This is a  staff list for Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell, MT

(a.k.a.   )

 

THIS PROGRAM IS CLOSED/CLOSING AS OF MAY, 2020.

 

(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 Summit Preparatory 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 Summit Preparatory School, you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Summit Preparatory 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 don’t place your loved one in Summit Preparatory School and rescue them if they are there now. 

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Todd Fiske Executive Director/Superintendent  
Rick Johnson Founder and Program Development Director  
Jan Johnson Founder and Clinical Director Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker.  Johnson's license # is: BBH-LCSW-LIC-342.  E-mail dlibsdcomplaints@mt.gov to file a complaint.  For more reporting resources, visit www.heal-online.org/report.htm.
Victor Houser Psychiatrist  
Liann Ainsworth Assoc. Exec. Director of Operations  
Dave Perisho Residential Director  
Judy Heleva Admissions Director  
Shelley Eberhardy Academic Dean  
Barb Cunningham Professional Relations Director  
Steve Gesler Learning Resource Specialist  
Eric Nelson  Math/Science Teacher  
John Eck Social Studies Teacher  
Adam Shilling Fine Arts/Building Trades Teacher  
Jessica Bruinsma English Teacher  
Carisa Ketchen Science Teacher  
Erica Anne Gerber Academic Coordinator/Teacher  
Stacy Cantrell Math/Health/PE Teacher  
Diane Elliott Librarian  
Marc Ruggiero Clinical Therapist  
Sara Smithson Clinical Therapist  
Ayme Krogstad Clinical Therapist  
Andrew Tromey Clinical Therapist  
Charley Jones Clinical Therapist  
Sean Patrick Clinical Therapist  
Mick Stemborski Clinical Therapist  
Clay Appleton Night Charge Residential Counselor  
Ryan Ebersberger Residential Counselor Supervisor  
Jennifer Munyer Weekend Residential Counselor Supervisor  
Spencer Wade Night Residential Counselor  
Steve Johnson Night Residential Counselor  
Jordan Boyce Residential Counselor  
Tom Wilely Night Residential Counselor  
Lynnrose Pine Night Residential Counselor  
Josh Amundson Night Residential Counselor  
Heather Kopman Night Residential Counselor  
Sheila Michmerhuizen Night Residential Counselor  
Ali Jennings Residential Counselor  
Josh VanCuren Residential Counselor  
Olga Allestad Night Residential Counselor  
Jeremy Nairn Residential Counselor/Bible Scholar  
Derrick Moody Residential Counselor  
Jason Heisey Residential Counselor  
Brienne Stekly Residential Counselor  
Jessie Collins Residential Counselor  
Geremy Anderson Residential Counselor  
Rhonda Appleton Sub Residential Counselor  
Sonny Mazzullo Residential Counselor  
David Nadel Residential Counselor  
Randall Low Night Residential Counselor  
Grace Burton Night Residential Counselor  
Cole Roberts Night Residential Counselor  
Katie Hausauer Residential Counselor  
Shane Nix Business Manager  
Jessica Brooks Front Desk/Reception  
Janette Thomason Nurse  
Christine Hurst Assoc. Admissions Director  
Jill Gesler Nutrition Manager  
Josh Gesler Asst. Nutrition Specialist  
Michael Power Asst. Nutrition Specialist  
Bill Yeager Plant Manager Favorite quote: "This too shall pass." ~ Anonymous
James Admundson Transports and Maintenance Specialist  
     
     
     
*(Summit Preparatory 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.)
This is an in progress and ongoing effort.  We hope to update this page as soon as possible with additional information.  We appreciate your patience.

Licensee Detail


Source: https://ebiz.mt.gov/POL/GeneralProperty/LicenseeDetail.aspx?LicenseeNumber=PAP-PAP-LIC-23&LicenseeType=Alternative%20Adolescent%20Program

Summit Preparatory School is licensed as an Alternative Adolescent Program in MT.  Montana allows private schools to operate without any oversight and has no requirements for licensing, registration, approval, and accreditation for such programs.  Source: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf (Page 165)  Parents need to understand when enrolling youth in out of state programs and facilities (and sometimes even in-state depending on where you live), you must make sure the academic services are properly and fully accredited and that those credits will transfer.

HEAL contacted the University of Montana (and one US public university outside of MT) to find out whether or not they accept students with diplomas and credits from Summit Preparatory School.  Here is there response:

"We do accept transcripts/diplomas from Summit Prep; however, because it is not accredited, we must go by the parent's residency for tuition purposes so [X] would be considered an out-of-state resident."

According to the Flathead County Superintendent of Schools in MT: "Summit Preparatory  School is a nonpublic school accredited by the Montana State Board of Public Education and reported an enrollment of 58 students for the 2015-16 school year.  As a privately funded nonpublic school, it is not regulated by this office.

The University of Washington simply checked Summit Preparatory School's own website and did nothing more to verify the claims made by Summit Preparatory School to verify accreditation or transferable credits.  The University of Washington wrote: "I looked at the school's website and it says they are accredited by the State of Montana’s Board of Public Education/Office of Public Instruction, which you can see here. As long as the school is accredited by the state, we should be able to accept his high school coursework to meet our College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs)."

