This is a staff list for Harbor Oaks Boarding School in Mars Hill, NC
(a.k.a. Wolf Creek Academy)
(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 Harbor Oaks Boarding 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 Harbor Oaks Boarding School, you have the right to take action.
If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Harbor Oaks Boarding School, please contact firstname.lastname@example.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 don’t place your loved one in Harbor Oaks and rescue them if they are there now.
|(Dr.) Patricia Jones||Director/Co-Founder||
On August 20th, 2010, HEAL received an e-mail from a survivor of Harbor Oaks,
this report stated:
"Vince Brown was also an employee from roughly November 2006 until atleast June 2008 when I left the program. I found him and his wife Dana to be the most unqualified of the whole bunch of staff while I was there. While in the program I gained Vince's trust and found out some real dirt about Harbor Oaks, for starters our food came from the Manna Food Bank of west North Carolina. That really blew my mind considering Harbor Oaks is not a cheap program, so naturally I thought where is the money going? Pat, Jimbo(James), and there son Jeremey Jones(whom is actually the director of the boys school) all swore up and down that the program is non-profit but I find this hard to believe because all of the Jones' live quite extravagantly and none of them have day jobs."
|James Jones||Co-Founder||This was hard to find. We wonder if it was because Jim Jones was a notorious cult leader and Harbor Oaks operates like a cult. Remember Jonestown?|
|(Dr.) Guy Lindsey||(?) Co-Defendant||Lindsey no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Jeffrey Scobba||(?) Co-Defendant||Scobba no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Shane Sullivan||Counselor||The staff list is described as "our family", very cult-like. Sullivan no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Gregory Dean Caldwell||Teacher|
|Bayard Kohlhepp||NO TITLE||Kohlhepp no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Natalie Knowles||NO TITLE||Knowles no longer appears to work for this program.|
Case in North Carolina Courts, hearing on April 20th, 2009 at Buncombe County
Court (Details unknown)
|Vince Brown||Staff (from approx Nov. 2006-June 2008)||Brown no longer works for this program.|
|Jeremy Jones||Director of Boys Program||(Son of Pat and "Jimbo") Phone number for program is registered as personal phone number for J. Jones.|
|Angela Jones||Wife of Jeremy /Program Director|
|Krystal Dirscherl||Executive Asst.|
|Jody and Deborah Davis||Houseparents|
|Stephen and Melina Johnson||Houseparents|
|Ben and Lauren Fackler||Houseparents|
Reportedly worked for Harbor Oaks from 2006-2007. Also, from an e-mail
report received February 25th, 2011:
"He represents himself as having a PhD in psychology….but he’s only licensed as an Abuse Counselor by the State of Utah. He worked as a “counselor” at the now closed Whitmore Academy in Nephi, Utah – which was owned by Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks. Whitmore Academy was closed – when Cheryl Sudweeks was charged; and “copped a plea” for abusing kids in 2005. Bernie Farrow went to work as a “counselor” at INTEGRITY HOUSE, after Whitmore Academy closed. Then, he went to work as a counselor at Harbor Oaks."
|Arlene Farrow||Admissions Director||Farrow is wife to Bernie above and also reportedly left the program in 2007.|
|Ashland Scheff Jockell||Counselor||
Jockell and her husband (first name not included in report) both reportedly
worked for Harbor Oaks in 2007. Below is from an e-mail report sent in
by a concerned citizen:
"Ashland is the daughter of Sue Scheff – the owner of PURE, Inc….which refers children to treatment facilities for fees: Usually 10% of year’s enrollment fee. Sue Scheff referred my [child] to Whitmore Academy. Sue Scheff referred children to Harbor Oaks Boarding School."
