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Black Mountain Academy is a small boarding school for boys grades 9-12 that feels like home and is specifically designed to support the individualized needs of students with learning differences and social and executive function deficits. We teach our students transferable skills in the areas of emotional regulation, executive function, and daily living with a dynamic, comprehensive approach that enriches the learning experience.    
  • All
  • Leadership Team
  • Academic Team
  • Clinical Team
  • Residential Team
  • Medical Team
  • Operations Team
  • Brandon Moffitt, MA, LPC
    Brandon Moffitt, MA, LPC
    Executive Director
  • MIchelle McCoy, SPHR
    MIchelle McCoy, SPHR
    Operations & Administration Director
  • Jim Johnston, MA, LMFT
    Jim Johnston, MA, LMFT
    Therapist
  • Aaron McGinley, M.A, CMHC, LPCA
    Aaron McGinley, M.A, CMHC, LPCA
    Program DIrector
  • Carla Shorts, MS, LPC
    Carla Shorts, MS, LPC
    Admissions Director
  • Pam Splain, MA, LPC, NCC
    Pam Splain, MA, LPC, NCC
    Therapist
  • Mark Moser
    Mark Moser
    Science & Mathematics Teacher
  • Adam Beeson, M.A.
    Adam Beeson, M.A.
    English Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish
  • Ricardo Contreras
    Ricardo Contreras
    STEM, Sciences, Math and Spanish
  • Adam DeCaulp
    Adam DeCaulp
    Academic Support Specialist
  • Laura Centers, MA in Special Education
    Laura Centers, MA in Special Education
    Learning Specialist
  • Cortney Pauly, MS, SLP-CCC
    Cortney Pauly, MS, SLP-CCC
    Speech & Language Specialist
  • Mandi Allison, LPCA
    Mandi Allison, LPCA
    Reproductive Health & Sexual Education Teacher
  • Adam Hutchins, PMHNP
    Adam Hutchins, PMHNP
    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Bailey Holman
    Bailey Holman
    Office Manager
  • Britt Patterson, MA
    Britt Patterson, MA
    Clinical Intern
  • Robert Major
    Robert Major
    Operations
  • Michelle Young, RMA
    Michelle Young, RMA
    Campus Nurse
  • Brennan Garrison
    Brennan Garrison
    Lead Residential Coach
  • Matthew Deitch
    Matthew Deitch
    Lead Residential Coach
  • Adam Hill
    Adam Hill
    Physical Education Instructor
  • Charles Freeland
    Charles Freeland
    Ceramics/Art Teacher
  • Dayna Guido, LCSW
    Dayna Guido, LCSW
    Clinical Supervisor
  • Lucia Yepez
    Lucia Yepez
    Lead Residential Coach
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Brandon Moffitt, MA, LPC
Executive Director

Brandon Moffitt has over 10 years of experience as a therapist with adolescents and their families in residential settings and wilderness therapy. During his tenure in wilderness, he developed and ran a very successful program providing treatment for boys with high functioning autism, learning deficits, and social difficulty.

Prior to becoming a therapist, Brandon spent time as a math and science teacher in the public schools and a guide on adventure trips for adolescents. He loves being a dad, backpacking, fly fishing, woodworking, and cooking. He is excited to bring engaging college preparatory education and intentional and integrated therapy to clients and their families.

Aspiro is excited to partner with Brandon to expand the exceptional care we provide to clients with Level 1 Autism in our Vantage Point and Daniels Academy programs.

MIchelle McCoy, SPHR
Operations & Administration Director

Michelle is very excited to join Black Mountain Academy as Operations and Administration Director. Michelle began working in Behavioral Health programs seven years ago as a Wilderness Field Guide where she witnessed the power of every individual to grow and change. She has spent the past five years working in the areas of human resources, finance, and operations. She has successfully helped facilitate the acquisition of two, three-year CARF accreditations.

Michelle holds a MFA in Theatre from Louisiana State University. She also holds a certificate as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the HR Certification Institute.

In her spare time, Michelle can be found enjoying the beautiful mountains with her amazing husband and son.

Jim Johnston, MA, LMFT
Therapist

Jim brings over 15 years of experience providing clinical care to adolescents and their families in multiple settings including private practice, community-based interventions, therapeutic wilderness programs, and as a primary therapist at two boarding schools. Jim’s professional passion is to help clients develop a sense of resiliency, self-efficacy, and resourcefulness at school, home, and in the community. Jim brings experience, warmth, and commitment to our students as he joins the clinical team at Black Mountain Academy. He has extensive experience working with families and individual with autism. As a parent of a child with autism, Jim has a special interest in assisting individuals and families in navigating the challenges autism presents as well as capitalizing on the strengths our students inherently possess. In his free time, Jim enjoys time with his family, fly fishing, camping, and travel.

