Our Team at Wood Creek Academy
Founders of Wood Creek Academy
Sean and Danice Thorne
Sean’s early adult life he spent time in the Navy. He then transitioned into the construction trades as a welder on high rise buildings. This provided him with the opportunity to travel to various places within the United States and interact with a variety of professionals. Danice was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. She relocated to Washington where she and Mr. Sean would eventually meet. They shared an interest in horseback riding and camping. They both felt compelled to make a positive difference in the world. They spent their time volunteering, helping individual adults who were experiencing setbacks due to life’s challenges. They both wanted to continue reaching out to help others but wanted to reach out to the younger population.
Sean and Danice decided to open a program for young people in 2003. Between putting the program together and looking for the right place to complement the program, their dream became reality in early 2005. The program has evolved and grown ever since. They believe they have grown and evolved along the way also. Sean and Danice work closely with the clinical team in developing a treatment plan for each individual resident and their families.
Sean’s duties at Wood Creek Academy have included resident placement, program/parent communications, maintenance, develop grow our off-grid power and communication capabilities, various building projects, plan and oversee extracurricular activities, such as camping, river rafting, and ski trips. Because of Mr. Sean’s desire to maintain a safe environment, he took initiative to become a certified water systems operator, ensuring the quality of our drinking water, and he also completed training as a Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) instructor. He uses CPI methods to teach WCA staff on how to use assertive communication and de-escalation techniques.
Sean states, “I think my proudest achievement is being part of the Wood Creek Academy team who work so well together for the betterment of our young people. We are truly blessed to be a part of something that touches so many lives”
RN MSN/ Executive Director
In 2012 Danice graduated from Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in Pablo Montana with her RN ASN degree. She worked full-time at a hospital in Libby Montana and worked part time at Wood Creek Academy (WCA) when she returned to SKC and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2016. She took about a year off before furthering her education. She resigned from the hospital and continued working at WCA while attending Gonzaga University. In 2020 she graduated with a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing.
Her duties at Wood Creek Academy include working with the clinical team, school nurse, overseeing the medical needs of the residents. Administrative duties such as developing and implementing policy and procedures. Delegation and coordination of all employee responsibilities and duties. Facilitating program education and training material.
My name is Raoul Ribeiro; I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the State of Montana, with a master’s degree in social work. I relocated to Thompson Falls, Montana in 2000, from Massachusetts. After relocating to Thompson Falls, I began working at a specialty school for 9 years, working with troubled teens and their families.
Since 2008, I was a therapist working within the Thompson Falls High School. In 2015, I decided to form my own private practice, Cabinet Mountain Counseling and in 2019 it became Cabinet Mountain Counseling PC.
My focus is to meet and address the needs of my clients and their families by accessing the client’s needs and progress on a weekly basis, working towards addressing poor choices, inappropriate behaviors, anger and anxiety issues, poor self-esteem all in an effort to restore their well-being and to help them rebuild their lives and help them to restore family relationships with their loved ones.
In addition, to weekly sessions with my clients I help to facilitate quarterly Parent/Student weekends, a monthly therapeutic call between client/students and their parent(s)/guardian and I am able to offer after-care teleconference sessions to help make the transition of going home, go as smooth as possible.
My personal philosophy is based on a Christian perspective in addressing the issues that impact individuals, families, children, and adolescents.
Wood Creek Academy Teaching Staff
Laura Donaldson holds a B.S. degree with a Chemistry major and a minor in physics also MSE in physical science in Secondary Education.
Bruce Donaldson holds a B.S. with a Biology major and a minor in Physical Science also MSE in Secondary Education, high school.
Bruce and Laura married to each other for 38 years. Ms. Laura, as we refer to her, has been teaching for 34 years, with 14 years in the public education system, teaching Physical Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics. Mr. Bruce has 19 years of teaching experience with one year in the public school system and 18 years in private schools.
Both Mr. Bruce and Ms. Laura were raised in Arkansas and relocated to Montana in 2001. Bruce and Laura have 4 adult children, 6 grandchildren, and 2 more on the way. Mr. Bruce has been with Wood Creek Academy since 2010, while Ms. Laura came on board with Wood Creek Academy in 2011. Bruce and Laura were instrumental in the process of the academic accreditation. Mr. Bruce and Ms. Laura live by the motto; Let us make a difference in your child’s life.
Teacher’s Aide Support Staff
Scott Johnson grew up in Missoula Montana. He attended college at the University of Montana and Mexico Tech, in New Mexico. He worked in mineral exploration mining, road construction, and as a teamster driver for various movies such as “The Horse Whisperer.” Mr. Scott was self-employed as a bail bondsman for eleven years until becoming a district court judge in Thompson falls where he served the community for over ten years. During this time, he also worked part-time with at-risk youth.
Mr. Scott has retired from district court judge and enjoys spending his time designing and making furniture. In 2019 Mr. Scott came out of retirement to work with the young men and at Wood Creek Academy. He enjoys being around young people and takes pleasure in being a part of their personal growth.
Wood Creek Academy Teaching Staff
Bill Strid moved to the Thompson Falls Montana area in 2005. Mr. Bill has worked on the local power plant, Air Lock Log Homes, before starting his own business in 2014. Mr. Bill was an EMT with the Thompson Falls Ambulance Service for 11 years and with the Thompson Falls Rural Fire Department for 2 years. Mr. Bill became a part of the Wood Creek Academy Family in 2013. Mr. Bill states,” I find working with these young men a very rewarding job and I like the challenge.”
Mr. Bill’s duties with Wood Creek Academy include, but are not limited to, assisting in the classroom, support staff, mentoring our residents, and cooks from time to time. Mr. Bill works directly with Raoul Ribero overseeing the mentorship program. Mr. Bill’s hope is that he can make a difference in these young men’s lives as they have made such a positive difference in his.
Colyn Bray, moved to Montana in 2018 to become a part of the Wood Creek Academy team. After going through a program, himself when he was 16 and going on missions’ trips to other countries, he knew he wanted to help people find the same freedom he had found. He currently works part-time at Wood Creek Academy while he attends College in the Flat Head Valley.
Mr. Colyn is a great mentor and actively participates in experiential activities with the residents such as bucking bales, clearing trails, hiking, engaging in Camp Big Horn activities such as ropes course canoeing, and much more.
His favorite part of being a part of the Woodcreek family is being able to be a part of people’s lives, and seeing people grow and reach their full potential. He states, “I’m grateful to be a part of peoples journeys as they face what had been holding them back and look forward to a bright future.”
Karl Fausett has been with the Wood Creek Academy since early 2018. Mr. Karl comes from a large family of 12. Mr. Karl was brought up in a religious household, he and his 9 siblings were homeschooled by their mother, who was a registered nurse before family life. Mr. Karl’s father worked in the local sawmills, whereas Mr. Karl’s work background consists of construction trades, from beginning to finish work.
Mr. Karl’s duties here at Wood Creek Academy include maintenance/support staff, with that being said, Mr. Karl takes care of the day to day work on our generators, vehicle maintenance and repair, lighting, plumbing, and carpentry, basically, whatever is needed to allow residents and staff to have the comforts of home and our program to run smoothly. Mr. Karl states,” Interacting with residents and being able to guide and advise them while supporting my wife and 6 children is amazing.” Mr. Karl believes his upbringing with 5 brothers and 4 sisters allows him to fit in well with Wood Creek Academy in supporting these young men in this group/family setting. Mr. Karl wants parents to know, he is glad to be a help to you and your children while supporting his own, his hope is to help your children on their path to becoming responsible, capable, and caring adults.
Mandy Lane became part of the Wood Creek Academy Family in early 2019. Ms. Mandy oversees our kitchen and is tasked with making sure our residents and staff eat well. Ms. Mandy relocated to Montana in 2013 from California where she had a bakery/catering company.
Upon moving to the Thompson Falls area, Ms. Mandy managed the Sanders County Harvest Foods Bakery/Deli for 4 ½ years. Ms. Mandy wants parents to know, she is more than happy to share her knowledge and experience with the staff and residents here at Wood Creek Academy.
Moniek Beasley became a member of the Wood Creek Academy Family in 2019. Miss Moniek is a single mom of 2. Miss Moniek comes from a family of 4 brothers and 2 sisters.
Miss Moniek has always wanted a large family and states that she has been blessed with a large family here at Wood Creek Academy, as we strive to maintain a structured family-style setting. Miss Moniek graduated from Linn-Benton Community College in 2016 with a certificate in Healthcare Office Specialist. Miss Moniek is originally from the Thompson Falls area, moved to Oregon for a few years, upon her return, she became part of the Wood Creek Academy Family as an Office Assistant.
Miss Moniek’s duties include scheduling appointments and transportation, transporting residents, answering phones and e-mails, making sure the young men receive their mail and packages, inform parents of resident requests, works with our counselor to ensure residents attain the necessary support and help required. Miss Moniek also works closely with the young men in our Computer Lab on research papers and some college courses when enrolled. With all her duties, Miss Moniek also works in the kitchen with our residents, teaching how to cook fun and easy recipes. When asked why she works here, Miss Moniek responded, “I enjoy being part of these young men’s journeys to becoming successful adults.”
Wood Creek Academy
It is an honor to be considered as a potential resource to help your family at this important time. Please contact us today for more information about our program and specifics about the customized solution we can offer your teen.