Coronavirus Update

      Passionate, Caring Expert Staff

      Your family’s team will include your child’s primary therapist, a family therapist, a medical coordinator, a certified teacher, and an equine specialist and many more. Together, this team of experts will work to understand your child’s behavior in various contexts – family, peers, school, recreation, and alone. Combined, these diverse perspectives allow our team to customize your child’s treatment plan so they can experience success throughout their life.


      Graham Shannonhouse

      Executive Director, Founder

      Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in wilderness therapy for more than twenty years. Graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1991, she spent the following decade working with a leading wilderness therapy program in central Idaho, serving as a hands-on Field Instructor, Field Supervisor, and finally Wilderness Program Manager. She returned to her Carolina home in 2002 to serve as Executive Director of a therapeutic wilderness program, where she remained until she resigned in 2008 to form Trails Carolina.

      Clinical Team

      Our highly skilled clinical team creates individualized treatment plans for each child and family. As a parent, you can expect to be working with therapists who will help your child gain personal insight, provide treatment, and produce a thorough assessment of your child. Combined, our clinical team has many decades of experience working with teens and their families. 

      Jeniveve Rollins – LCSW

      Clinical Director

      Jeniveve leads the clinical team with their therapeutic process.


      Shalene Pierce – MSW, LCSW

      Primary Therapist

      With Trails since the beginning, Shalene leads girls groups ages 14 – 17.

      Justin Messinger, MA, LCMHCA, LCASA

      Primary Therapist

       Justin supports teen boys ages 14-17.

      Todd Green MSW, LCSW

      Primary Therapist

      Todd uses his depth of experience to lead Boys ages 14 – 17.

      Sarah Hutchison, MSW, LCSW

      Primary Therapist

       Sarah is a Primary Therapist who works closely with families and students at Trails Carolina.

      Amanda Mojave, LPC

      Primary Therapist

      Amanda leads and works with our younger girls group, students ages 10-14.

      Sarah McGahran, LCSWA

      Primary Therapist

      Sarah guides teens through the healing process and helps facilitate lasting change in family systems.

      Jana Eilermann, LCMHCA

      Primary Therapist/Family Therapist

      Jana works closely with Trails Carolina students and families throughout the therapeutic process.

      Travis Wireback, LCSW

      Primary Therapist

      Travis works closely with Trails Carolina students throughout their therapeutic journey.

      Melissa Turner, LCSW

      Family Therapist

      Melissa helps guide Trails Carolina families throughout the therapeutic process.

      Taisir El-Souessi, LCMHCS, LPC

       Family Therapist

      Taisir provides guidance and support to families over the course of their child’s journey at Trails Carolina.

      Kaitlin Kertesz, MSW, LCSW, RYT

       Family Therapist

      Kaitlin works closely with Trails Carolina families throughout the therapeutic process.

      Mara Mueller, MSW, LCSW

      Family Therapist

      Mara works closely with Trails Carolina families throughout the therapeutic process.

      Nicola Zollinger, LCMHCA

      Transition Therapist

      Nicola works closely with Trails Carolina students throughout the therapeutic process.

      Admissions Team

      Our admissions team understands that the decision to send your child to a wilderness therapy program is a difficult one. We’re here to help you to understand the value of our program and if it is the right fit for your child. You will be met with professionalism and compassion as our team works to meet your family’s individual needs.

      Dottie Lank

       Director of Admissions

      Dottie works directly with families to help them make the decision and transition to Trails.

      Julia Andrick

      Admissions & Outreach

      Julia began working in the therapeutic school and program field in 2000. Since that time, she has worked with countless families and witnessed the profoundly powerful impact wilderness therapy has had on their children.

      Candace Bynum

      Admissions Coordinator

      Candace helps families successfully transition to Trails that are referred to us by, EC’s, Other Schools, and Previous Parents for Admission to Trails.  She is also the Family Service Coordinator.

      Wilderness Team

      Expert wilderness and adventure camp staff for student success and safety

      Above all else, our wilderness team is there to ensure your child’s safety. Dedicated field instructors provide direct, individual care to students as they explore the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as Field Staff work alongside our Clinical Team and Medical Coordinator to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of your child are tended to.

      Jeremy Whitworth

      Program Director

      Jeremy leads and oversees all day to day operations.


      Rachel Bisker

      Hiring Manager

      Rachel is responsible for hiring and on boarding new team members.


      Thor Jones

      Head of Instructor Development

      Thor supervises and manages the field instructors and staff.

      Kyle Shepard

      Kyle Shepard

      Youth Program Manager

      Kyle helps develop the younger boys and girls groups at Trails.

      patricia orr

      Patricia Orr

      Adolescent Program Manager

      Patricia helps support and manage field staff.

      Brandon Berthrong

      Field Communication Director

      Brandon supervises field staff and helps support students.

      Dylan Mayes

      Adventure Program Facilitator

      Dylan leads and guides students on adventure activities.

      Residential Team

      The Residential Team provides quality programming in the classroom and beyond. Our dedicated teachers work hard to design an engaging curriculum, and accreditations ensure that credits earned by your child will transfer to most other schools. Beyond the classroom, our equine specialist facilitates students’ connection with our herd of horses, helping them connect with their emotions and better understand non-verbal communication.

      Elizabeth Chancellor

      Elizabeth Chancellor

      Academic Director

      Elizabeth works to maintain our academic accreditation, trains new academic staff, and conducts yearly evaluations of all of our educators.


      Steve O’Neil

      Ecology Specialist

      Helping our students understand the misunderstood through experiential learning

      Lindsay Elliott

      Lindsey Elliott

      Health and Wellness Director

      Manages health and wellness programming, Trails to Wellness.

      Dr. Anthony Fisher, MD-1

      Dr. Tony Fisher, MD

      Consulting Physician

      Tony does our physicals and basic medical stuff!

      Anne Westall

      Equine Specialist

      Anne oversees the horse programming for Trails.


      Betty Ervin

      Office Manager, Parent Liaison

      Betty is the “glue” involved in all aspects of Trails.


      Debi Whitmire

      HR Director

      Debi oversees human resources and risk management

      Ben Holtzclaw

      Facilities Director

      Ben manages all facilities at Trails Carolina.

      Serena Sackett

      Logistics Manager

      Serena manages the day-to-day logistics at Trails Carolina.