Contact Us: (800) 845-1380

Meet Our Staff

At Turning Winds Academic Institute, it’s the people who make all the difference. Over the course of more than 12 years, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, all of whom share the same goal: to provide help for troubled teens, and get them re-engaged with their lives, their families, and their futures.

We’d love for you to visit us in northwestern Montana to meet with our amazing staff in person. Contact us online for more information, or call us at (800) 845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you shortly.

Being a part of the Turning Winds team is a labor of love for our approximately 30 employees, many of whom have come from points far and wide to work at our beautiful facility. They each bring with them a passion to save lives, inspire kids, and give back. They come to be a part of a world-class team of professionals that takes a unique, multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. Working collaboratively, our team tailors a clinically driven, totally personalized treatment plan for your son or daughter that optimizes his or her physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic strengths.

So thank you for developing your program and for hiring such caring and dedicated people for the program! They all seem to work beautifully together! They have made a real difference in the life of our son and in our family!


Administrative Staff

These are the people that keep our therapeutic boarding school running smoothly, day in and day out. They represent more than a half-century of combined experience, and each of them has been with Turning Winds for many years.

staff-obaisdenOwen Baisden, CEO

Owen Baisden oversees the day-to-day operations of Turning Winds. Owen has a breadth of knowledge and experience in working with teens and their families in many different settings and capacities. Owen has worked with teens and families for nearly 17 years, helping nearly a thousand teens who have come through our program. This experience has allowed him to understand the “change” process and to become effective in connecting with and inspiring teens to work through their challenges, and help them to build a life of purpose and well-being.

Owen earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has been a director of Turning Winds for 12 years. In addition, he has worked in the trenches with the students in nearly every capacity. His favorite time now with the students is leading backpacking expeditions and other educational/recreational trips that inspire change.

When Owen is not at work he enjoys spending time with his spouse and 6 children. He loves the outdoors, and enjoys fishing, hiking, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and scuba diving when he can.

staff-estumpEnoch Stump, Operations Director

Enoch has been working with adolescents for more than 15 years. He has been in a leadership role at Turning Winds for more than 5 years. As an avid outdoorsman, and former athlete Enoch believes strongly in incorporating experiential activities such as sports, hiking, and other team building activities to inspire growth and self-worth in adolescents. The opportunity to intervene in a struggling adolescent life by building meaningful relationships and offering strong support and structure guides Enoch’s work at Turning Winds.

Fawn Goddard, Operations Manager

Fawn Goddard is one of the operations managers at Turning Winds. Fawn has many strengths in leadership, organization, and in working with the students that help her to be effective in her position as an operations manager.

Fawn has been with Turning Winds for 4½ years and has worked in many different capacities. In addition to her experience at Turning Winds, Fawn has spent many hours developing stronger compliance, accreditation and safety in other health care organizations.

Fawn enjoys snow catting, playing softball and spending time with her family.

staff-mholmesMarcine Holmes, Executive Assistant

Marcine Holmes, the executive assistant at Turning Winds Academic Institute, has been with the company since 2011. Marcine is invaluable in keeping all of the important processes going at Turning Winds. She is instrumental in the communication, compliance, and planning areas of Turning Winds.

Marcine has worked in corporate business for more than 20 years as an administrative assistant and office manager for a variety of companies, at one time working with the world’s second largest explosives company in their corporate office. Her years of experience organizing, creating documents and assisting executives to handle the daily work demands have given her a wealth of office experience and knowledge. She most enjoys helping others and seeing how she can make the day run smoothly for those with whom she works.

Marcine is fortunate enough to live on 20 acres in rural Montana, enjoying her time there with her husband as they make their place more beautiful.


Clinical Staff

Our licensed professional clinicians will work with you and your child to identify problems and develop goals for personal growth. Your child will meet weekly with one of our amazing clinicians, who is dedicated to his or her success. These highly trained and deeply dedicated individuals also lead group therapy and psycho-educational group activities designed to address some of the problems these teens commonly face, including substance abuse.

staff-achristmanApril Christman, LCSW, Clinical Director

April has been working with youth and families for more than a decade, after having gone through a wilderness intervention program and young adult transitional program herself. April has worked with youth in a wide variety of settings including a primitive wilderness intervention program, residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient programs, home-based services and school-based services.

