Clayton AhQuin Jr. - Executive Director
Clayton Jr. along side his father Clayton Sr. have developed a way of helping teens through Love, Honor, and Respect. Clayton Jr. has worked with the State of Utah in creating the "Clear the Air"" campaign, which is a no-smoking and no-tobacco project. He has been involved in the development of young men in various programs for the past 18 years. Mr. AhQuin has the ability to connect with the boys in these programs through a great passion of his: music. Teaching the guitar, playing the piano, and giving vocal instruction during his free time with many of the boys is something he looks forward to. Clayton has been married for 18 years to his beautiful wife Julee. He is the very proud father of 5 beautiful children, which to Clayton is where true happiness lies.
Clayton AhQuin Sr. – Patriarch & Mentor
Clay passed away on September 10, 2013. His loving personality and affinity for hard work complimented his strong belief that there is a time for work and a time for play. Clay had planned many fun activities during his time at Liahona Academy -- hiking, boating, wake boarding, swimming, sports, sightseeing, etc. -- as well as educational activities such as working out at the gym, visiting local businesses, touring historic sites, and building a rock wall. Clay believed in strengthening the body as well as the mind while life skills lessons are being taught. Clay's true passion came through spending time with his 7 kids (4 boys, 3 girls), 24 grandkids and the love of his life, Irene... ALOHA!
Parker Haslam - Program Director (Hurricane Campus)
Parker Haslam is our Program Director. Parker grew up in Salt Lake City and Hurricane, Utah; he is 28 years old. He graduated locally from Hurricane High School and loves the community. In 2005, Parker married his perfect wife and began schooling to pursue a degree in criminal justice. He has been working with troubled youth since 2003 and enjoys what he does. He has had to opportunity to serve as a Proctor Parent in his own home and understands the difficulties that troubled teens bring to the home environment. He draws upon many experiences gained while serving two years in a third world country as a missionary. He acquired excellent problem solving skills and an ability to speak Spanish as a fluid second language. Parker looks forward to life's challenges and embraces the moral satisfaction that follows any victory over such obstacles.
Taylor Jacobson - Administrative Supervisor (Hurricane Campus)
Taylor is a native of Utah; he grew up in St. George and Kaysville. While attending Dixie State University Taylor met his wonderful wife. In 2004 they were married and now are the proud parents of 5 beautiful children. Taylor graduated from Dixie State University with his Bachelors in Communication with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership. Taylor is now currently attending Northcentral University in pursuit of a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Having a family of his own, Taylor understands the stresses and joys of being a parent. Since he first started working with troubled youth in 2000, Taylor has enjoyed the challenges and rewards in helping these youth realize their potential.
Carolyn Callahan - Case Manager (Hurricane Campus)
Carolyn Callahan was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado and at 17 moved to Southern Utah (St. George ) with her family in 1973. She then finished high school, attended Dixie State College, and met her husband. She and her husband have four beautiful daughters and seven grandchildren, who all live in the area so she gets to spend a lot of time with them. Carolyn has worked with youth for 13 years, starting with being a proctor parent for teens in her home. She then went to working in a Youth Residential Facility and has continued to do so for the last 11 years. Carolyn came to Liahona in August of 2010 and we are very pleased to have her as an addition to our success.
Richard May – Program Director (Virgin Campus)
Richard May is the Program Director of the Virgin Campus.
Richard grew up in Rockland, Idaho and is 30 years old. Rich learned the values of hard work and the importance family by working and living with his 6 siblings on his family’s farm. Rich excelled at sports and academics in high school, which earned him a scholarship to play football at Dixie State University in St. George Utah. Rich graduated from Dixie State University with a Bachelor’s in Human and Interpersonal Communication. Over his life, Rich has worked as a lifeguard, swim instructor, personal trainer, Life Coach and he was an assistant football coach for Dixie State University. Rich has worked at Liahona Academy for just over 6 years and loves seeing the young men grow and change. Rich has a passion for sports, fitness, hiking, reading, and most importantly his family.
Derek Durham - Administrative Superviser (Virgin Campus)
Derek Durham is happily married and loves being a father. He has lived in several states and even Australia for two years. Through his travels and different jobs, he found that working with youth was the most rewarding. In 2005, he first began working with them therapeutically, which ultimately lead him to Liahona Academy in 2008.