HEAL edited portions of the above to protect the identity of the person submitting the information and the family that has been through enough due to these people. The portions edited are those that appear in [brackets].
|Mark Vander Gailen||Counselor|
|Tim Magee||Math Teacher|
|Hutch and Patti Church||Chaplains|
|Joel and Erin (Last?)||Houseparents|
|Justin and Erica (Last?)||Houseparents|
|*(Harbor Oaks, 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.)|
|Current Lawsuit Against Program Filed September 3rd, 2010: Bonham et al v. Wolf Creek Academy et al Case No: 1:2010cv00190 Court: North Carolina Western District Court.|
|Lawsuit Update: The case above has become a class action lawsuit. See: www.heal-online.org/wca.pdf|
E-mail Message Received from Concerned Relative of Prospective "Student"
(February 25th, 2011):
HEAL SPECIAL REPORT:
HARBOR OAKS BOARDING SCHOOL'S ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT REVIEW
HEAL has found multiple problems with Harbor Oaks Boarding School's enrollment agreement including apparent unconscionable terms and contradictory terms leaving us to believe that Harbor Oaks Boarding School is running a money-making scam on families in need of assistance. We will be alternating between "quoted text" from pages of Harbor Oaks Boarding School's enrollment agreement (as was downloaded from harboroaksboardingschool.com on October 8th, 2010) and HEAL's questions/concerns. HEAL will not repeatedly link to the enrollment agreement in full throughout this review, and, we advise readers to scroll back and/or open the enrollment agreement in a new window while reviewing our work for accuracy or if additional contextualization is preferred. This is an independent review and if you are in need of legal assistance or advice, please consult with an attorney.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 1)
"Place of Birth"
"Place of Birth"
"Social Security Number"
HEAL includes the above to highlight that this program requires the place of birth and social security number of "students"/children entering the program. It is only a mild concern as the purposes for requesting such information are not made explicit in the forms.
We recommend parents ask Harbor Oaks why they wish to know who referred them to the program and if referrers receive any kind of incentive or compensation for such referrals. If so, this is a serious ethical concern and parents should investigate thoroughly to insure that they are not being scammed.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 2)
It is invasive and inappropriate for a program to request the date of birth and social security number for all parents and step-parents (including those not financially responsible for the child). This is a serious concern and families should be very cautious when filling out forms that request unnecessary personal identification information.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 3)
"I, ___________, the legal guardian of the above captioned child, do herewith transfer temporary physical care, custody and control of _____________ to Harbor Oaks Boarding School residing at 41 Beauty Spot Cove Road, Mars Hill, North Carolina, 28754."
"This instrument authorized the Harbor Oaks Staff to obtain any medical, dental, psychological, or psychiatric treatment for ________________, as deemed necessary by professionals in that field and to enroll him/her in school."
"This custody agreement shall remain in effect until such time as this stipulation is suspended by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or until this parties to this agreement feel that said custody arrangement is no longer in the best interest and welfare of my child."
"I, ______________, affix my signature to this authorization because I feel the intent of said authorization is in the best interest and welfare of my child."
"...Second Party agrees to place Child for a minimum of six (6) months in the Program."
HEAL's main concern in the above listed quotes from the contract is the fact that the program appears to end up with equal say or predominant say in regards to the child's length of stay in the program and that parental authority appears to be overrode by the authority acquired by the program to determine subjectively, and, in a manner that is most likely to benefit the program. This is a serious concern as many programs in this industry do use threats of false reports to authorities suggesting a parent is not acting in the best interest of their child by removing them from such programs to intimidate parents into keeping children in the program and by virtue extort additional fees from the families by using such threats.
The above portion of the agreement also included blanks where the tuition fees would be in the agreement. HEAL is yet unable to confirm the current monthly rates of "tuition" at this program.
A six month minimum for "therapeutic" or "lockdown" services is excessive and goes against what is suggested by legitimate mental health professionals. For alternatives to institutionalization and parenting tips, see www.heal-online.org/parent.htm.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 4)
"THIS AGREEMENT, made and entered into this _______day of __________, 20___, by and between Harbor Oaks Boarding School, a Nonprofit Corporation, engaged in the care and rehabilitation of minor children on a Christian basis in a Christ-centered boarding school (hereinafter called the "FACILITY" or "FIRST PARTY")."
"Second party voluntarily and unconditionally, without coercion or force, temporarily conveys the care, custody and control of said minor Child to the Facility, expressly appointing the Facility as lawful attorney for said Second party and in said Second Party's name, place and stead for and to serve in loco parentis (in place of Second Party) of said Child for his (her) care, custody/safety, education and training (both secular and religious) and for all other responsibilities, real or legal, including all necessities which the facility deems essential for said Child. This grant of temporary custody and control shall commence upon signing of the Agreement by the last party hereto and shall terminate as hereinafter provided. This agreement does not replace the parental custody or rights in any way."