April completed her master’s in social work from the George Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis which was recently ranked the #1 School for Social Work in the country. April focused on mental health and substance abuse in her studies and integrates many different treatment modalities such as: dual-diagnosis, CBT, DBT and motivational interviewing from a person-centered, strengths-based approach. April also has interest in animal-assisted therapy having one dog certified as a therapy animal and working to certify a second.

April enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, hiking, fishing and body building. April recently competed in her first women’s figure body building competition and is training to compete again in the future.

staff-karmstrongKristine Armstrong, LCSW, Clinician

Kristine is a licensed clinical therapist, who has decades of experience in the treatment of adolescents and family systems. Kristine’s experience began in the field of wilderness therapy where she continues to draw from nature’s healing capacity.

Kristine is a gifted therapist in the treatment of trauma, depression, mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders and family issues. she integrates a cognitive therapeutic model to help clients recognize their inherent self-worth through a process of examining recurrent thoughts, emotions and behavioral patterns that may lead to faulty, self -limiting beliefs. She offers a strength-based approach, and demonstrates with genuine compassion, while utilizing knowledge of the most current research-based treatments.

Kristine is highly skilled in family systems, cognitive, dialectical behavioral, and narrative therapy and further specializes in the treatment of trauma, through a process called lifespan integration. Lifespan recognizes the innate ability of the mind-body to heal itself, through a process of re-wiring neural constructs.

Kristine believes our life experience is a journey of transformation. When we take the courage to address our greatest conflicts, we enter a gateway to open our greatest potential.

staff-ecobbEmily Cobb, MSW, Clinician

Emily recently relocated from Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended college and graduate school. Emily received a Bachelor of Science in psychology, with a personal interest and research area in neuroscience and physiological psychology. She received her Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling with a specific focus and licensure in secondary school counseling. Emily has spent the past 4 years working with a diverse population of students with substance abuse disorders, gang involvement, mood and anxiety disorders, and a wide array of behavioral and emotional challenges.

Emily started her work in an intensive summer residential and wilderness program in New Hampshire. There she taught English and worked with teenagers ages 14 to 18 with attachment and behavioral disorders. Emily spent the next few years completing her master’s and working in both public and alternative inner city schools, counseling her own caseloads of students.

Emily enjoys using multi-modal approaches in counseling, including the use of expressive therapies, such as painting, drawing, and writing, when appropriate, as well as exercise and outdoor therapy.

Emily enjoys sports, especially soccer, and has experience coaching both genders in multiple sports. She enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking.

staff-bkentBill Kent, LCSW, Clinician

Bill is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the clinical team at Turning Winds. He was raised in suburban Boston, Massachusetts and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder for his undergraduate education. Bill has been working with teenagers in various settings since 1994. Beginning as a teaching assistant in the Twin Falls, ID, school district, he quickly discovered a talent for working with teenagers. He combined this talent with a passion for outdoor adventure, which led to working as a counselor and wilderness instructor at therapeutic programs.

In 1999, Bill graduated from the Master of Social Work program at Eastern Washington University and quickly put his degree to use. Over the next decade, he ran his own business contracting mental health counseling services with various agencies, including wilderness programs, group homes, therapeutic boarding schools and community mental health providers. After this, he worked in various roles (teaching assistant, para-professional) with students from the Lake Pend Oreille School District in Sandpoint, Idaho.

An avid outdoorsman, Bill likes to spend his free time skiing, boating and mountain biking with his young son.