Warren Williams - Lead Supervisor (Virgin Campus)
Warren Williams is a Supervisor at Liahona Academy and a native to Southern Utah. Coming from a large family, he understands the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with family members. Warren graduated from Hurricane High School and is currently pursuing a career in Psychology. He has been with Liahona since 2008 and feels strongly that his job is very rewarding. Warren married his high school sweetheart eight years ago and they have three beautiful children. He loves being a father and finds joy in helping our students as well as his children in their everyday lives.
Beverly Carayas – Case Manager (Virgin Campus)
Beverly Carayas was born and raised in Henderson, NV but later relocated with her family to Kanab, UT. After graduating high school, Beverly attended Dixie State College, Clark County Community College and UNLV. Beverly has enjoyed working different occupations from managing apartments to operating convenient stores. Beverly has 2 daughters attending Dixie State University and a son who lives in Georgia. She also has a beautiful grandson that she adores and loves to spoil. Beverly has worked in residential treatment facilities for the past 20 years. In her own words, “It is very satisfying to see the angry, hurt child come into the program and leave a happy confident young man!” Beverly joined the Liahona family in 2015.
G. Gregory Last - MD - Attending Physician
G. Gregory Last, MD is our programs Attending Physician. Dr. Last obtained his degree in 1982 from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Utah Medical Association, and the Washington County Medical Society. Dr. Last is a great Doctor and a caring physician. Liahona Academy is grateful to have him on the team.
University Of Utah School Of Medicine - Salt Lake City, UT in Doctor of Medicine, 1982
Residency: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Lubbock, TX in Family Practice, 1982-1985
American Academy of Family Practice
American Academy of Family Physicians
Utah Medical Association
Washington County Medical Society
Jake Roberts – APRN – Primary Psychiatric Care Provider
Jacob “Jake” Roberts is a Board Certified Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner PMHNP-BC. He has worked in the psychiatric medical field for over 12 years. While he earned his Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Degree at the University of Utah, he worked in the behavioral health unit at the IHC Hospital in St. George, Utah and the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has worked in multiple levels of behavioral health treatment settings including inpatient, outpatient, wilderness, and a number of residential programs. He has grown to love treating the adolescent and young adult population and customizes every treatment plan to their unique situation. His theory on medication management is to use the least amount of medication possible to stabilize the individual. This in turn allows the patient to develop appropriate coping skills and to not always have to rely on medication to solve the problem at hand. He is also licensed in the State of Nevada where he serves the underprivileged population in Southern Nevada. While he’s not treating patients, he spends his time as a elementary and middle school Lacrosse coach, mountain biking, spends time with his granddaughter, and also enjoys RVing with his family.
Brenton Cieslinski – RN
Brenton Cieslinski received an Associates of Science Degree and graduated from Dixie State University’s Nursing program. Along with the Liahona Academy, he also works in the Emergency Department at Dixie Regional Medical Center where he has obtained BLS and ACLS certifications. He and his wife of 9 years have have two sons and have resided in St. George since they were married. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor recreation, basketball, tennis, hunting, and fishing.
Jacob Memmott – RN
Jacob Memmott graduated from Southern Utah University with his Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Along with Liahona Academy, he works in the Emergency department of Dixie Regional Medical Center, and uses his trauma skills while volunteering with Washington County Search & Rescue. He married the love of his life two years ago and they have lived in St. George for one year. On his off time he enjoys exploring the amazing landscape of southern Utah through canyoneering, hiking, and riding ATVs.
Jared Shober – RN
Jared Shober grew up in West Valley City, Utah. He and his twin brother are the youngest of eight children. After serving a two-year mission in Iowa, he met and married his wife, Toni, at Snow College. They have been married for ten years. He graduated from Dixie State University with his Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. In addition to Liahona Academy, he works in the Central Staffing unit at Dixie Regional Medical Center. He enjoys reading books, spending time with his wife and basset hounds, Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley, and obsessing over BYU football.