The above e-mail replies from the Flathead County Superintendent, University of Montana, and University of Washington provide conflicting information.  Our concern is that since the program is not regulated that there is no oversight regarding academic services and that the University of Washington will not make a committed statement regarding acceptance of any transcripts or credits from Summit saying "should be able to accept" instead of "definitely will accept".  Beyond that, statements from the University of Montana suggest it is not effectively accredited.  But, the Flathead County Superintendent has stated it is accredited, but, not regulated. 

HEAL has followed up with the Superintendent and we are waiting to find out what accreditation means in MT and what if any regulation or oversight is provided by the Montana State Board of Education to make sure children are receiving quality education at nonpublic institutions accredited by the Board.

The Superintendent wrote, in the latest e-mail reply regarding any oversight of nonpublic schools in MT, the following: "In order to become accredited or maintain accreditation schools submit an accreditation report to OPI each year to show they are meeting accreditation standards.  OPI tries to perform on site visits to every accredited school at least every five years to audit their accreditation reports."

The above statement suggests to HEAL that nonpublic schools such as Summit Preparatory School are not effectively monitored to ensure quality of services to enrolled youths.  We may submit FOIA requests in the future for copies of any audit reports.    


Summit Preparatory School to Close With declining enrollment, nonprofit therapeutic boarding school west of Kalispell announces final graduation in May By Tristan Scott // Mar 11, 2020 Summit Preparatory School celebrated their 15th anniversary with the opening of a new art studio on Sept. 21, 2018. Art teacher Adam Shilling, center, works with students on a tile painting project in the new studio. Beacon File Photo SHOW CAPTION Cloistered in the forested foothills west of Kalispell, the sprawling 600-acre campus at Summit Preparatory School has since 2003 furnished students with a therapeutic formula that combines the rigors of academia, the mental health expertise of a clinical team and the inherently restorative properties of nature. But in the more than 15 years since Summit Prep debuted its unique program, other similar resources have sprung up across the country, with many in closer proximity to urban centers. As the suite of mental health resources for adolescents has continued to broaden, enrollment at Summit has seen consistent declines, leading to an unsustainable model for a program that must employ 60 staff to maintain its 24-hour supervision, as well as both mental health and academic resources. On March 8, Summit Preparatory School’s Board of Directors voted to close the school amid another year of declining enrollment, a decision that its co-founder, Rick Johnson, described as difficult but necessary. “It finally reached a point at which the organization could not subsist on the number of students it has enrolled, and that has been a declining census over the past four or five years,” Johnson said, adding that the leadership team explored new funding opportunities and partnerships, but they never came to fruition. “Working in mental health is unique in that it is one of the only businesses where, if business goes down, that’s a good thing. Hopefully it means those needs are being met elsewhere. But this is a tough one.” Current enrollment has slipped to just 27 students, Johnson said, down from its past levels of between 35-55 students; in recent years, enrollment has hovered in the “upper-20s and lower-30s,” he said. “In order to provide the services we provide, that is just not sustainable. We can’t do it with fewer than 30 students,” Johnson said. As one of the first nonprofit therapeutic, coeducational boarding schools in the country, the mission at Summit Prep is predicated on helping adolescents heal in a natural environment, serving teens ages 14-18 who are enduring variations of learning, emotional, social and psychiatric issues. The facility is rare in its co-ed emphasis and its status as an accredited therapeutic boarding school, meaning students’ coursework meets Montana Office of Public Instruction high school graduation standards. Executive Director Todd Fiske said the school is set to hold its final graduation on May 1, with the majority of students currently on campus matriculating out of the program. “With all other students and families, our clinical team will be working closely to help facilitate the selection of and transition to alternative options as of May 1,” Fiske said. “We will ensure that all required staffing remains in place and our academic, therapeutic and residential work continues through the end of the block. Our primary goal over the next months, as always, is the safety of our students and the school.” Board Chair Alex Habib, who co-founded the program alongside Johnson, said Summit has helped nearly 1,000 students and their families in times of crisis since opening. However, he said Summit’s underlying relation model has proliferated across the country, with most states enacting regulations codifying best practices that serve to protect the safety and wellbeing of students. “With refinement of programs from wilderness to residential treatment centers, even the average stay has been significantly reduced,” Habib said in a statement. “Over the past months and years despite great efforts, we have been faced with the challenge of keeping enrollment at a sustainable level. In many ways, our original goals as founders have been accomplished, and there are so many great alternative programs much closer to homes.” The idea for Summit dates back to when Habib and Johnson were college roommates at Trinity College in Illinois, and frequently discussed their desire to help kids. “Our Summit model was designed to help build structure, navigate relationships, overcome social difficulties, rebound from academic failure, resolve conflict with parents, eliminate dangerous behaviors, develop emotional stability and assist in regaining a direction and purpose in life,” Johnson, who outlined the groundbreaking model in his book, “An Upward Spiral,” said. His voice cracking with emotion, Johnson said none of the work at Summit would have been possible without the school’s team and staff members dedicated to the work. “We have such a great team of staff,” Johnson said. “In addition to the students, they really are what makes Summit, Summit. They have dedicated their lives to these kids and their families, and while this is not going to be an easy transition, I think I speak for everyone in saying what an honor it has been having the opportunity to work with the kids and their families for so many years.”  Source: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/03/11/summit-preparatory-school-close/

 

 Last Updated: March 11th, 2020

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