"Harbor Oaks or its Facilities are not liable for the said Child's destruction of any property on or off campus. Financial responsibility, if any, will be that of the Second Party."
"Harbor Oaks is not liable or responsible for said Child's personal property either being lost or destroyed, including items, which were left by said child upon exit of program."
"Second party agrees not to interfere with the temporary custody or management of said Child in any way and shall not encourage or permit anyone else to do so."
"Second Party further acknowledges that said Second Party understands that Second Party's cooperation with the facility, not only in the financial support but also in the personal participation in the Facility's program, is essential to the success of the attempt by both the Second Party and the Facility to rehabilitate said minor." (segment ends on page 5 of agreement)
This program does not appear to be licensed as a mental health or behavioral health program in North Carolina. The extended provider list was not available through the North Carolina government websites at the time of writing this review. However, at www.nccarelink.gov, a search for behavioral health programs does not include Harbor Oaks Boarding School nor Wolf Creek Academy. These programs are also not listed as "Children's Homes" through the NCcarelink.gov website. These programs are also not listed as "Children's Special Health Program[s]". These programs also do not appear to be licensed as schools or alternative/charter educational institutions. This program claims to be a registered non-profit corporation. However, search results return no result for Harbor Oaks Boarding School nor Wolf Creek Academy. Based on these findings, HEAL believes Harbor Oaks/Wolf Creek is not licensed to provide educational nor therapeutic services in North Carolina and that they are not even licensed as a registered non-profit as their application claims. This is a serious concern. For more information regarding the issues of licensing and/or improper licensing of such programs, please see www.heal-online.org/warn.htm.
The second, fifth, and sixth segments quoted above appear to contradict each other. The program claims that they will not override parental authority in the second, but, then demand absolute support, cooperation, and obedience from parents. Since these terms appear to be contradictory, it suggests unconscionability and/or an illusory contract/agreement.
It is a concern that in the fourth segment this program refuses to accept any responsibility for any harm they cause to the child or his/her property, while in the third segment the program is demanding the family accept responsibility for incidents that may be erroneously attributed to acts or omissions of children while under the supervision of the program who should take responsibility for their own inability to manage the children in their care. This is a serious concern and suggests hypocrisy is the way of this program.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 5)
"Visiting privileges and other Second Party/Child contact will be at the discretion of the Facility, and Second Party agrees to be bound by such decisions of the Facility."
"At least (30) days prior to the termination date, (six month anniversary), the Facility will set a time to meet with the Second Party to discuss either a renewal of the Agreement or discharge of said Child."
"(Child to sign in agreement with parent at time of Admission)"
"I, _________, have read the above mentioned agreement signed by my parent(s), legal guardian(s) or person(s) having legal custody of me and, by joining I with them, consent to all of the terms and conditions of the same."
It is a serious concern that this program denies contact between children and their families during any point of their treatment at the program. This is a warning sign of an abusive facility. Please see www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for important information and questions you should ask any program you consider for your family.
It is a concern that the program renews the contract at intervals of 6 months each time. This is puts families in an awkward position and may lend itself to further exploitation of children and extortion of family resources. It is a serious concern.
Children (minors) cannot be held to contracts and by having them sign a contract so that such can be used to convince them they have already waived their rights is unconscionable and is a serious concern for anyone who cares about children's welfare and rights.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 6)
"Visitation privileges will be granted based upon student's behavior and level privileges. Parent agrees to abide by visitation policies."
"PHONE CALLS may be made to the student weekly (as agreed upon by the parent and house parent for a convenient time schedule). This will be in accordance with the Level status. Level three students have more phone privileges than Level one and two students. All phone calls will be two-way monitored by the Staff. Any agreed changes to this must be annotated in an Amendment to Contract with signature from Second Party and Representative of Facility."
"MAIL - Incoming and outgoing mail will be read by Staff prior to distribution to/from students. Parents will provide an authorized mailing list to Harbor Oaks no later than two weeks after placement. Any agreed changes to this must be annotated in an Amendment to Contract with signatures from Second Party and Representative of Facility."