Dana Hiler, LCPC, Clinician

Dana is the newest member of the clinical team at Turning Winds Academic Institute. Dana was raised in Evergreen, Colorado – where she gained an appreciation for the environment and spending time outdoors. She holds master’s degree in community counseling from Missouri Valley College, where she graduated summa cum laude. As a single Mom, Dana put off her college education until later in life to focus on raising her two sons, who were both influenced by their mother’s love of the outdoors; both becoming biologists. Prior to joining the clinical team at Turning Winds, Dana worked as a counselor at West Central Mental Health in Canon City, Colorado. As an Intern, she served as a counselor at the Waverly Regional Youth Center in Waverly, Missouri, and at the Center for Counseling and Training private practice in Lexington, Missouri. Dana enjoys spending time with her family and children, and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, ice skating, and running. As part of her personal philosophy, she believes leading an active life fosters improved mental health.

staff-jcluffDr. Joshua J. Cluff, PsyD

Dr. Cluff received his Bachelors degree from The Evergreen State College with an emphasis on Trauma Studies and Multicultural Counseling. He subsequently obtained his Master’s and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Dr. Cluff has worked with a wide range of populations, including adolescent victims of sexual/emotional abuse, elementary-aged inner-city youth, at-risk adolescents and their families, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth and adults, adult perpetrators with developmental disorders, adults in a community mental health setting, and university-aged students, faculty, and their families.
Passionate about crisis intervention, he worked for nineteen months as both a phone-based crisis counselor and a clinical member of the Berkeley Mobile-Crisis Team, providing field-based and on-site crisis intervention, response, assessment, de-escalation and mediation for the city of Berkeley, California. He then completed a pre-doctoral internship with the American Psychological Association accredited Counseling and Psychological Services at Oregon State University, providing psychotherapeutic and outreach services to students, faculty, and their dependents. He also worked in a private community counseling center working with adults, adolescents, and families.
Dr. Cluff returned to wilderness therapy in 2007, working with adolescent and young adult clients before committing to a full-time assessment practice, providing psychological evaluation and consultation for clients in both wilderness and residential programs. While continuing his assessment practice, he served as the clinical director of a therapeutic boarding school treating adolescent boys with Asperger Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and other neurological impairments impacting executive functioning, emotional regulation, and social/interpersonal functioning.
Throughout his clinical career, he has had the opportunity to design and lead parenting seminars, couples intensives, and workshops supporting adolescents and young adults struggling with life transitions.


Education Staff

All of our teachers are fully credentialed, and bring extensive training and experience to their roles. During the admissions process, they begin their assessment of your child’s academic needs. They create an individualized academic program for your child that takes into consideration previous transcripts, diagnoses of learning disabilities, personal interests, talents, and other specific needs or accommodations outlined in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Our educators build on your child’s strengths, and through this one-on-one approach, our students experience the satisfaction of academic success, many for the first time. Thanks in large part to the dedication and passion of our educational staff, almost all of our students go on to college after graduation.

Jessi Gudgel, Math and Science Teacher

Jessi learned the ropes as a resident advisor at Turning Winds before going back to school to become a math and science teacher. After nearly 4 years with Turning Winds, Jessi has helped hundreds of students to get back on their feet and start believing in themselves. She has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology with a minor in biology, as well as a teaching credential in math and science. She worked in several wildlife rehabilitation facilities before beginning her teaching career. Before coming to TWAI, she taught science for grades 7 through 12 in a small, eastern Montana town.

Jessi enjoys outdoor activities and has been lucky enough to join the students on several venturing trips, and looks forward to many more.

Russell Thorman, Upper Level Math and Science

Before transitioning into a mathematics and science teaching position, Russell spent the last 4 years at Turning Winds mentoring, encouraging, and inspiring youth to create positive change. With a big heart and a contagious smile, Russell thrives on making a difference in the lives of others, especially young people. He strives to be a reflection of God’s love to everyone around him, and to help guide teens in the process of shaping their lives and their futures.

Russell’s career journey originated in Tennessee where he volunteered at several schools. Shortly after graduating from Southern Adventist University in 2012, he took a position as a resident advisor at Turning Winds Academic Institute in Montana. Along with his resident advising, Russell has been excited to run outdoor trips for Turning Winds, taking students snowboarding and skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking. He started an annual camping week with the goal of bringing students together while teaching them to better themselves.

He also began tutoring math for some of the students and soon discovered that along with helping troubled youth, he also enjoyed teaching. The ideal combination? Teaching math in a place where he could not only share his zeal for numbers, but where he could also be an influence.

