
Butch Clay Teacher Clay is not a licensed/certified teacher in SC.  Source: E-mail from SC Department of Education.
Nick Linscott Teacher Linscott is not a licensed/certified teacher in SC.  Source: E-mail from SC Department of Education.
James Holcomb Teacher Holcomb is not currently (2014) a licensed/certified teacher in SC.  Source: E-mail from SC Department of Education.
Hunter Couture Program Mgr Cherokee Treks program manager.  Couture no longer appears to be working for this program.  Couture is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Paul Mathis Counselor Cherokee Treks program counselor.  Mathis is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Royce Johnson Treks Instructor Johnson is not a licensed/certified teacher in SC.  Source: E-mail from SC Department of Education.
Kerry Kirby Family Coordinator Kirby is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Sandy Morris Nurse HEAL requires Morris' full name (including middle name) and/or license number in order to verify licensure.
Beth Venable Communications Venable no longer appears to be working for this program.  Venable is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Joan Akin Bookkeeper HEAL does not perform licensure verification on clerical staff.
Shaler Black Cooper Coordinator Fire Keepers Circle  Cooper is not a licensed counselor nor therapist in South Carolina. (Source: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Counselors/Counselors.aspx?div=18&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
HEAL has received reports regarding abuse and deceptive marketing practices employed by Cherokee Creek Boys Ranch from three current and/or former staff as well as one parent dissatisfied with the program.  These reports will submitted by e-mail and the e-mail's have been verified.  One former staff wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: [removed]
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 3:17 PM
Subject: Cherokee Creek Boys School

 

Hi,

My name is [removed], and I just happened upon your website earlier today.  My [co-worker] and I were recently fired from Cherokee Creek Boys School.  Neither one of us know exactly why we were fired, because we were told one thing while our separation notices said something entirely different.  We had actually both suspected for awhile that the entire school was based on lies, primarily due to the fact that everything that happens there is kept as quiet as possible. 

The students have almost no privacy in anything they say or do.  Their outgoing and incoming mail is read and regulated so that they canít say anything damning about Cherokee Creek.  Their phone calls are always scheduled and monitored by the primary counselor or therapist for the same reason.  Also, Cherokee Creek will hire anyone to watch the students during the day as long as they have at least an Associateís degree (it doesnít particularly matter what the degree is in), and these people are called ďcounselorsĒ to the parents.  On third shift, the studentsí needs are taken care of by individuals that only have to have high school diplomas.  There is never a doctor on campus, but a LPN from 7:30 to 3:00 on the weekdays.   On the weekends, there are no medical personnel at all, and pretty much anyone is allowed to disperse medications (which almost all of the students are on).  There are many other questionable practices at Cherokee Creek that Iím aware of, especially pertaining to the psychological well-being of the students.   I actually thought when I was hired that my job was to ensure the students were  taken care of both psychologically and physically, but the closer I got to the students and the more they liked me and talked to me, the more it seemed the ďpowers that beĒ wanted me gone.  Iíll put it this way, when I stopped following what the people over me said and began questioning now some of my co-workers were dealing with the studentsÖwell, I didnít last long after that, and Iím pretty sure that my mom  got fired because Iím her daughter.  Iím sure I probably signed a confidentiality contract, but I donít really give much of a damn.  Iíve always thought that children, no matter their age, should be able to think for themselves at least, and programs such as the one at Cherokee Creek are taking even that away from them. 

 

 

[Name Removed for Confidentiality]

The above suggests multiple violations of the rights of children at Cherokee Creek. 

Concerns and Questions Raised Regarding Cherokee Creek's Practices, Include:
 
1.  How often does Cherokee Creek keep boys in the program longer than 2-years?  Is the 2-year "average" based on the "average" age of incoming students (i.e. 13) or on the average time any child of any age spends in the program?
 
2.  Does Cherokee Creek base it's opinions and diagnosis of the children on its own observations or primarily on the biased opinions of parents who no longer wish to engage in family life?
 
3.  How often is a child left unsupervised or under the care of unqualified staff?
 
4.  HEAL found it a concern that Cherokee words the following sentence as, "No student is ever denied acceptance solely on the basis of race, color, religious belief, national origin or sexual orientation."  In your experience, does Cherokee ever include race, color, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in exclusionary criteria and use it as part of the basis for denying enrollment?
 
5.  Cherokee Creek appears to use language in the application and other materials that suggest it is a behavior modification program.  Would you say that Cherokee Creek is a behavior modification program?  Do you think that the methods described in the ebook at www.heal-online.org/ebook.pdf and elsewhere on the HEAL site are the very methods being utilized at Cherokee Creek?
 
6.  To your knowledge, does Cherokee Creek offer financial incentives to referral agents and/or services for their referrals to the program?
 
