This is the History of and Reporting Guide for Uinta Academy in Wellsville, UT


On this page you will find incomplete staff and complaint histories with sources cited (i.e. Progress Report), the general advisory against segregated congregate care with sources cited, and a reporting guide for those unlawfully harmed or firsthand witnesses to unlawful harm by or at this location to report violations of the law to the proper authorities/law enforcement.  The staff list itself will not be updated with additional names out of a sense of fairness where those providing the names ask for anonymity or confidentiality.  And, this program will remain eligible for merciful release if all criteria are met and no guest sermon is provided by a qualifying sponsor by that time.  In the meantime, it can graduate the COPE Conversion Program by meeting the Honesty In Marketing Standards (HIMS) or permanently close to be removed from the watch-list/released from the COPE Conversion Program.  If permanently closed prior to graduation or merciful release, it will be buried in the virtual graveyard.




Additional Information
Jeff Simpson aka Robert Jeffrey Simpson Executive Director (Former) Simpson is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been since 2006 in Utah.  Source: Simpson reportedly "Previously worked at Desert Willow Ranch in Arizona, Father Flanagan's Boys Home in Nebraska, St. Labre Home for Native American Children in Montana, and Utah Youth Village in Utah. Jeff sold the program to Family Help and Wellness and is no longer involved in the program."  Simpson reportedly retired.
Kathryn Southwick Staff There is a Shaun Kathryn Southwick (may be a different person) that is a licensed Certified Social Worker in UT and has been since 2011.  Source:
Heather Haycock Therapist Heather Elizabeth Haycock (may be a different person) is a licensed Clinical Social Worker in UT and has been since March, 2014.  Source:
Alison "Ali" Riggs Family Teacher Riggs is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source:
Becky Simpson Co-Owner/Director (Former) Simpson is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source:  Simpson reportedly "Previously worked at Father Flanagan's Boys Home in Nebraska, was the director of Training and Evaluation at the St Labre Home for Children in Montana, and was responsible for staff training and evaluation at Utah Youth Village in Utah." Simpson reportedly retired.
Russ Pryor Staff Russell A Pryor (may be a different person) is a licensed Clinical Social Worker in UT and has been since 1998.  Source:
Adaleen "Adie" (Lundell) Krambule Therapist/Executive Director Krambule is a licensed mental health counselor in Utah and has been since June, 2012.  Source: 
Kristi Ragsdale Former Program Director Ragsdale reportedly "Previously worked as a Family Specialist at Families First, she taught parenting classes at Utah Youth Village, she worked in admissions at Solstice RTC in Layton, Utah. She went on to start Eva Carlston Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah."
Aaron Gardener Therapist Gardener reportedly "Previously worked at Island View (now Elevations). Since Uinta he has worked as Clinical Director at Triumph Youth Services, was Clinical Director at The Ark of Little Cottonwood in Sandy, UT, Clinical Director at New Roads Treatment Centers in Provo, UT. He has worked in private practice since 2012." 
Amie Smith Therapist  
Bridget Rhoten Therapist/Clinical Director  
Bryan Shores Therapist Shores reportedly "Previously worked as a therapist at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions in Provo, UT."
Cheyenne Vasquez Therapist Vasquez reportedly "Has previously worked as an intern at the Bayfront Youth and family services in Long Beach, CA, was a Compliance Manager/Therapist at Solid Landings in Costa Mesa, CA, was Clinical Director at Aspire Recovery in Hunington Beach, CA."
Diane Handy Therapist  
Jan Wimmer Therapist  
Katie Kinsey Therapist  
Mashelle Boswell Clinical Director/Therapist Boswell reportedly "Was previously the Associate Director of Bear River Health Department Substance Abuse Program in Logan, Utah."
McKell Stevens Therapist  
Melissa Keller Adamson Therapist/Program Director Adamson reportedly "Previously worked Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment (now Viewpoint Center)."
Sue Johansen-Hoffman Therapist Johansen-Hoffman reportedly "Started Eva Carlston Academy with Kristi Ragsdale." 
Amanda McDonough Family Teacher  
Amy Pendleton Winn Family Teacher  
Ariane Magana Program Director  
Chelsey Seamons Markham Family Teacher  
Christy Walters Family Teacher  
Elizabeth Matthews Asst. House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Heather Kilpatrick Asst. House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Heather Williams Family Teacher  
Heather Young House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Jamie Kidd Granger Family Teacher  
Jayna Miller House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Jess Richards-Brown Family Teacher  
Julie Stone Esplin Family Teacher  
Kamille Lisonbee House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Kamille Knoppel House Manager/Family Teacher  
Kristy Pierce Hoy House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Laura Smith Waite Family Teacher  
Lorraine Jones Vreeken (previously Stoddard) House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Meagan Nielson House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Megan Dunn (now LaFrance) Family Teacher  
Pam Miskell Giles Receptionist  
Rochelle Dustin (now Phillips) Family Teacher  
Samatha Powell House Mgr/Family Teacher  
Shelly Burrus Former Family Teacher Reportedly now works for Eva Carlston.
Savannah Hedgecock Family Teacher  
Zurichaddai (Zuri) Garcia Family Teacher  
Amanda Curtis Registered Nurse Curtis reportedly no longer works for this program.
Brett Marshall MD Psychiatrist  
Diane Redford Night Staff Supervisor  
Erin Unsworth Admin. Asst.  
Jason Bagley Math Teacher  
Jentry Brochinsky Social Studies Teacher  
Kayla Vee Stock Registered Nurse  
Kelly Chambers Business Manager Chambers reportedly no longer works for this program.
Lindsay Huff Social Studies Teacher  
Lorelyn Garbini Cultural Arts/General Education Teacher  
Samantha Booy Equine Manager Booy is reportedly "Former student of Uinta Academy."  Booy reportedly no longer works for this program.
Shannon Norman Math Teacher  
Susan Biddulph Academic Director  
Tammy Clark Yoga Instructor  
Valaie Giacalone Academic Director Reportedly fired and no longer works for this program.
Zachary Chesbrough Math Teacher  
Karalee Murray House Manager  
Saige Hollingsworth House Manager  
Chayce (Last?) Asst. House Manager/HR  
Trudy (Last?) Equine Director/Mgr  
Jesse (Last?) Business Manager  
Jenny (Last?) Nurse  
Uinta Parent Handbook 2008

