Fire Mountain Staff
Fire Mountain Leadership Team
Shari Simmons, LCSW, Executive Director
Shari received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Denver in 1993 and became a licensed clinical Social Worker in 1995. She has had a 28-year career as an adolescent therapist and Clinical Director at several residential facilities in Colorado. As the Clinical Director at Mountain Crest Psychiatric Hospital in Fort Collins, Shari ran the adolescent facility for 10 years and started a teen homeless shelter.
Most recently, she has been a consultant for various treatment programs in the state where she trains staff on trauma-informed care, develops strategic goals and provides tools to enhance programming. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at CCU and UNR. Her area of expertise is in mental health and trauma and she considers it a personal mission to train anyone who will listen to these topics so that people who suffer are met with compassion and understanding. She is currently writing a book on trauma for clinicians. When not working, she is hiking, biking, canoeing or traveling.
Hugh Parrish, Medications Manager
Hugh has been practicing nursing for over 13 years, receiving his Bachelor’s of Nursing from James Madison University in 2006. He is originally from Charlottesville, VA, but relocated to Colorado in 2011 in order to pursue an opportunity to be a river rafting guide, before returning to the medical field. Prior to joining the team at Fire Mountain, Hugh worked in an emergency room setting and with outpatient detox services. His training encompasses pre-hospital education, working with volunteer rescue squads, medical mission work in Uganda, Africa, and multiple disaster relief operations.
Hugh has a passion to empathize with patients as well as to provide insightful guidance into each client’s journey of recovery, including encouraging daily physical activity. Outside of Fire Mountain, he can be found backcountry skiing and mountain biking with his dog, Jackson, who also spends a large amount of time giving “free” therapy to our clients.
Dr. Gary Rosen, M.D.
Dr. Gary Rosen is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, consulting at the Fire Mountain Treatment Program. Originally from East Texas (Port Arthur), Dr. Rosen attended medical school at the University of Texas located in Galveston. Following graduation, he completed his Medical Internship, Adult/General Psychiatry Residency, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowships in Phoenix, Arizona, and Houston, Texas.
Having a passion for the mountains, and the western United States, he then moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1986, and has spent his entire career practicing in the Boulder County area. Dr. Rosen has worked in a variety of treatment settings, including area hospitals, clinics, therapeutic schools, day treatment programs and in a traditional outpatient setting. During his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, running, triathlons, skiing, and playing guitar.
Tina Boyer LSW, