About Us

History

In 1948, a school was founded in Queen Creek, Arizona 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, which sought to help at-risk children and adolescents to develop self-respect and self-confidence while providing vital social, educational and vocational skills which allowed youth to return to their communities as productive young adults.

A strong athletic legacy took root–which continues at Canyon State Academy to present day–in part, because of the involvement of Frank Kush as the Executive Administrator of the Advisory Board. The athletic complex which bore his name on CSA’s campus housed a football program, which, once established in 1995, ran three undefeated seasons.

In 2000, Canyon State Academy revised its residential program to offer academic, career and technical training, athletics and evidence-based treatment curricula to give at-risk youth opportunities to improve their lives.

Today, the Canyon State Academy campus has continued to grow into an innovative and effective treatment program for youth. The wide continuum of programming is possible through numerous community partnerships which includes Sun Valley Community Church, government agencies, stakeholders, businesses and universities. The Canyon State Academy School is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is approved by the State of Arizona as a “Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization.”

Rite of Passage

Canyon State Academy is operated by Rite of Passage, a leading National provider of evidence-based therapeutic and educational programs for youth. Rite of Passage provides a diverse continuum of care with evidence-based programs in education, youth shelter programs, family and community aftercare and intensive treatment for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

For over 35 years, Rite of Passage has been improving the lives of youth. Through its work at Canyon State and other academy programs, Rite of Passage has developed the Academic Model™ framework to articulate its program philosophy, methodology, and specific evidence-based practices.

THE ACADEMIC MODEL™

The Academic Model™ is the framework for Canyon State Academy's programming and services. Beginning with a foundation of safety, accomplished through caring relationships, qualified and trained staff, fosters a culture where students can learn.

Staff model pro-social skills, utilize the appropriate amount of empathy and provide youth with problem resolution skills. Assessments identify individual student needs and strengths and develop their intrinsic motivation for change.

Evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions help students develop skills to overcome aggression, disruptive behavior, and heal from traumatic events in their lives. Since many of the students will return home, family involvement and treatment are provided at an appropriate intensity.

The normalized environment enables each student to develop and practice skills in the therapeutic, academic, vocational, health/wellness, family and community activities. Through these experiences, the student gains competencies and skills to attain Treatment Plan goals; then, new goals are established and the process of positive change is moved forward, creating a new vision and hope for the youth.

Meet Our Qualified Team

Brian Heath holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences and has over 26 years of experience in leadership roles in the human services field. Passionate about improving the lives of youth with a focus on Community Integration, Brian conceptualized and implemented the Village at Canyon State.

Brian Heath
Executive Director
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Tim Gloston holds a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Wellness and a Minor in Therapeutic Wellness. He has nearly 20 years of experience at Rite of Passage and served in the United States Army. Tim is a certified facilitator in evidence-based curricula as well as ROP’s Essential Subjects. He is also an accredited trainer for JKM Safe Crisis Management.

Timothy Gloston
Program Director
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Emily Beard holds a Juris Doctorate as well as a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling. Emily is a licensed therapist and has over 13 years of experience working in the juvenile justice and social services field and has been with Rite of Passage for 9 years. Emily is a certified facilitator in University of Cincinnati’s Substance Abuse and I-Decide curricula, both of which are evidence-based.

Emily Beard
Director of Student Services
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Mr. Pope has over a decade of experience serving at-risk youth in the states of Illinois and Arizona, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Governor State University. Mr. Pope is a trained facilitator in Safe Crisis Management, Aggression Replacement Training, Prudent Parenting, Trauma Informed Care, and University of Cincinnati's Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse, and is extensively trained in Sex Trafficking Prevention and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Dominque Pope
Interim Director of Culture and Operations
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Bio coming soon!

Dr. William Anderson
Principal
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Susan Manning holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's in Teacher Leadership. She comes to us with 15 years of business experience and 8 years of classroom experience and is excited to create community partners that provide support to all of our programs.

Susan Manning
Community & Business Development Director
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Bio coming soon!

Kelly Turk
Regional Compliance Director
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Keri Loo holds a bachelor’s degree in University Studies with a concentration in Psychology. She is passionate about creating a diverse workforce, helping people reach their career goals, and improving the lives of youth.

Keri Loo
Regional Human Resource Director
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Bio coming soon!

TBA
Regional Education Director