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.  The HEAL Mission of COPE (HEAL) found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see feedback.  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-lis/enrolled in the Conversion Program 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. 

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 legal guardians must sign assuring the program that the parents/legal guardians 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 "Emancipation Guide".
In Utah, the statutes of limitation do not apply to crimes against children that include sex offenses and human trafficking. There are no statutes of limitation on murder and kidnapping in Utah.  Other felonies have statutes of limitation ranging from 4 years to 8 years. Most misdemeanors in the state have a 2-year time limit. For civil suits in Utah, the statute of limitations is 4 years depending on cause of action. 

Options for you to take action and/or seek redress/justice today are listed below:

1.  Report crimes such as assault, fraud, battery, labor trafficking, and child abuse to law enforcement in Utah.  You can use the Cache County Sheriff's online reporting form at  or call the Cache County Sheriff at (435) 755-1000 to inquire about filing an official complaint which may provide the probable cause needed to get a warrant for investigation and/or prosecution.  You may also wish to submit a concern to state regulators in charge of licensing Uinta Academy which you can do at this link:

2.  File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against Uinta Academy and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you.  If you live in Utah and/or would like to file consumer complaint as a non-resident with the Attorney General of Utah, visit: .

3.  If you do not wish to file a consumer complaint, you can contact a private personal injury attorney and look into suing in tort/civil court.  However, if you can't afford the retainer, you should expect to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement which may bar you from speaking publicly about the incident because you've agreed (even if with a grumbling assent) to the terms of the settlement. 
4.  You may send a new e-mail to with subject "Post My Feedback" and we will post your feedback (e-mail printed to .pdf disclosing your name and e-mail address and any information in your e-mail with that subject) to  and add a direct link to those .pdf files to this page . 

 5. You may also wish to provide a guest sermon.  Guest sermons are posted at , under Progress Reports/Guest Sermons at where appropriate, and on program info pages when applicable.  So, one provided by you on your program would also be placed on this page .  Guest sermons should be written into the body of an e-mail and sent to . Your first and last name will be disclosed (contact info will not be unless you expressly request disclosure).  For sermons available on our site see  (and sermon archives linked on that page).  If you have questions about this option, please contact Please see  to get an idea what your sermon may be worth.
8/3/22: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report on Uinta Academy:


 Last Updated: March 2nd, 2023

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