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 is a therapist that works directly with our families

    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.

    Rusty Murray, LMHC

     Family Therapist

    Rusty helps guide and support families throughout their child’s journey at Trails Carolina.

    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

    Brandon Berthrong

    Field Communication Director

    Brandon supervises field staff and helps support students.

    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

    Serena Sackett

    Logistics Manager

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