Aaron McGinley, M.A, CMHC, LPCA
Program DIrector

Aaron has been working with adolescents and families for more than 15 years and specializes in helping teens with Autism. Aaron has worked in a variety of settings including private residential schools, public schools, community-based programs, and intensive family therapy.

During his time in graduate school, Aaron received one of the Nation’s top scores on his board exams. Aaron has also published an article in a national journal and gives frequent presentations to families, therapists, and teachers about video game addictions.

In all that he does, Aaron employs an approach that integrates his strong belief in the importance of trust and community in supporting those on the Autism spectrum. When Aaron is not working with clients, he enjoys hiking the mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife and two children.

Carla Shorts, MS, LPC
Admissions Director

Carla grew up in South Carolina, spending much of her childhood playing outside. Carla received her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University where she trained extensively alongside many of the leaders in the field researching pediatric brain development and social development.

Prior to joining the team at Black Mountain Academy, Carla worked as a therapist in a wide variety of clinical settings over the past decade, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, private practice, and therapeutic boarding school. For the past 5 years, Carla has worked as a wilderness therapist specializing in boys with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental concerns.

Outside of work, Carla can usually be found trying a new cupcake recipe, diving into a good book, or exploring the North Carolina backcountry with her Boykin Spaniel, Margot. Carla also loves sports and cheering on the Clemson Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.

Pam Splain, MA, LPC, NCC
Therapist

Pam has been working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings for close to 20 years. Her background as a mental health clinician has been in working with adolescents in a wilderness setting, children and adolescents in an acute hospitalization setting, children in an outpatient setting, and with adults with sexual trauma. She has specialized in working with adolescent clients diagnosed with level 1 autism spectrum disorder and with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Her experience has also allowed her to work with clients who struggle with anxiety, depression, lack of self-esteem/low self-worth, difficulties related to a past history of trauma, difficulty with emotional regulation and daily functioning skills, including struggles with impulsivity and organization.

Pam received her Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2014 from Western Carolina University. Her career until that point was in outdoor education and outdoor program management, where she served in a variety of roles at summer camps and wilderness therapy programs in the Western North Carolina area. She has been working with children and adolescents in the outdoor industry since 1998.

Pam’s goal in providing therapy is to assist children and adolescents in recognizing their strengths and to help them identify the areas in which they are struggling in their daily lives. Her purpose is to help families and children identify their specific needs and create realistic goals to accomplish change.

Mark Moser
Science & Mathematics Teacher

Mark, a native of Asheville, and descended from a long line of teachers, holds degrees in Horticulture, Biology, and is a Certified Educator in all the sciences. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mark founded a llama wilderness trekking company and, for several years, led groups of campers through the Appalachian mountains, sharing the history and botany of our region. After 15 years of teaching in public high school, Mark sought a different kind of teaching community where he would be able to share the art of science and math in a more holistic, experiential fashion.

He is delighted to have found such a supportive and progressive environment and is constantly reminded of the joy of education by his students here at Black Mountain Academy. An accomplished musician, Mark also occasionally works with the Moog Foundation teaching Dr. Bob Sound School curriculum to public school elementary teachers, focusing on how to use music to teach the physics of sounds.

When not sharing his love of the natural and musical world with his students, Mark can be found with his wife, two children, and dog. Together they enjoy practicing gratitude, making music, gardening, and finding the humor in life.

Adam Beeson, M.A.
English Language Arts, Social Studies and Spanish

Adam Beeson received his M.A. in Education from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. He holds an International Teacher Certificate from the European Council of International Schools as well as professional certifications from the Wilderness Medicine Institute at the National Outdoor Leadership School.

For the past ten years, Adam has focused his work on global citizenship education. He previously taught at an international, college preparatory boarding school in Austria, where he led service-learning expeditions. More recently, Adam helped design a global citizenship certificate program at a therapeutic boarding school in Costa Rica while teaching in the classroom and facilitating wilderness excursions throughout Latin America.

Adam grew up in North Carolina, regularly exploring the outdoors. His desire for adventure and exploration has led him to work, study, and travel in nearly thirty countries throughout Europe and North and Central America. When he is not teaching, Adam enjoys trail running, experiencing new cultures, and planning adventures with his family.

Ricardo Contreras
STEM, Sciences, Math and Spanish

Coming soon!

Adam DeCaulp
Academic Support Specialist

Coming soon!

Laura Centers, MA in Special Education
Learning Specialist

Coming soon!

