Ike Shipman is the Executive Director of Sycamore Canyon Academy and has worked with youth and families for over 12 years. The various roles he’s assumed during that time are extensive…Teacher, Coach, Counselor, Volunteer Coordinator, Researcher, Assistant Director, Case Manager, Investigator, Therapist, and Program Director. Of his diverse background he says, “I intentionally varied my experiences to get a holistic and complete view of the systems that involve youth. I have designed and conducted research, worked direct care, done program development, worked clinical and therapeutic settings, managed group homes, developed and worked Child Protective Services systems as well as having been in the government, non-profit, and for profit sectors. All of my hard work and experience has been a purposeful pursuit of my current position. I am exactly where I want to be.” His professional endeavors are mirrored by his volunteer efforts. Ike likes to learn by doing and has therefore volunteered or worked in a number of community service areas such as hospitals, Community Boards, Non-Profits, Various Youth Organizations… quite literally, too many to list. “Youth are constantly evolving, learning, and developing. They challenge me to do the same and challenge me to better myself… There is nothing else that I would rat her be doing.” When he’s taking a break from his calling he likes to play Ultimate Frisbee with the Tucson Ultimate or enjoy Arizona’s beautiful scenery while skydiving or paragliding. “We point our students toward their potential and encourage then to move toward it.”
Lois Carpenter came to Sycamore Canyon Academy in March 2010. Although she has been at SCA for only a short time, her time with Rite of Passage started in October of 2001. For seven years, she worked in the corporate office of Rite of Passage, located in Minden, Nevada, in the position of A/R clerk and payroll clerk. It was at this time that she made the decision to obtain a bachelors degree in accounting. After much thought, she decided that working with people is her passion and changed her major to sociology. When her daughter graduated from high school, Ms. Carpenter made a life changing decision by moving to Arizona and becoming a coach counselor at Canyon State Academy. After working as a coach for 2 ½ years, which she describes as being the most physically and emotionally demanding job she has ever done, she moved into the position of administrative assistant to the student services department. She transferred to Sycamore Canyon Academy and has continued with her studies at Arizona State University. In May of 2011, she was proud to walk to the podium and receive her BS in sociology. Ms. Carpenter has volunteered with several youth groups involving her church and sports and is currently a volunteer mentor with the YMCA in Mesa, AZ. Working with the youth in her community has brought great joy to Ms. Carpenter. “I know that I have made a difference in many peoples’ lives and I plan to continue making a difference.”
Michael Petrella is a teacher at Sycamore Canyon Academy. He has been employed by ROP for six years – one year as a coach/counselor and five years as a teacher. A graduate of Salem University in Salem, WV, Mr. Petrella has earned degrees in Sports Management and Communications. He then moved to Phoenix in 2006 and earned his master’s degree in Cross Categorical Special Education. Mr. Petrella is passionate about helping his students succeed in academics, sports, and in life.