Deborah Skouson

Education

Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Utah University 1996, Elementary Education and Special Education
Master of Education degree from Southern Utah University 2001
Endorsements in mild/moderate special education K-12, elementary education K-6
Extensive training/experience in working with students on the autism spectrum

Work Experience

Special education teacher, 6th grade, Washington County School District 1996-2001
Regular education teacher, 6th-7th grade core, Washington County School District 2001-2004
Regular education teacher, 2nd grade/5th grade, Washington County School District 2011-2013
Special education teacher at Olympus Academy(residential treatment center), 2015-2016
Academic support teacher at Diamond Ranch Academy, 2016-present

Interests

I have been happily married to a fellow teacher for over 15 years. We are the parents of five children, and our two oldest are on the autism spectrum. I have a unique perspective as both a special education teacher and a parent of children with disabilities. I am passionate about helping kids with autism, and have done a lot of research and extra training in order to be a more effective mother and teacher. I absolutely love music, and I sing in a community choir. I have been an avid reader my entire life, and will settle down with a book whenever I get a chance.

Comments on DRA

I started at Diamond Ranch Academy in December 2016 as an academic support teacher. I had previously worked at a residential treatment center, and it was there that I discovered my calling! I love working with at-risk teenagers, and helping them accomplish things they thought were impossible. At DRA, I am able to work one-on-one with students, and I love seeing my kids grow over the time they are here! Many of the students I work with have convinced themselves that they can’t learn, and that school is pointless. My job is to help them see that everyone can learn, as long as they are given the right tools and assistance. Diamond Ranch Academy has the philosophy of putting each student first, and because of a relatively small population, has the capability to help each student individually.

Ashley Riddle

Education

Graduated from Southern Utah University −2000
Major: History
Minor: English

Secondary Education License:
Graduated College of Eastern Utah − 1998
Graduated from Emery High School −1996

Work Experience

Diamond Ranch Academy − 2004 to present
Helper Junior High − 2003 to 2004
Monument Valley High School − 2002 to 2003
Box Elder Middle School− 2001 to 2002
During high school and college I worked for the Emery County Courthouse and a small fast food place called the Grub Box. I also worked six summers for the US Forest Service, two of which I was a member of a wildland fire crew.

Interests

My hometown is less than 150 people and there is not a stoplight anywhere in Emery County. Since I grew up in a rural community, I am family oriented. I love to read, sew, play the piano, and adding to my adventure scrapbook with my niece, nephew and Elvis – my Harley Davidson. I also enjoy riding 4 wheelers, fishing and hunting. I have a pug named Bella. She, along with my previous pug Nazhonie, have taught me responsibility and patience.

My parents made sure that I was involved in a number of activities when I was growing up and these experiences have shaped the person I have become today. These activities included 4-H, the American Legion Junior Auxiliary, and Habitat for Humanity. Currently I am still actively involved in the American Legion Auxiliary, Southern Utah American Legion Riders, and attend Utah Girls State as a counselor each June.

Comments on DRA

As a teacher, I have the chance to impact the leaders of tomorrow. However at DRA, I am given the opportunity not only to teach but to learn. I am a witness to each success and failure that a student experiences while he/she is here. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student realize that he/she can succeed not only in school or the program, but in life as well. As each student learns patience, respect, and increases his/her self-esteem, I do too.

Reeve Knighton, M. Ed.

Education

Master’s of Education, Southern Utah University, 2011, Administrative/Supervisory Emphasis
Bachelor of Science, Southern Utah University, 2003, Social Science Composite, Endorsements for Social Studies 6−12, Special Education K−12

Work Experience

Diamond Ranch Academy, March 2006-present, Special Education Teacher and Administrator
Diamond Ranch Academy, December 2003−March 2006, Social Studies Teacher and Program Director
Washington County School District, January 2001−May 2002, Special Education Teacher Assistant

Interests

I am a happily married husband to a beautiful Southern Utah girl and father to a young and growing family.
I enjoy reading, playing with my kids, acquiring new skills, and spending time in the outdoors.
I once traveled across the United States visiting historical sites, covering 6000 miles in 11 days in a little green Ford Ranger.

Comments on DRA

My name is Reeve Knighton. I have been employed as an educator at Diamond Ranch Academy since 2003. I have a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Special Education with endorsements in Social Sciences, Special Education, and Administration. It has been a privilege to be associated with a place that has its heart in the right place. I have found the philosophy and belief systems of Diamond Ranch Academy to be sound and true. And more importantly, I have found that everyone here operates out of clean motives and wants what is best for students and their families.

I am grateful for the chance to work with the population of students regarded as special education. The task presents unique challenges. But in my interactions with youth, I have found that every child is an amazing spirit beneath an outer shell of trouble, challenge, behavior, and trial. As students learn to take ownership for themselves, the outer shell falls away and they become more successful as students in the classroom and as participants in society.

I have devoted my entire professional life to working with students with special needs. I am thrilled to be an ongoing part of a phenomenal team of service providers at Diamond Ranch Academy. Personally, my family is my most valuable possession. I try to instill in my own children the importance of getting a quality education, and that everyone’s learning looks different.

Jerome Eason

Education

Masters of Science- Professional Counseling, Grand Canyon University.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment -University of Utah
Bachelor’s Degree Criminal Justice -Southern Utah University
Associates Degree, Sociology- Utah State University

Work Experience

Program Director/ Counselor – Therapeutic Boarding School
Athletic Director – Boarding School
Probation Officer – State of Utah
Supervisor – Residential Treatment Facility

Interests

I was born and raised in Los Angeles California. I moved to Utah when I was offered a football scholarship to Utah State University in 2001. I had the opportunity to play a sport that I love and also earned a degree in a field that intrigued me. During this time I was blessed to meet my wife, followed by two beautiful children. I enjoy physical activities, coaching, and spending time with friends and family. I’m always looking for different ways to better myself and those who are in my care. I believe any setting can serve as a therapeutic environment if we are looking for the opportunity to speak truth into someone’s life.

Comments on DRA

It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to work with the students and staff at Diamond Ranch Academy. Counseling students and families gives me the opportunity to reunite and provide support during the healing process. It is an amazing feeling to guide students through the stages of change and help them reach milestones in their lives. I’m excited to be part of the clinical team at DRA, I believe in equipping students with as much knowledge as possible to make a confident transition back into their home.