Clinical Team

Shelterwood Academy is a Christ-centered therapeutic boarding school for teens struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges.

Ken DeBlock
Director of Programs and Support Services

As Shelterwood’s Executive Director of Clinical Services, Ken’s mission is to shape the Shelterwood experience in a way that creates an opportunity for healing, restoration and hope for each teen and their family. He is licensed as a professional counselor and has spent his career working with at-risk teens in positions that include being assistant chaplain at a juvenile detention center, and as a case manager and therapist in residential, transitional and intensive outpatient substance abuse programs.

Ken came to us with a focus on bringing additional education to Shelterwood, and he established the Substance Abuse and Prevention and Recovery Program here. He particularly enjoys working with our mentor teams and younger professionals, helping them implement therapeutic interventions and integrate their faith into daily life at Shelterwood. When he’s not working, Ken is either playing golf, hunting, fishing or spending time with his wife and their two children.

Julie Faddis
Clinical Director

Julie completed her master’s degree in counseling and art therapy at Avila University and is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Missouri. Julie’s passion is for teenagers, and she uses art as a creative therapeutic strategy to help students resolve the tension and pain in their lives. Prior to Shelterwood, Julie worked at Spofford Home for Children, Re-Discover Program, and Wyandotte Center for Behavioral and Community Health.

Her desire to work with adolescents and families led her to the Shelterwood team in February 2012. Julie uses an assortment of clinical techniques as a catalyst for growth and healing. Julie is trained in EMDR. She desires to help teens discover their passions and to be productively involved at Shelterwood, in their community and ultimately when they transition home.

Kayla Belle
Substance Abuse Counselor

To sum it up, Kayla is here for you. As an addiction counselor, she meets with students individually weekly to provide recovery counseling. And she also leads two recovery groups each week so that students have a space to process their treatment and sobriety journey and learn about their treatment and goals. Her goal is to encourage and empower students to set and maintain boundaries, grow in their sense of self, and educate on sober fun and healthy relationships.

Kayla faces challenges head-on, and she helps her students do the same. Her favorite moments are the “a-ha” ones for the kids — where they gain a deeper understanding for where they came from and where they’d like to go. But helping young adults is just the start of who Kayla wants to help. She’s currently completing a master’s program in marriage and family therapy. In her very rare free time, exploring nature is at the top of Kayla’s to-do list.

Mariah Morse
Therapist

Mariah meets weekly with clients and their families, acting as a mediator, completing treatment plans and monitoring students’ progress from entry to graduation. With a bachelor’s in Biblical Counseling, a master’s in Social Work and a certification in Play Therapy, Mariah enjoys working with families, children, teens and those who have experienced trauma. She advocates for her clients, encourages healthy communication and conflict resolution and facilitates healing in the family, and she finds her job most fulfilling when kids trust her with their biggest vulnerabilities or have breakthroughs after months of struggling. Her main approaches to therapy stem from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Strengths-based Approach. Mariah’s co-workers here say that she’s kind, generous and goofy — and where to go for coffee (she brews her own in her office).

Poul Wilson
Therapist

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Poul provides therapy to Shelterwood’s adolescent residents. His approach includes individual therapy as well as family therapy and parental coaching, and he uses several modalities including (but not limited to) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and trauma-focused therapy. While the work he does is challenging, it is also meaningful when he sees the difference in his clients during their time in treatment. Poul’s co-workers would say that his office is very calming. But what would Poul tell you about himself? That he loves Cajun food, pottery, reading theological materials and Cornhuskers football.

Tiffany Rensberger
Substance Abuse Counselor

Tiffany leads substance abuse recovery groups and provides individual substance abuse counseling at Shelterwood, helping kids who are at risk or struggling with addiction. And while spending time with kids in a group or a session is vital to their success, she also loves how the residential atmosphere here lets her spend time and get to know students outside of those settings. Tiffany is still in touch with her inner teen, enjoying the sports she grew up playing. So if you see her, challenge her to a little basketball, volleyball or soccer!

Josiah Johnson

Substance Abuse Counselor

Josiah’s official title is “Substance Abuse Counselor,” but you could just as easily call him “Life Changer.” Because he provides addiction and recovery education through both individual and group therapy — teaching students how to maintain their sobriety through the development and implementation of a relapse prevention plan. And yes, it’s serious stuff. But Josiah does it with a goal for students to transition into adulthood with a fun, positive and healthy lifestyle.  

Susan Kirby

Therapist

As one of Shelterwood’s therapists, Susan provides support not just to students, but families as well. Through individual, group and family counseling, she helps students work on goals, coping skills and personal reflection for their unique circumstances, in addition to helping families heal, communicate and reunify. Susan sees the unique gifts and strengths each student has, and finds it exciting to see them discover, embrace and shine as their authentic selves. In her home life, she gets to interact with teenagers, too — she has three of her own, and appreciates the joy (and challenges) of watching them grow into young adults. 

Alexa Surratt

Therapist

 

Karalee White

Recreation Therapy Coordinator

 

Sasha Topping

Admin Assistant to Clinical Services

At Shelterwood, we’d be lost without Sasha. From day to day, you’ll find her supporting clinical services, maintaining records, organizing events, recording meeting minutes and finding ways to enhance workplace productivity. As if that’s not enough to fill her time, she’s also our go-to for scheduling meetings. In other words, she does it all. When she’s not busy keeping all of us organized, you’ll find Sasha and her husband exploring new restaurants, going on adventures, having family game night and sitting back and relaxing with a refreshing boba tea.

Rebecca Bolich

Director of Brain Balance

People who work with Rebecca would tell you she’s relentless and persistent about reaching her goals. And it’s a very good thing for everyone at Shelterwood that those goals include leading students to reach their unlimited potential. Rebecca has a passion for the holistic approach that Brain Balance offers — and collaborating with her team to get to the root of the challenges teens face. When she’s not working? You’ll find Rebecca working out. (Even if those workouts consist of playing with her son and her dog Scrappy.) 

Erica Baxter

Assistant Director of Brain Balance

“Balance” is in her title, so we guess it’s no surprise that she’s good at balancing all her job duties, which include leading and managing student programming while collaborating with the Shelterwood team. Erica considers the highlights of her job to be seeing the positive changes in the students, providing hope for families, and working with talented people who have a heart for the residents here. Of course, her co-workers will be quick to say that Erica’s the one who has a huge heart and commitment to helping others. In her off time, Erica’s about another kind of balance: the work/life kind. Which is why you’ll find her spending time with her family and her dog Augie.