Shelterwood Academy is a Christ-centered therapeutic boarding school for teens struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges.
Kelly Wilson Executive Director of Education
Ms. Wilson has over 20 years of experience working in education, and she could never see herself doing anything different. Her experience includes spending 13 years as a special education teacher and seven years as a Special Education Process Coordinator. During her career, she has worked alongside students with various educational disabilities, as well as mental health and neurological diagnoses across all grade levels. She has also assisted school districts, administrators and teams of teachers in ensuring that all students’ educational, social, emotional and adaptive functioning needs were met.
She’ll be quick to tell you that at Shelterwood, she loves working with a dynamic group of teachers, therapists and providers to be a positive influence in our students’ lives — seeing them grow emotionally, educationally and spiritually. Her biggest reward is seeing changed hearts and minds. When she’s not at school, she loves gardening, being outside, dreaming big dreams … and figuring out how to get those dreams accomplished.
Education Administrative Assistant
As Shelterwood’s Education Administrative Assistant, Betsy oversees operations with the school house. And while she loves what she does here, Betsy enjoys what she sees more: getting the opportunity to watch young students evolve and grow into amazing adults. Speaking of kids, Betsy has two daughters, whose schedules keep her busy when she’s not at work. But when she does have a little downtime, you’ll find her gardening or scrapbooking.
Ms. Bennett loves science so much, that at Shelterwood she teaches all the different types of sciences that are offered — including Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and Physics. She is grateful to have the opportunity to open the door to the world of science for our young students. And speaking of young students, she’ll have one of her own in September when she has her first baby.
On weekends, she loves to play tennis and read, and when she has a little more time, you might find her headed to Texas, where her family lives. Ms. Bennett is also our “birthday representative,” celebrating the students at Shelterwood and making them feel loved on their special day.
Mr. Svoboda knows his job is about more than math. Beyond helping his students understand and be successful at the subject, he also gets to know all his students, thanks to the small class sizes at Shelterwood. His desk may be a mess (except for during Parents’ Weekends), but that’s just because he puts all his focus into teaching. Mr. Svoboda has two sons — one at the University of Missouri and the other at the University of Kansas, so we’re not going to ask about the school rivalry that may go on at home. He’s also a sports fan who follows the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and KU basketball. (Sorry, Tigers.)
Music. Music history. Music performance. Music theory. Piano lab. Songwriting. If it has to do with music, Ms. Payne teaches it. She loves helping her students enjoy life more through what she teaches in class, and she is passionate about how music can make a profound impact on all of us. On weekends, Sophia is likely cooking or watching one of the two sports she’s interested in: Kansas City Chiefs football or the dog show. And her son was named after Spiderman and Wolverine. (No, his name is not Marvel.)
Independent Studies Teacher
As an Independent Studies Teacher, Ms. Balich facilitates online learning — including electives and credit recovery. When asked, she’ll tell you that the most gratifying part of her job is meeting students’ needs in unique ways. She knows her students well, and because of that, she is able to individualize instruction and provide a personalized educational experience for each kid she teaches. Ms. Balich spends most weekends hiking, rock climbing or finding new coffee shops with her husband and dog.
Mr. Cooperider is a substitute teacher and para. But his job goes deeper than that. Because it’s not just a job, he pours his heart and soul into each young person’s life at Shelterwood. With six adorable grandchildren, he has plenty of little ones to teach. But when it’s time to do something in his free time, you find Mr. Cooperider playing disc golf as often as possible … or searching out the perfect palindrome. (Current favorite? WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW?)
Shelterwood is the nation’s first inpatient residential treatment center to offer and facilitate the Brain Balance Program® on site. This cognitive training program strengthens and improves the areas of your teen’s brain involved with cognition, regulating mood and emotions, and overall well-being.
Shelterwood has earned the Joint Commission Seal of Approval. Our licensing and accreditation for academics and therapeutic services ensure excellence, accountability, and transparency.