Russell’s love of mathematics is the sum of his lifelong study and fascination, as well as the product of the knowledge passed down by his math teacher father, Russell’s rational (and sometimes radical) tutor. Together they created the perfect formula of rounding the teacher Russell is today. Some call it passion, others call it eccentricity, but whichever definition you choose, it is clear that Russell is absolutely fantastic at what he does. He sets the bar high in the classroom, and encourages the best out of everyone.

When he’s not crunching numbers or working, Russell enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, the love of his life, and their two furry children, a golden retriever puppy and a border collie. Together they share a fondness for the great outdoors and are frequently found exploring their north Idaho home by any means necessary — on foot, on mountain bikes, or snowboards. They enjoy the beauty of nature and the life they share together.

staff-tony-smithTony Smith, Social Studies and English

Tony has spent the last thirty-eight years teaching history and coaching basketball at Troy High School. He has taught required classes in American Government and American History, and developed an elective history series of nine separate classes, including Holocaust History, Native American History, Black Studies, World Religions, America in World War II, America in Vietnam, Social Movements through Music in the 20th Century, Psychology, and a History of the American Civil War. In 1995, Tony was one of 40 teachers chosen nationwide to meet with Holocaust survivors and leading Holocaust historians at the official Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, as well as visiting Auschwitz in Poland. Additionally, Tony directed countless number of dramatic productions at THS, and formed the singing group “Reflection.”

In 2009, Tony was inducted into his Alma Mater, Libby High School (MT.) Academic Hall of Fame.

Tony is an avid outdoorsman, one who has hiked 500 of Glacier Park’s 750 miles of trail, enjoys golf, basketball, reading and music. His primary focus, however, has been the students he has encountered over his many years of teaching.
Tony holds a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Liberal Arts from the University of Montana, and a Master’s Degree (MS) from the University of Oregon in Interdisciplinary Studies (Anthropology, History, Political Science, and International Relations).


Health and Wellness

We take care of your child’s physical health as well as his or her mental health. Our professional chef works with a nutritionist to ensure that your child enjoys a balanced diet based on his or her specific needs. We have a registered nurse on site, and our students receive routine health evaluations and have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have with our medical staff.

staff-cbaisdenCharmaine Baisden, Registered Nurse

Charmaine has 20 years of experience in working with adolescents and young adults in wilderness, group homes, therapeutic boarding schools, and mental health and medical hospitals. She began working as a RN in health care in 2007 at a hospital in Idaho and became a head nurse on the medical and surgical floor. Since 2010 she has devoted her time solely to Turning Winds. As the healthcare manager at here, she is responsible for all of the healthcare needs of our students. In addition to attending to the healthcare needs of the students, Charmaine is a licensed instructor in CPR and First Aid and trains the staff at Turning Winds in these skills.

Charmaine is also a wife, mother and grandmother and enjoys spending time with her family.

staff-ebeharEnerys Behar, Kitchen Supervisor

Enerys loves to cook, and that is exactly what she does so well for us here at Turning Winds. Her initial desire to create and prepare food led her to attain a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School in Seattle, Washington. From there, she took her degree to Las Vegas, Nevada where she specialized in making sushi. She enjoys learning how to cook many different culturally unique foods. One of her additions to the dinner menu has been a teriyaki stir-fry with her own homemade teriyaki sauce. Kids were asking for thirds!

Here in Montana, Enerys and her family enjoy being surrounded by nature and the peace and quiet that it brings. When she is not cooking, she is usually enjoying the outdoors with her husband, a marine biologist, and three children, or working on the construction of their new, solar-powered home. We are all so glad to have her skills and enthusiasm here with us.

If you’re looking for the right support network to help your child to overcome his or her challenges, we can help. Contact us online for more information, or call us at (800) 845-1380. One of our team members will be happy to answer all of your questions.

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Questions About Turning Winds?

We Can Help.

Contact Us: (800) 845-1380

Turning Winds Academic Institute
31733 S Fork Yaak Rd
Troy, Mt 59935

TWAI Corporate Office
6885 Bauman Rd
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805

Phone (800) 845-1380
International + 208-267-1500
Fax (208) 267-1600

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