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 Treatment Center -- 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!

Hurricane Facility


Parker Haslam - Program Director

Parker Haslam is our Program Director. Parker grew up in Salt Lake City and Hurricane, Utah. 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.

Douglas Sigmund - Administrative Supervisor

Douglas Sigmund grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada for most of his life. He met his wife in 2012 and a year later they were married and moved to southern Utah where his wife is from. They enjoy living in Hurricane with their daughter and exploring the great outdoors of Utah. He has been with Liahona since 2013. In 2016 he graduated from Dixie State University with his Bachelors in Communications. Currently, he is working on his MBA from Northcentral University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with friends. Douglas has enjoyed working with troubled youth and to see the changes they make through Liahona. He has valued the benefits of doing hard work and spending time with his family.

Carolyn Callahan - Case Manager

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.

Virgin Facility


Richard May – Program Director

Richard May is the Program Director of the Virgin Facility.
Richard grew up in Rockland, Idaho. 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 Treatment Center 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.

Ronny Ruesch Assistant Program Director

Ronny has worked for Liahona Academy since 2011 and has served as the Assistant Program Director since 2018. He received his B.A. in Professional and Technical Writing in 2010 from Dixie State College. He was born and raised in Southern Nevada (Las Vegas and Pahrump). From 1998 to 2000, he served a church mission in Guatemala. In 2000, he married the love of his life, Diann, and in 2002, they moved to Southern Utah, where they have been raising their family ever since. Ronny is the proud father of six sons and two daughters and sees the successful rearing of his family as one his life’s most important missions. Over the years, he has found great value in implementing many of Liahona’s foundational principles in raising and teaching his children. He has a great love for music and, along with his children, has taken part in several musical plays in Southern Utah’s vibrant theater community. He lives his life by the universal law that growth demands work, opposition, and sometimes adversity.

Beverly Carayas – Case Manager

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.

Medical Staff


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 Treatment Center is grateful to have him on the team.

Professional Summary

Degree:
University Of Utah School Of Medicine - Salt Lake City, UT in Doctor of Medicine, 1982

Training:
Residency: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Lubbock, TX in Family Practice, 1982-1985

Board Certifications:
American Academy of Family Practice

Professional Memberships:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Utah Medical Association
Washington County Medical Society

Jake Roberts – APRN – 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 – Supervising RN

Brenton Cieslinski received an Associates of Science Degree and graduated from Dixie State University’s Nursing program. Along with the Liahona Treatment Center, 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.

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 Treatment Center, 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.

Aaron Lawley - RN

Aaron Lawley grew up in Moab, UT and received a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, UT. Aaron has been a licensed RN since January of 2016. After serving a two-year volunteer charity mission in Chile, he met and married his wife Katie. They’ve been married for 9 years. Aaron is fluent in Spanish and loves working with and helping the patients that are admitted into Liahona Academy. In addition to his RN work at Liahona Academy, Aaron works at the IHC InstaCare facility in Cedar City, Utah. Aaron enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, working on and running RC cars and working out.

Mental Health Clinicians


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.

Chris Taggart, LCSW – Therapist

Chris received his Bachelors degree at Southern Utah University, and his Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Utah. During November of 2017, Chris joined Liahona Treatment Center clinical team as a therapist. Prior to Liahona Treatment Center, Chris has worked as a therapist and a clinical director at a residential treatment center for teenage girls, specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and addiction. Chris has also worked with adolescents who struggle with developmental disabilities, as well as other mood disorders. Chris has 7+ years of experience working with adolescents and loves working with them and their families. He is known for being a personable and understanding person, as well as lovingly direct with those he works with. Chris has a strong ability to forge therapeutic relationships, and is always working on improving to help those around him. Chris was trained foundationally in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy from the Linehan Institute at the Mclean Hospital in Boston, MA. Chris enjoys watching movies, reading, playing games, and spending his time outdoors. He especially loves basketball, whether it be playing it or watching it, and is a dedicated fan of the Utah Jazz. Chris and his wife, Joanna, are the proud parents of two daughters.

Benjamin Haslam, LMFT – 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 over the past six years as a supervisor and a residential shift coordinator.

Taylor Jacobson, MA, MFT – Therapist

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.

