Our Girls Residential Team consists of godly women who are passionately committed to serving troubled or struggling teen girls in crisis. The Shepherds Hill Academy Girls Residential Team provides safe around-the-clock care for your daughter’s daily needs including her academic, emotional, physical and spiritual development.
Every Shepherds Hill Academy team member must meet all the employment requirements, including a thorough background and criminal history check, set forth by the state of Georgia. All residential staff members are required to be trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI).
In addition, each member undergoes an intense 60 day training period. Assuring the greatest degree of care and attention in the industry, Shepherds Hill Academy uncompromisingly upholds a maximum 5 total student to staff ratio. This means your teen daughter is not out of sight of a Girls Residential Team member at any point during her stay in the Therapeutic Outdoor Program.
Girls Wilderness Program Manager
Ginelle currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Outdoor Leadership and Education from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. Since 2007 Ginelle has worked with youth.
She loves working with teens because their youthful energy and life offers so much to today’s culture. Ginelle wants to teach teens how to harness that energy to be put towards worthwhile things. She desires to serve the youth to equip them to go out and pour into and serve in the lives of others.
In addition, Ginelle loves photography, videography, zip-lining, road trips, coffee and camping.
Girls Wilderness Program Assistant
Noelle received her Associate degree in Art from the University of South Carolina Lancaster. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Cross Cultural Studies and minoring in Biblical Studies, from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA.
She has worked with young people since 2007.
Noelle is passionate for Christ and gives Him the credit for giving her a compassionate heart to work with children and teenagers. It is her desire to teach the youth who are far away from Christ about God’s truth to help them grow emotionally and spiritually.
Besides her desire to serve others, Noelle enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors. She also enjoys reading, swimming and sports.
Girls Next Step Program Manager
Sarah carries a Bachelor of Science degree in Cross-Cultural Studies with minors in Counseling, Bible and Theology from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She has worked with youth since 2007, and served in various leadership roles for her church youth trips, discipleship relationships, and mentoring college freshmen.
Sarah’s first priority is to serve the Lord and to be obedient to His persuasions and callings. She considers her best quality to be her adaptability, and is committed to serving the Lord and to love His people. Sarah loves to serve the students at SHA by being able to eat, work and wake up in the early morning alongside the students, and refers to it as “simply live life with the students.”
Sarah is interested in health care, traveling and exploring. She desires to teach health education as a missionary over-seas. She enjoys hiking, camping, and being outdoors. She also likes aquatic sports, including swimming and water skiing. Some of her favorite things are chocolate and the color orange.
Alix received her Associate of Arts degree in Psychology from Gainesville State College in GA in 2009. She has also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Georgia in 2012.
Alix had the opportunity to mentor two girls for about a year. Alix’s passion for working with youth began during high school when she realized so many of her peers were constantly seeking ways to fill the emptiness they had. She always wanted to help them see the emptiness they were trying to fill with sinful things could only be filled by God. Alix feels so honored to be able to help young girls find fulfillment and satisfaction in Christ!
Alix enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, dancing, and movie nights!
Amber has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling/Psychology from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling at Capella University. Amber has the following certification and training: First Aid AED Certified, Positive Control Systems (De-escalation Techniques), Darkness to Light (Child Abuse Prevention)Training Seminar.
Amber has worked with youth in counseling and consulting roles, as well as with another residential program since 2014. She believes early adolescence is a time for young teens to begin to discover who they are and who they want to be in a culture where we have so many negative influences and people telling them who they should be. She likes to work with teens so she can help them discover who they are in Jesus Christ.
Amber enjoys serving teens and loves seeing their lives transformed as they find peace in finding their purpose in this world. She puts forth encouragement to the students she serves to help them see themselves and others through the eyes of God. She is driven by the beauty of authenticity shining through our youth and rising up against our culture’s superficial standards. She chooses to focus on the positive aspects of this generation and believes this is a time in history where God is sending His strongest leaders. She is eager to help mold the leaders of today’s teens and help them discover ways to have a positive and lasting impact on the world.
Amber’s hobbies include: art, crafts, music, writing, party planning, playing dominoes and spades, cooking, and learning about and taking care of animals (specifically reptiles).
Christy currently upholds a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education, Language Arts, and Social Studies from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA, and a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education from Bethel University. She has been working with youth for fifteen years.
Christy said after joining joining the team “It is a privilege to serve on the residential staff team at Shepherds Hill Academy.” Years of working with youth in various capacities has affirmed a passion in her life to come alongside youth in the journey of faith formation. It’s truly an honor for Christy to sleep, eat, and live life amongst these young women.
Christy and her husband Chris have been married since June of 1996. Their home is blessed with four daughters: Cadie, Jordan, Maggie and Emarie.
Christy and her family love to explore Creation. They can often be found on remote trails and rivers enjoying the beautiful waters and mountains of Northeast Georgia.
Gennesis has an Associate degree in Science with a focus in Chemistry from Gainesville State College in GA and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She has certifications in First aid and CPR.
She has three years of experience working with elementary school age children.
Gennesis feels that the world is the hardest to live in as a teenager. She can remember her teen years and what it felt like to be confused in a world that was made for everyone but you. Teenagers are also at the point where they can still be changed for the better. She wants to be a role model for them, but she also wants to show them that they are not alone. Gennesis wants them to know that we have all been there, no matter how hard we try to deny it!
Karla has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Liberty University Online. Karla is trained and holds certifications in CPR, ESI and First Aid.
Karla has worked with youth since 2007. Her experience includes working two years with Encounter Revival Ministries sharing the Gospel and spiritual renewal with young people. She spent two summers working as a full-time summer camp staff and organized several weekend youth discipleship programs. She has served the students at Shepherds Hill Academy since 2012.
Karla has always had a heart for serving teens, even when she was one herself. To her, teenagers are very important because today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s leaders, teachers, employers, entrepreneurs, etc. Therefore; she believes, investing in teens is investing in the future. Also; in today’s culture, our teenagers are susceptible and vulnerable to so much more than we realize and they require discipleship and good relational authority in their lives in order to succeed. To Karla, there is not a better life goal than to come alongside today’s teenagers and help them reach their life goals and achieve success.
Karla married Andrew Embry in the fall of 2015. When she isn’t studying or working with youth; she enjoys being active, journaling, reading, playing soccer, and riding horses.
Maggi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. She has worked with youth since 2013 as a Youth Leader at the First United Methodist Church.
With today’s culture pointing teens toward a focus on self-fulfillment, greed, and entitlement, Maggi understands how it influences their identity. Teens are at a critical point in their lives, and as they move through this time, her greatest hope is that they would find their worth and identity in Christ. Maggi believes the community with which we surround ourselves has the power to be either a help or a hinderance to our faith and growth. The Lord has given her a heart for ministry with teens, so that she can help guide them in these decisions.
It’s her hope to steer teens to find their worth in Christ at this pivotal age so that they can begin to see the fruits of walking in faith as early as possible. As one of her greatest passions, Maggi also hopes to instill in teens the importance of having a Christian community that builds them up and supports them. As the things of the world can be deceiving and destructive, her desire is that teens would see the Lord’s offering of love, forgiveness, purpose, and freedom is so much more satisfying.
Maggi loves to play all sports. She played basketball, softball, and golf in high school and college. She spends time daily exercising and loves to run outside. She believes the Lord calls us as holistic beings to mental, emotional, and physical wellness. Maggi loves to cook, enjoy spending time with friends and family; especially her niece.