This is a  staff list for Sunhawk Academy in St.George, UT

(Closed in July, 2011)

(a.k.a. Aspen Education Group, SunHawk Academy, Sun Hawk Academy, Sunhawk Adolescent Recovery Center)

(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 SunHawk Academy.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at SunHawk Academy, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by SunHawk 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. 


This program is reportedly closed.  Please see for more information.




Additional Information
Benjamin Harris Executive Director Founded in 1996, SunHawk Academy is a 74-bed program licensed as a residential treatment program. The program is located in a large self-contained building located in a commercial section of St. George, UT.  The program head is Ben Harris, former national director of Alternative Youth Adventures (AYA, formerly Aspen Youth Adventures).
Jonathan Brockman Residential  
Justine Peterson Registrar  
Rodger Peterson Teacher  
Kevin Wilson Teacher  
Cara Dickman Admin. Asst.  
Blu Robinson Counselor  
Tara Chappell Food Services  
Jessica Fox Food Services  
William Gardella Food Services  
Kirk Hulsoff Facilities Asst.  
Justin Abbott Residential  
Melissa Despain Residential  
Darci Hafen Residential  
Jeff Johnson Admissions Director Jeff worked as Director of Marketing and Admissions for several Aspen Education programs, including Mount Bachelor Academy (confirmedly abusive), SUWS of Idaho, Adirondack Leadership Expeditions (confirmedly abusive) and as Director of Special Projects for the Outdoor Division. Most recently, Jeff served as Executive Director of AMATS, the Association of Mediation and Transportation Services.
Britani Brown Operations Director  
Alma Cardoza Admin Asst  
Lawanna (Wani) Nash Insurance "Specialist" Nash no longer appears to work at this program.
Rodney Arnold Counselor He began working at SunHawk in July 2004.
Derek Buchi Counselor Buchi has worked at various programs since 1994.
Mai Ferrell Counselor Ferrell no longer appears to work for this program.
Joshua Larsen Counselor Larsen has been with SunHawk since 2005 and worked at another unnamed facility in 2004.*
Judy Burris Academic Director  
Davee Chandler Clinical Director  
Dal Liston Operations Director Has worked at SunHawk since 2001 and in the industry since 1987.*
Arden Smith Program Director Smith has worked in the industry since 1995.
Kellie Fairbanks Coordinator  
Joddy Williams Nurse  
William (Bill) Gardella Food Services  
Mori Kessler Residential  
Ryan Wassom Residential  
Zachary Zimmerman Residential  
Kamuela Alisa Residential  
Logan Bleazard Residential  
Melissa Brockman Residential  
Carol Buckner Residential  
Michal Butler Residential  
Jordan Clark Residential  
David Codding Residential  
Perry French Residential  
Helen Haas Residential  
Jody Harris Residential  
Eric Larson Residential  
Collin Liston Residential  
Angelina Marispini Residential  
Brandon Mauia Residential  
Riley Nelson Residential  
Bryan Pitts Residential  
Crystal Gallegos Residential Gallegos no longer appears to work for this program.
Clint Hardy Residential Hardy no longer appears to work for this program.
Mylon Kavea Residential Kavea no longer appears to work for this program.
Joel Love Residential Love no longer appears to work for this program.
Alice Love Residential Love no longer appears to work for this program.
Robert Wolf Residential  
Daniel Young Residential  
Annette Oliaie Counselor/Inventory  
Cody Thomas Counselor/Inventory  
Micheal "Cheese" Wellhoff Supervisor  
Susan Harty Teacher Harty no longer appears to work for this program.
Kevin Wilson Teacher Wilson no longer appears to work for this program.
Richard Y. Moody Psychiatrist/Behavioral Engineer Moody is a former staff at SunHawk and has worked for confirmedly abusive Eagle Ranch Academy in Utah as well as Turning Leaf Seminars.   Moody no longer appears to work for this program.
John Walters Therapist (former) Walters also formerly worked for Cinnamon Hills Youth Crisis Center and currently (2011) works for Renewing Hope Academy in Apple Valley, UT.  According to (February 10th, 2011), this program has not yet opened and is still in the process of starting up.  It may be something the Utah government would like to investigate due to the associations with Cinnamon Hills and Aspen Education Group.
BDogg Mauia Youth Supervisor 2007-Present (Feb, 2011)
Mandi Mauia RC 1 2009-Present (Feb, 2011)
Al (last name ?) Wilderness Director Reported by survivor from 1996-1997
Dr. Russ Talbot Therapist Reported by survivor from 1996-1997  Talbot is reportedly running Lion's Gate Recovery and Southern Utah Counseling
Virgil (last name ?) Staff Reported by survivor from 1996-1997
Dean Nixon Academic Director Reported by survivor from 1996-1997
Marilee Moody Staff Reported by survivor from 1996-1997
Clint Moody Staff Reported by survivor via e-mail 4/7/21.
Nalani (last?) Staff Reported by survivor via e-mail 4/7/21.
Darrel (last?) Staff Reported by survivor via e-mail 4/7/21.
Kathryn (last?) Staff Reported by survivor via e-mail 4/7/21.
Hannah (last?) Staff Reported by survivor via e-mail 4/7/21.
Kelly Lee Moore Talbot's Staff Moore reportedly works/worked directly under Dr. Russ Talbot who reportedly covered for Moore while in his employ. 