Brian Parker - MS, LMFT - Clinical Director of Therapy
Brian Parker MS, LMFT, AAMFT Supervisor Candidate is a licensed marriage and family therapist with the state of Utah. Mr. Parker received his Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Southern Utah University, and his Master's degree in counseling/marriage and family therapy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a member of Psi Chi, a National Honor Society in Psychology, and a Clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Brian Parker has worked as a therapist for adolescents in a residential treatment setting since January of 2000. He was born and raised in Alberta, Canada and became a citizen of the US several years ago. He and his wife have four children. He enjoys the outdoors, sports and spending time with his family. Brian continues to maintain a small private practice in St. George which he started in 2003, helping individuals and families with a variety of issues. He specializes in working with individuals and their families in addressing issues with defiant attitudes/ behaviors, depression, and improving family dynamics. Brian's clinical experience has enabled him to work effectively with adolescents and their families towards successful resolutions and positive outcomes.
Darrell Lewis, MSW, CSW – Therapist
Darrell Lewis has a Master’s degree in social work and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker. Darrell received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UNLV. After UNLV, Darrell attended Marywood University in Scranton, PA where he completed his graduate work and received a dual master’s degree in clinical social work and social work administration. Darrell has worked as a counselor and therapist in residential treatment centers, state sponsored facilities, mental health centers and has worked with adolescents and their families for over 20 years. Growing up in a family of 14 children with two original parents, Darrell experienced many trials and quickly learned there was no tolerance for entitlement. Darrell has been married for 37 years, has 5 children and 8 grandchildren.
Ryan Smith, MSW, CSW – Therapist
Ryan is a Masters of Social Work Intern. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Argosy University and his Masters Degree in Social Work from California State Northridge. Ryan has worked with LDS Family Services in St. George and with a Forte Strong helping young men with failure to launch syndrome. Ryan is married and has four beautiful girls and one son. He enjoys spending time with his family, boating, and most anything outdoors. Ryan has also enjoyed coaching many different high school sports and loves working with the youth. Ryan enjoys working with couples, families, and individuals as a tool to help them to overcome their current challenges.
Benjamin Haslam, MS MFT - Therapist
Benjamin “Bear” Haslam graduated from Northcentral University in March of 2017 with a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, Bear obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication from Dixie State University in May of 2014. Bear has been working at Liahona Academy over the past six years as a supervisor and a residential shift coordinator.
Dr. Brad Christensen - Principal
Brad Christensen has been the Headmaster at Liahona Academy since it opened. He has over 20 years experience in education as a teacher, consultant, coach, and administrator. Brad has education degrees from Dixie College, Memphis State University, Brigham Young University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals (UASSP) Assistant Principal of the Year and currently serves on the board of the Utah Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (UASCD). He has volunteered in many church and community organizations including Boy Scouts and Rotary International. Brad lived for several months in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin Chinese. He and his wife have 3 children.
David Mangelson - Academic Director
David Mangelson is the Academic Director here at Liahona Academy. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. He also received an ESL (English as a Second Language) from Dixie and his Gifted and Talented Endorsements from Southern Utah University. David was raised in Littleton, CO but moved around quite a bit, until 2006 when he finally decided to settle down in Hurricane to be close to family. Through personal experiences within his own life, David has come to realize that life and families are some of the most precious and rewarding journeys we can take. If he can emphasize this while he teaches, then this is reward enough for him.
Constantine (Gus) Carayas
Constantine (Gus) Carayas has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Pratt Institute and a Masters Degree in Biology from Brooklyn College. For 32 years, he has been teaching biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, and geometry to high school students, as well as special education; and to college students, he has taught physiology.
Linda Crosby graduated in 1984 from Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID with a BA in Education. She later took Post Graduate courses from Morehead State University KY, College of Southern ID, Boise State University, and Northwest Nazarene College from 1985-1992. Linda has been teaching for about 26 years.
Karyn Vincent is a senior at Southern Utah University and is currently working towards earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. She has worked as an English tutor for over two years and loves working with kids. She has a deep love for literature and language and provides an environment that builds confident readers and writers. Her goal is to encourage students to think critically, understand grammar, and to communicate effectively through the written word. When she’s not in her classroom, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Sheila Smith received her education from Southern Utah University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics with a Level IV Endorsement, major and Family Life, minor and a Secondary education License, graduating in 1994. Since then she has taught in private schools at four different residential treatment programs.
