This is a  staff list for Spring Ridge Academy in Spring Valley, AZ

(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 Spring Ridge 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 Spring Ridge Academy, you have the right to take action. 


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




Additional Information
Jeannie Courtney Founder/CEO Courtney's history includes setting up a program model for a Utah-based program.  However, the program is not identified and this is likely because it has been exposed as an abusive, cult-like program.  Courtney reportedly formerly worked for Cross Creek (WWASPS) in UT.
Mary Hickey Admissions Hickey's history includes working for a different wilderness program and residential program.  However, these programs are not specified.  Why? 
Gary Hees Clinical Director Hees also runs "workshops" and "seminars" typically used to brainwash and coerce families into staying involved and turning over more money as well as referring their friends/family to the cult/program.
Joseph Gubbins Academic Director  
Suzanne Courtney Parent Liason Courtney's the go-between that monitors communication between you and your child and arbitrarily decides when and if you can have contact with your child.  Courtney has also worked for an unnamed facility in Utah.
Susan Coatney HR Supervisor Coatney has worked for other programs and again, those are not named.
Gayle L. Gregory Psychiatrist Gregory provides experimental and toxic drugs to children to aid in the behavior modification/brainwashing process.
David John Moore Staff (Former?) (Scroll down to see his arrest and conviction for sexual exploitation of a girl enrolled in the program.)
HEAL has received multiple e-mails from former clients, many alleging abuse and other violations at this program.  The most recent complaint was from a former client who left the program in late 2009. 
HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for Spring Ridge Academy.
Spring Ridge Academy Repeatedly Fails to Comply with Arizona Licensing Standards: Summary, Spring Ridge Academy Fined for Wrongdoing, Citation 1 Citation 2, Citation 3, Citation 4, Citation 5, and Citation 6.  The summary, fine(s), and non-compliance citations are from 2009 and 2010 and appear to be the only publicly available inspections on this facility.
Spring Ridge Academy Police Calls/Reports List Including Sex Offense Occurring in January, 2013.

All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public.  We've found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see: and  Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims.  We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-list to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims.  We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources.  In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction.  And, for information on how such requests are handled and have been resolved historically, see:

HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily.  In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed.  Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  See for more information.  Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements parents must sign assuring the program that the parents have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case.  In fact, in the David Taylor case found at, Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants.  His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so. 

Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice.  And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them.  And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA. 

HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:

a.  Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation.  It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment.  For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at  Or, see:  which includes in part:    "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."

b.  Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive.  Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights.  Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at  "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)."  (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)

c.  Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children.  Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family.  Source:       

d.  Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Best source on this currently is:

e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression.  Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments.  Sources: and

Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective.  You can request these documents via e-mail.  In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services.  Please see article: "Avoiding Scams: What You Need To Know"  for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.

If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see articles: "Fix Your Family, Help Your Teen" and "How Would You Handle My Out of Control Teen?".

If you have a complaint against any facility, please file a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency or your home state's attorney general.  For reporting resources see:  (Reporting guide is for USA only at this time.)
Conversion Program Progress Report: Spring Ridge Academy
As of October 1st, 2020, Rev. Minister Angela Smith has devoted 26.5 hours of direct care and service to each individual Sponsor of Spring Ridge Academy.  This does not include hours spent doing research, corroborating reports to reinforce or confirm statements, FOIA requests (or their costs).  To see who has contributed, even though Rev. Minister Angela Smith has stated she'll generously give up to 40.6 hours of direct care and service to each individual Sponsor of any and all programs in the COPE Conversion Program where the predominant beneficiary is said Sponsor, click here.
The screenshots featured below were submitted by a survivor who reports all of what is described in the screenshots occurred on site at Spring Ridge Academy:


 Last Updated: October 13th, 2020

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