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Posted: Aug 11, 2009, 12:09

New Perspectives


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Thompson Falls, MT
Michael Chism, Director

Star Peak Crossing originally started in 2006 as a summer adventure program, expanding in 2008 to include a therapeutic residential program. This "alternative boarding school" is for teens, ages 14 to 18 years old, who struggle with negative behaviors such as: skipping school or dropping out of school, disrespect and anger, physical or verbal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, low self esteem, social isolation or who may be disconnecting from their families.

Directors at Star Peak include Mickey Manning, who has a BA in psychology and an A in educational administration. He holds Montana and California teaching credentials (UCSB), in addition to Montana and California administration credentials (CSUN) and has 30 years experience in education as both a teacher and administrator. Michael Chism, also a Director, has 12 years experience running private programs for at risk youth, including 11 years as an administrator. Diane Morrin serves as the therapist. She has her BA in Sociology and an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. Star Peak has currently applied to NATSAP for membership.

The program at Star Peak Crossing includes a structured environment where students earn privileges and trust based on the choices they make. As trust is earned, students move up levels in the program and gain responsibility and leadership. Students are safely and structurally immersed into the local community, with students earning the privilege to attend the local high school and attend local 12 step meetings or shopping at the local stores. In addition, students participate in community service, volunteering for the local Chamber of Commerce with such events as the Huckleberry festival, local fishing derby or cleaning up the local highways. Students receive individual, group and family therapy.

Recreational activities include skiing, bowling, going to the movies or attending community sporting events. Located in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana, students also hike and explore the nearby Thompson River.

[This information came from the Star Peak Crossing website and brochure and conversation with Mike Chism.]


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