It is a serious concern that this program denies contact between children and their parents and is indicative of an abusive program. Please see www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for additional information.
It is a serious concern that all phone calls are monitored by staff. This reduces the opportunity for children to honestly report mistreatment, abuse, or other violations to their families or proper authorities. Programs that control children to this extent are doing a disservice to the children and their families. It is a serious concern and indicative of an abusive program.
It is also a serious concern that this program admits to violating the law and the legal rights of minors in the program by reading all incoming and outgoing mail. This is a violation of the law. This was decided in the case of Milonas and Rice v. Provo Canyon School. A program that openly admits to one legal violation likely commits many others. It is recommended that families do not enroll children in programs that openly violate the rights of children or other child abuse/welfare laws.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 7)
"Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and student hereby agrees to legal Christian arbitration in a legal disagreement with the Facility or its employees, volunteers, representatives, and agents. A legal Christian arbitrator to be determined by mutual agreement of the parties will conduct such legal Christian arbitration."
"(I or We), authorize members of the Facility's accrediting organization, to review my child's __________, records as part of the annual accreditation requirement of the state of North Carolina."
It is a concern that this program would demand a mutually agreed upon arbitrator that will likely be located and primarily selected by the program. This is a serious concern as many faith-based services appear to cover up the wrong-doing of those claiming to work in the same or similar field and may leave families without real justice or fairness in arbitration.
It is also a concern that this program suggests it is accredited by the state of North Carolina when HEAL can find no evidence that this program is registered or licensed with any North Carolina agency. At best, it suggests deception in advertising.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 8)
"I hereby give further authorization for my Child to be:"
"Photographed or Video taped for training, publishing and video productions"
"Publish personal story and photographs of the Child"
"Allow interviews by television, newspaper and radio media"
It is inappropriate to exploit children and their family problems for personal gain by using the children for program promotions. This is a serious concern and shows a lack of morals and ethics in the way this program operates. They shouldn't ask for it, they should wait until families or graduates offer to commend the program and then work out the most appropriate and respectful manner to do such for supporting the program. This is a concern as children may not understand their rights to privacy and/or compensation for the use of their name/likeness/work for financial gain as is suggested by the program's literature and materials.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 10)
"List an issues, which led you to the decision to place your child in a residential care facility:"
"Does your child have any tattoos or body piercing?"
HEAL suggests you ask to see all of the paperwork and verify the licensing, accreditation, and professional qualifications for all individuals working at Harbor Oaks Boarding School and/or Wolf Creek Academy. We can find no evidence that this program is effectively licensed or accredited and this is a serious concern.
We included the question regarding tattoos or body piercing because many cult-like programs will not accept children who have expressed themselves to the point of tattoos and body-piercings. This is a concern because it shows an inability to accept all children and work with children to understand the children's points of view. And, that is necessary, if a true and lasting positive change is going to be achieved for the individual children and their families.
Based on this review, we believe Harbor Oaks Boarding School/Wolf Creek Academy ought to be avoided.
HEAL UPDATE: August 3rd, 2016
This program uses Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. ACE is not an accredited academic program and credits "earned" at this facility are not accepted by major universities. Wolf Creek Academy write: "Our mission is to provide a quality education to each student and help students master curriculum knowledge via the Accelerated Christian Education system." Source: http://www.wolfcreekacademy.org/about/academics/
ACE, doing business as Lighthouse Christian Academy and claiming to provide distance or correspondence learning services for home-schooled youth claims to be "fully accredited by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA–CESS) and Accreditation International (Ai)" Source: https://www.aceministries.com/homeschool/. Based on our research and verified by the University of Alabama, these are not legitimate accreditation agencies.
HEAL recently e-mailed the University of Alabama's admissions department to inquire if they would accept a student who graduated an ACE school or program. This was their response:
The University of Alabama Admissions Department wrote:
"Good morning Angela, I hope your weekend went well. After checking with our Enrollment Management team, it looks like we would not be able to accept credit from this institution based on the accreditation concerns. If you have any further questions, please let me know, and I will do my best to answer them or get you in touch with someone who can. Have a great day. Hunter Denson The University of Alabama"
This program is a fraud and scam. We advise against enrolling your children at this facility if you care about their future.
Last Updated:November 20th, 2019