7.  Does Cherokee Creek exploit the information provided by parents to torment or otherwise emotionally or psychologically abuse the children in the program?  For instance, at a Utah program, it was reported to HEAL that an African-American boy was approached by staff dressed up in white sheets pretending to be the KKK while lying in bed.  The image so frightened the sleeping boy that he became highly agitated.  This program used his agitation as an excuse to claim he was out of control in order to drug and isolate him.  Does Cherokee Creek intentionally use the child's fears or emotional scars to terrorize or provoke reactions in order to gain a "cause" for extreme and/or further abusive measures (i.e. restraint/isolation/etc.)? 
 
8.  HEAL is concerned that Cherokee Creek asks the parents to describe the feelings of the child in the initial application.  This is a concern because parents may not be, and if considering such placement, likely are not, in the best position to report on the feelings of the child.  Do you think Cherokee Creek respects the children in the program as individuals with civil and human rights upon entry into the program?  If not, please explain.
 
9.  I found it a serious concern that Cherokee Creek does not appear to be HIPAA compliant and therefore is not regulated by HIPAA or the Department of Health in South Carolina.  To your knowledge, what is the expertise of Cherokee Creek and/or what exactly are they licensed to do in the state of South Carolina?
 
10.  It appears from the PATH hand-out that the Cherokee Creek uses at least a four-phase system.  These phases appear to be labeled "Warrior", "Visionary", "Healer", and "Teacher".  In the "warrior" phase, does "warrior" indicate the resistance of the child to the Cherokee program?  In the "visionary" phase, does "visionary" refer to a child who has reached a state of hopelessness and helplessness (i.e. an awareness that they are imprisoned and that no one will be rescuing them)?  In the "Healer" phase, does "healer" refer to a child who is more advanced in "thought reform" and/or "brainwashed" to obey authority without question?  In the "Teacher" phase, are the children placed in control or authority positions over other children?  These phases may indicate the four phases of brainwashing/coercive thought reform detailed in the e-book at www.heal-online.org/ebook.pdf and/or the HEAL article at www.heal-online.org/brainwashing.pdf.  If these phases are those phases, please let us know and expand on the practices in place at Cherokee Creek in detail. 
 
11.  What are the "instructional techniques" used by this program?
 
12.  What level/phase does a child have to achieve before being permitted to participate in the "fun" excursions such as "concerts, plays, museums, and athletic events"?  How long does it typically take a child to earn these "privileges"?
 
13.  What does Cherokee mean by "leadership opportunity"?  What does the program mean by "chore leader" or "mentor"?  How much authority are children on higher status given over children in lower phases and/or are children encouraged to fabricate their own and/or falsely accuse others of wrongdoing in order to advance in the program?
 
14.  Cherokee Creek claims that the boys participate in construction that benefits the program and other activities that benefit the program.  Are the boys compensated or paid for their labor when working for the program to improve the facilities and grounds of the program?
 
15.  What does Cherokee Creek mean by "non-traditional teaching strategies"?
 
16.  What is the online/distance learning school or program utilized to provide the educational services available at Cherokee Creek?  Do children have to earn the "privilege" of school while in the program and/or are the children ever denied academic services as a punishment or disciplinary measure?
 
17.  What are the "variety of therapeutic modalities" utilized by Cherokee Creek?  Do these modalities include "Positive Peer Culture", "Positive Peer Pressure", "Confrontation Therapy", and/or "Therapeutic Community" practices?
 
18.  What does Cherokee Creek mean by "cognitive-behavioral" and/or "reality" therapy? 
 
19.  The Group Therapy description suggests they use a "Confrontation Therapy" approach.  This approach has been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Can you expand upon what occurs in "group therapy" sessions" at this program?
 
20.  How often are psychoactive medications prescribed and/or administered to children in the program?  Does Cherokee Creek ever administer anti-psychotics that disable the child as a form of chemical restraint?  Have you ever witnessed what you consider to be the misuse of chemical restraints at Cherokee Creek?  If so, please describe the situation.
 
21.  HEAL finds it a serious concern that the program charges additional fees for psychotherapy.  This implies that the base tuition does not cover the therapeutic services of the program.  HEAL has found this to suggest that the program is not providing a recognized or valid therapeutic environment and that legitimate therapy is optional for additional fees.  Is that what you believe is occurring at Cherokee?  If so, why?  If not, why?
 
22.  What does Cherokee Creek mean by "motivational interviewing"?  Is this similar to the "motivating" done in programs such as Kids Helping Kids, AARC, or Straight, Inc.?  If so, this is a serious concern.  Please explain.
 
23.  What are the "Family Seminars" like?  Who runs these seminars?  What is the schedule during these seminars and are families given the opportunity to leave once the seminar begins without repercussion or reprisal?

 *(Cherokee Creek Boys School, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)

 Last Updated: April 16th, 2014

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