This is a  staff list for New Leaf Academy in Hendersonville, NC (closed June 25th, 2010) & Bend, OR

(a.k.a. Aspen Education Group, Talisman 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 New Leaf Academy.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at New Leaf Academy, you have the right to take action.


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by New Leaf Academy, please contact 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 New Leaf Academy and rescue them if they are there now.




Additional Information
Kathryn Huffman Admissions Director New Leaf Academy--North Carolina (program closed June 25th, 2010)  However, the program has been replaced by Talisman Academy, another CRC/Aspen program operating in the same location in Hendersonville. 
Craig Christiansen Owner  
Christy Christiansen Owner  
Cat Jennings Executive Director  
John Singleton Staff (former) Singleton currently (September 1st, 2010) works for Brandon Hall School in Atlanta, GA.  Singleton has also worked for Stone Mountain School, and Cedars Academy. There is no additional information on staff at this facility.* (program closing June 25th, 2010)
Annette Davis Academic Director Talisman Academy  Davis formerly worked for confirmedly and notoriously abusive Provo Canyon School.
Tracy Hopkins Admissions Talisman Academy.
Britt Patterson Program Supervisor Talisman Academy
Colt Wight Program Supervisor Talisman Academy--Talisman Academy is associated with and shares much of the same staff as the other Talisman Camps and Programs.  For more information, click here.
Robbi O'Kelley Executive Director New Leaf Academy--Oregon  The following is taken from an e-mail received on January 13th, 2011 from a parent of a New Leaf Academy survivor:

"Robbi O'Kelley - current Executive Director at NLA came from Northstar Academy, also in Oregon, and owned by Aspen"  O'Kelley no longer works for New Leaf Academy.  O'Kelley is now the executive director at La Europa Academy in Utah.

Sarah Casson Rush Admissions Director  
Patricia (PJ) Swan Clinical Director  
Deveney Marshall Program Director The following is taken from an e-mail received on January 13th, 2011 from a parent of a New Leaf Academy survivor:

"Deveney Marshall-  current Program Director at New Leaf Academy(NLA) in Oregon.  She holds a B.A. in Journalism and international studies, that's it.  She came to NLA from Aspen Acheivement Academy, Tresslercare in PA and Project Discovery in Reno , NV"

Carol Ranstad Academic Director  
Jerrie Dee Harvey Therapist  
Cathryn Perkins Therapist  
Kari Pickel Admissions Pickel is an author who does not like children and this is publicly admitted.  Someone who doesn't like children working for the program industry, go figure.  See:

"The next big hurdle for most of us is dating. Dating a single parent is like walking through a minefield with a blindfold. There are always issues. Will his kids like you? Will they like your kids? Will your kids like him? Will they like his kids? Are they the right age? Will it be weird? The truth is I don't really like children (emphasis added). I only like mine and dating someone who has kids is really an exercise in frustration"

These people do not care about children and focus solely on narcissism of parents and themselves in family disputes.  This is unhealthy and shows exactly the type of attitude this industry has towards children.

Nancy Lode Staff Reported via e-mail on January 13th, 2011.
Katie Silver Staff Reported via e-mail on November 22nd, 2015.
Kellee Hummel Admissions There is no additional information on staff at this facility.*  Hummel no longer appears to work for this program.
Robyn Mims Executive Director (former?)  
Cat Jennings Staff  
Dr. Kay (First/Last?) Psychiatrist  
Ms. Charlotte (Full?) House Parent
Ms. Betty (Full?) House Parent  
Ms. Camilla (Full?) House Parent  
Ms. Jasmine (Full?) House Parent  
Josh (Full?) Principal  
Ella (Last?) Teacher  
Alana (Full?) Teacher  
Meredith (Full?) Teacher  
Millie (Full?) Teacher  
Mrs. Rachel (Full?) Counselor  
Miss Kristene (Full?) Counselor  
Miss Claire (?) Counselor  
*(New Leaf Academy, 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.)
HEAL Review: Contract Review and Initial Program Report (North Carolina Program)  HEAL believes that the enrollment materials for both the New Leaf Academy in NC and OR are likely the same.  However, we are in the process of writing a separate review for the Oregon program materials.
New Leaf Academy is an Aspen Education Group program.  Thomas J. Croke, Educational Consultant, has denounced Aspen Education Group for putting profits over the safety and care of children in Aspen programs.
New Leaf Academy was scheduled to close in July, 2011.  "By now I hope everyone knows that New Leaf will be staying open.  The former owners, Craig and Christy Christiansen, are re-acquiring the program from Aspen and will assume ownership on July 1."  New Leaf Academy will remain open under Craig and Christy Christiansen.  This is confirmed by an e-mail sent by Robbi O'Kelley on June 7th, 2011.  HEAL will leave New Leaf Academy information on this page.  Please note that New Leaf Academy in Oregon will no longer be owned by Aspen Education Group as of July 1st, 2011.  However, this does not mean it is not using the same methods as always and the contract on their website is still in the Aspen Education Group contract format as of June 13th, 2011.  The site is still using parentcheckin, which is Aspen provided.  We will be watching this one closely.
Lawsuit Against New Leaf Academy in NC:  Filed in 2011
External Link: Survivor Blog:


 Last Updated: November 27th, 2019

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