Quinn Boyer, MA MFT – Therapist

Growing up in Ogden, Utah, Quinn spent the majority of his youth with his family in the Utah mountains hunting, fishing, skiing, and playing sports. After serving a LDS mission in Barcelona, Spain, Quinn moved to St. George to attend Dixie State University where he majored in Business Management and Communications. Quinn also played baseball for Dixie State University and became the captain of the University’s baseball team. After graduating from Dixie State, Quinn began working at a local high school as a Financial Literacy teacher and college advisor. It was there where he was connected to Liahona Academy and soon transitioned to be Liahona’s Activities Director. As the Activities Director, Quinn would take some of the admitted adolescents on various activities such as hiking, boating, bowling, service projects and to the gym. It didn’t take long for Quinn to recognize the quality of mental health treatment provided by Liahona to each adolescent and their families. The gratification achieved from helping struggling adolescents convinced Quinn’s to pursue a path of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Quinn is currently attending Northcentral University and is very excited about completing his requirements in becoming a licensed clinician. Quinn has been working with adolescents for over 8 years in various capacities and draws on his experience to form strong relationships built on leadership and mentoring. Quinn still enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his beautiful wife, Kayla.

Academics


Dr. Roy Hoyt - Principal

roy-hoytDr. Hoyt’s educational experience spans 34 years as teacher and administrator. He started his teaching career in Burley, Idaho as an American Government teacher and coach. He moved to Hurricane, Utah to be a high school assistant principal at Hurricane High School in the Washington School District. During his 25 years in the Washington School District, he was a high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. He was also the Superintendent of Big Horn County School District #4 in Wyoming from 2014 to 2016. Roy was an Adjunct Professor for Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where he taught Educational Psychology and Human Exceptionalities. Roy completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Utah, Master’s Degree at the College of Idaho, and Educational Doctorate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He has been a Lead Evaluator for school accreditation visits for many years to public, charter, digital, and residential treatment schools. He recently worked as field consultant for AdvancED. Dr. Hoyt enjoys spending his extra time in Central American, rafting rivers in the west, and riding his mountain on local trails. He sees working at Liahona Academy as a wonderful opportunity to contribute his skills as an educator and work with great many people.

Marsha Postert - Assistant AD

Postert-webMarsha grew up in Hurricane. She comes from a large family of 12 siblings. She graduated from Hurricane High School in 1986. She went to work for a youth treatment facility for girls for 2 ½ years. She moved away for a time, but she missed the small town and all it offers, so she moved back to Hurricane. She attended Dixie College, but then decided on a career in banking. She was a Construction Loan Specialist for 12 years. She then decided to do foster care, which she did for 7 years. She also worked for Washington County School District as a paraprofessional in the Special Education department. She came to work at Liahona in 2014. She is happily married with 3 boys. In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading, spending time with her husband and boys, and best friends, her sisters.

Teachers


Constantine (Gus) Carayas

Carayas-webConstantine (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

Crosby-webLinda 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.

Claine Tanner

Claine Tanner received an Associate of Arts Degree from Weber State in 1973.barbie-christensen 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.

Thearon Crosby

Mr. Crosby received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Utah University where he studied History, Business Administration, and English while completing his degree in Political Science. He served 29 years in the military, returning to Southern Utah to teach military leadership and physical fitness at the SUU Army ROTC program. He joined Liahona after retiring from the military.

Maria Henry

Maria Henry received an Elementary Teaching License in her home country of El Salvador before moving to the United States of America. Her passion for education is very strong. She decided to become a Secondary school teacher and pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at Dixie State University in 2014. She also attended Southern Utah University to earn a professional Educator License for Secondary Education in Spanish in 2016. She began working as a substitute teacher at Kelly services immediately after she graduated. In July of 2017, she joined Liahona Treatment Center as a Spanish teacher. Her goal is to encourage students to attain a high level of second language proficiency. She also expects the students to learn, be more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and appreciation of other people. She is happily married and has three sons. In her free time, she does aerobics and enjoys cooking for her family.

Rebecca McNeil

Rebecca McNeil was born in New Hampshire but raised in Vermont and Ohio. She met her husband Chris in California where they lived and raised their family for 32 years. After her husband’s retirement, Rebecca and her family moved to Utah. She is the mother of 3 and nana to 6 grandchildren. Family is Rebecca’s first love, followed by English and Art. When given the opportunity to teach English at Liahona Academy, Rebecca was honored to accept. A favorite quote from John F. Kennedy, which encapsulates the definition of a good education is: “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” Rebecca believes students at Liahona Academy have a thirst for knowledge, and she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of treatment program’s teaching and learning process.

Christy McAffee

Christy McAffee, Ed.D. began her professional career as an English teacher working in Inchon, South Korea. When she returned to the U.S. she took a position working at an International school located at the California State University, Northridge campus where she remained for the next five years teaching history, English and American Culture while also becoming its Academic Director. She has taught academic writing at Argosy University California campuses as an adjunct faculty member for over 13 years. After obtaining a B.A. in History, at California State University, Fullerton, she received her master’s and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, Orange County. She has taught history, English, academic writing, and related subjects since 1995. She relocated to St. George Utah in 2016 to be near her family.