Cortney Pauly, MS, SLP-CCC
Speech & Language Specialist

Cortney discovered her love of language and communication while living in Thailand where she worked as a sociolinguistic researcher for 5 years. Following her stint abroad, Cortney returned to the U.S. and earned a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Carolina University. Cortney is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Here at Black Mountain Academy, Cortney works with students to improve their communication skills in several key areas, including improving speech fluency and social pragmatics. When asked why students at Black Mountain Academy benefit from speech therapy, Courtney states, “Communication is all about understanding what others mean and expressing your own ideas. If you have misunderstandings, don’t always get why others do/say things, or have trouble getting your message across, then speech therapy can help! Just like learning how to play a new video game, you may need instruction and practice to get better and master your skills. Depending on students’ needs, we set measurable and attainable goals, and work week by week to achieve those goals. We celebrate successes and find new ways to apply our learning to real life.”

When not working with students at Black Mountain Academy, Cortney enjoys hiking in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina with her dog Jiggy and spending time with family.

Mandi Allison, LPCA
Reproductive Health & Sexual Education Teacher

Coming soon!

Adam Hutchins, PMHNP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Adam Hutchins has been living, working, and playing in the Western North Carolina mountains for the past 18 years. He completed his BSN at Winston-Salem State University and his MSN in psychiatric nursing at the University of South Alabama. Adam has He has worked in a variety of settings over the course of his career. Adam’s specific areas of interest include autism spectrum disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, thought disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.

At Black Mountain Academy, Adam works closely with students and their families to provide medication management in a supportive and collaborative manner. Adam’s warmth and easy-going nature make him relatable and allows our students to connect with him in an effort to address problematic issues in their daily lives.

Adam enjoys living in the beautiful North Carolina countryside with his wife and children. In his free time, he can be found tending his garden, hiking, raising goats and chickens, or cooking a good meal.

Bailey Holman
Office Manager

Bailey is excited to be a part of the Black Mountain Academy, bringing with her more than three years of experience working with adolescents in a wilderness therapy environment. As a wilderness guide, she worked primarily with adolescent males on the autism spectrum, and those struggling with social difficulties and learning differences. Her focus is on providing students with support, structure, and the skills-based mentorship while helping to create a socially nurturing environment aimed at confidence and success.

Bailey holds a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

In her free time, Bailey enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling, reading, and cooking.

Britt Patterson, MA
Clinical Intern

Britt grew up in central North Carolina, caring for plants in her family’s greenhouses and running through the woods around her childhood home. Later journeys led her to travel to most the United States and eight countries internationally, with a home base of Asheville for the last nine years. She began working in the mental health field in 2001 as a direct care worker in families’ homes. Since then, she completed a BA in Community Psychology, a MA in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, and is currently working towards an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Britt has worked in school, community, wilderness, and residential settings in various roles of support for adolescents and families. She has supported individuals with autism spectrum disorders for eight years and is passionate about serving this population. As a Registered Yoga Teacher, Britt integrates mindfulness techniques to bring attuned presence, intention, and compassion to her work. While she still holds a special place in her heart for her childhood obsessions with unicorns and soccer, Britt has expanded her interests to include camping, volunteering, painting, and an occasional game of Magic the Gathering.

Robert Major
Operations

Coming soon!

Michelle Young, RMA
Campus Nurse

Coming soon!

Brennan Garrison
Lead Residential Coach

Brennan is a North Carolina native who left his home state for the first time to serve for 15 years in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he held many different duty positions all over the world and developed a love for other cultures. This led Brennan to study anthropology at UNCC where he specialized in the anthropology of race and archaeology. After a few odd twist and turns, he found himself operating as a wilderness field guide, where he first discovered his love for working with children on the spectrum. It’s this passion which has brought him to Black Mountain Academy.

Brennan may or may not also be a superhero. Rumors persist but nothing has been confirmed

Matthew Deitch
Lead Residential Coach

Born in England and claiming French and US citizenship, Matthew brings an eclectic set of skills and experience to the Black Mountain Academy team. Following graduation from UNC-Asheville with a B.A. in History, Matthew has worked as a camp counselor, after school instructor, and as the assistant manager at a pepper farm. When not on the job, Matthew leads a double life as a professional downhill skateboarder competing on an international racing circuit. As a residential coach, Matthew brings a calming presence to his work. If you can’t find him on the hill or at the skatepark your next best bet is at one of Western North Carolina’s gorgeous waterfalls or swimming holes.

Adam Hill
Physical Education Instructor

Coming soon!

Charles Freeland
Ceramics/Art Teacher

Coming soon!

Dayna Guido, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor

Coming soon!

Lucia Yepez
Lead Residential Coach

Coming soon!