1/8/2001 Attempted Illegal Poss/use Of Controlled Substance {Guilty Plea}
12/18/1997 Theft Of Services Guilty
10/12/2011 Theft By Receiving Stolen Property Guilty
3/21/2007 Theft No Contest
7/25/2008 Endangerment Of Child Or Elder Adult Guilty
7/25/2008 Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia Guilty
10/15/2009 Theft By Receiving Stolen Property Guilty
6/26/2008 Joyriding/ Unauth Control For Extended Time Guilty
6/26/2008 Fail To Obey Peace Officer Guilty
3/25/2011 Controlled Substance Schedule I Or Ii Guilty
4/2/2010 Possession Or Use Of A Controlled Substance Guilty
3/11/2004 Theft By Receiving Stolen Property Guilty

Sources: and

*(SunHawk 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.)
SunHawk 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.
HEAL has reviewed multiple Aspen Education Group contracts that appear to be illusory, unconscionable, void/voidable, and arguably illegal.  We are in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for SunHawk Academy.  In the meantime, please see the reviews for Adirondack Leadership Expeditions, Aspen Achievement Academy, Aspen Ranch, Aspen Institute of Behavioral Assessment, and New Leaf Academy.  It is our suggestion that families avoid doing business with Aspen Education Group and/or their individual programs.
Sunhawk Academy uses the same Positive Control Systems' methods as Eagle Ranch Academy and WWASPS.
Man in possession of stolen property claims he was set up Written by Kimberly Scott March 27, 2015 Stock image | St. George News HURRICANE – A Hurricane man found in possession of a stolen trailer, license plate and debit card during a traffic stop in Hurricane Wednesday claims he was set up. Hurricane City Police Officer Kacen Gubler observed a man traveling east on state Route 9 driving a black Ford F-150 and pulling a trailer with a tail light that wasn’t working, according to a probable cause statement written by Gubler in support of the arrest. Kelly Lee Moore, Hurricane, Utah, booking photo posted March 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News Gubler initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as 53-year-old Kelly Lee Moore, of Hurricane. As Gubler was running Moore’s information, he noticed the license plate information on the trailer didn’t match the description of the trailer it was on, the statement said. The registered owner of the license plate was a man who Gubler knew was incarcerated in the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. After making contact with the jailed man, the jailed man told police the plate was stolen and that he wanted to press charges. When Gubler asked Moore who the plate belonged to, Moore told him it belonged to his work and that it should be registered to them, the statement said. “I advised (Moore) the plate did not return to the company,” Gubler said. “(Moore) stated he was being set up.” Gubler wrote in the statement of probable cause: I asked (Moore) where the vin was for the trailer so I could verify the trailer belonged to the company he worked for. (Moore) showed me where the vin should be but no vin was there. (Moore) stated he did not know where the vin was and that he put that tabbed vin there himself. Moore was placed under arrest for being in possession of stolen property. As Gubler searched Moore’s wallet, he located a debit card with another man’s name on it, the statement said. When Gubler asked Moore who the card belonged to, he told him he did not know. When Moore was asked why the card was in his wallet, he told Gubler he didn’t know and that he didn’t know the person whose name was on the card. During an inventory of the Ford truck, officers discovered a glass pipe containing a reside that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the statement. “(Moore) stated he let people borrow his truck a few days prior,” Gubler said. “(Moore) stated it was not his pipe.” Moore was booked into the Washington County Correctional Facility. Moore was charged with three third-degree felonies for unlawful acquisition of a finance card, drug possession and vehicle parts without identification number; two class B misdemeanors for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia; and one class C misdemeanor for operating an unsafe vehicle. Moore was released from custody on $25,720 bail. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on April 1. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. Source:


 Last Updated: April 7th, 2021

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