Richard Cranston – Special Ed

After marriage, Richard enlisted in the U.S Army where he served for two years in Colorado in a mechanized infantry division. Thereafter, Richard starting his college degree at various schools in California and Utah, ultimately receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Argiculture, a Teaching Credential in Agriculture, and a Teaching Credential and Master's Degree in Special Education. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Special Education, Richard taught for 5 years specializing in agriculture and then 21 years as a Special Education Teacher in California. After retiring in 2014, Richard and his wife completed an 18 month religious service work mission in the Philippines. Richard and his wife moved to Hurricane, Utah in the spring of 2017. They have 6 children.

Joseph Gubler

Joe Gubler graduated from Southern Utah University with a major in “Level 4 Math” and a Minor in Chemistry. He recently retired from Washington County School District located in Southern Utah where he taught at Snow Canyon High School for the past 21 years. Joe has a teaching certificate and has taught math for 25 years to teenagers at the high school level. Joe is excited about tutoring the young men at Liahona Treatment Center. In his spare time, Joe enjoys fishing, watching sports on television and most importantly gardening.

Chris Piazza

Chris is from Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated from Louisiana State University-Shreveport in 1999 with a BA in Education (Language Arts). He proudly served in the United States Army National Guard from 1992-1998, where he achieved the rank of E-5 SGT. He has been a resident of Utah for 4 years. In his free time he enjoys sports, reading, and music.

Olawale Akinyemi

Wale found out at an early age the many doors that hard work and dedication can provide. At 16 he was brought to the United States after being drafted by a Dixie State Recruiter in Lagos, Nigeria. At 20 he received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Dixie State University. His hard work got him noticed by the head of the Anatomy Department and he was offered a job as the Anatomy instructor upon completion of his degree. Along with teaching for Dixie State University he now teachers Biology and Human Anatomy at Liahona. His hard work doesn’t stop here as he will be applying for Medical School as he continues his education to become a Pediatric Surgeon.

Chalene Shaw

Chalene was born in Idaho and raised in southern Utah. She graduated from Hurricane High School and attended Dixie College. She worked for the Washington County School District in the Special Education Department and found great satisfaction helping youth of all ages and learning capabilities. In 2008 she worked for a youth treatment center and truly missed it so she was ecstatic when the possibility of joining the Liahona family presented itself and jumped at the opportunity. Chalene feels at home here and cannot say enough good about this unique program and its amazing leadership; it is the best! She resides with her daughter and family dog. She greatly values her freedom and the blessing of being a mother. Chalene enjoys reading, teaching, traveling, music, dance, and especially spending time with her family and friends.

Sheila Mangelson

Sheila received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a level IV endorsement from Southern Utah University in 1994.She began her teaching career in a treatment facility. She has since taught at two other treatment programs. She has come to love the structure here at Liahona. She likes the challenge of teaching several math subjects at the same time. She especially loves to hear students say, “Oh that makes sense!”. She knows that she has found the right career, because at the end of the day, she leaves work with more energy than when she began. Sheila loves sewing, swimming, kayaking, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and family.

Kathy Tanner

Kathy received a B.A. Degree in Accounting from California State University at Fullerton, but always wondered how far she could go if she attempted a Math Degree. After raising four children she decided to attempt that math challenge. Four years later she received a B.S. Degree in Math Education from the University of Utah. She has taught math to troubled teens for 11 years and is happy she can continue to do so at Liahona. Kathy hopes to help her students see their potential and gain confidence in their ability to do math and understand how skills learned in math will help in all aspects of their lives.

Melinda Suttner

Melinda (Mindy) teaches Language Arts and Career Exploration at Liahona Academy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University with a composite major in English and an emphasis in teaching composition. Before coming to Liahona Academy, she taught Career Success for several years at Dixie Technical College. Having enjoyed a prosperous career in business for nearly 20 years, she is well-qualified to help guide our students in exploring and preparing for their futures. Mrs. Suttner and her husband David are the proud parents of five daughters and three sons, as well as grandparents to 22 grandchildren, with many more expected. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, cooking, fishing, hiking, DIY projects, and, most of all, just hanging with the fam! She has a drive to help others thrive and is delighted to be part of the Liahona team.

Joe Gubler Jr.

Joe has been teaching Middle School Math for the last 14 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Utah Valley State College, which is now UVU in Orem Utah. After teaching for a few years, Joe decided to get his masters degree. 18 months of night classes lead him to an MA in School Administration from the University of Phoenix. Joe and his wife Bethany have three daughters and have lived in Hurricane Utah since 2006. Joe loves playing basketball, and spending time with his family.

Logan Baker

Logan grew up in Central Utah where he spent most of his time outdoors. He enjoys the parks that surround Southern Utah. Logan graduated from Southern Utah University with a B.A. in Biology. In addition to teaching for Liahona he also teaches at Hurricane Middle School.