Feso Malufau received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education & Special Ed from Southern Utah University in 1986. He has been teaching school for around 15 years as well as coaching football previously in Hawaii and now in the Southern Utah area.
Dale Cornelius received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology from San Diego State University with a minor in Chemistry. He taught Honors and Advance Placement Biology at Escondido High School in Southern California for 33 years and was the Department Chair for many of those years. During those years he also taught Microbiology, Oceanography, and Zoology. Dale has written and published several molecular biology labs that have been sold nationwide by Stratagene Corporation of La Jolla, CA.
Rebecca Nelson received an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree and Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences Degree with a minor in Chemistry at Dixie State University. Rebecca is active in helping the community, by volunteering at the DOVE Center, animal rescues and she volunteers her services at local free clinics. Rebecca enjoys being home with her nephew and taking a break before Graduate School. She loves to go on hikes with her dog she adopted two years ago.
Marsha Postert attended Dixie College in 1997-98. She worked for over 15 years in the banking industry as a Construction Loan Specialist. She has spent the last 7 years doing foster care for troubled teenagers. 3 years ago she began working for Washington County School District as a paraprofessional in the Special Education department. In addition, she has been teaching Earth Science and World Geography for Liahona since November 2014.
Kokys Scarth was born and raised in Mexico City, where she attended the “Escuela Nacional de Educadoras” (National School of Educators), graduating in General Education. She has been working for Washington County School District, assisting in the Severe Special Ed department at the Hurricane Middle School. Mrs. Scarth has been with Liahona Academy since 2005 and loves her students, saying that everyone is amazing in their very own way.
Claine Tanner received an Associate of Arts Degree from Weber State in 1973. Throughout college Claine was a teacher and director of Ebronix Learning Systems where he worked for around 3-4 years. He then decided to switch careers into the finance business in which he stayed for over 35 years. He ended up retiring from Cache Valley Bank as a Senior Credit Officer in 2010 and has established his own Horse Training business on the side.
Greg Berry has a Ph.D in mechanical engineering and was recently employed as an engineer, scientist, mathematician and programmer at an energy research laboratory. Greg is listed in Who's Who in Technology Today, American Men and Women in Science and International Who's Who in Engineering. Greg attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Connecticut. During Greg’s career, he has completed development work in finite element analysis, systems analysis and magnetohydrodyanmics, which resulted in 5 patents. Recently, Greg retired and relocated to southwestern Utah, with his wife, horse, and dogs, where he has worked as a Math Adjunct Professor at Dixie State University. Currently, Greg teaches Math and Physics at Liahona Academy where he has developed a unique method of helping students score better on multiple choice math tests, including the ACT, by enhancing their estimation skills for problems they cannot solve. As a teacher at Liahona Academy Greg tries to teach his students more than one way to solve a problem. Greg feels by doing so, tends to enhance a student’s understanding of the underlying concepts. For recreation Greg plays pickleball, swims and is an excellent chess and bridge player.
Braxton was raised in Salt Lake City and graduated from Taylorsville High School. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts degree from Dixie State University in English, with an emphasis in Secondary Education. As well as teaching at Liahona and attending class at Dixie State, Braxton is a Writing Tutor for the university and loves to spend his free time outdoors with his wife. He has a passion for literature and creative writing, and Braxton believes in the power of both language and education to improve and strengthen communities.
Mrs. Malia Colby was born and raised on the coast of California but has lived in Utah since 1992. Mrs. Colby loves to travel and has family all across the United States, from Hawaii to New York. She and her husband have 6 children (4 boys and 2 girls), and 5 grandchildren. Mrs. Colby received her A.A. Degree in general education from Dixie State University in 1996. She went on to receive a B.A. in Special Education (K-12) and Elementary Education (1-8) from Southern Utah University in 2004. Mrs. Colby is in her sixth year of teaching. She is trilingual (English, Spanish and ASL) and has always loved learning.
Barb Christensen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an International Relations Certificate and Chinese minor. She also received a Master’s Degree in Education and holds several endorsements, including reading, gifted and talented education, dual immersion, and world languages. She and her husband have 3 children and a Miniature Dachshund.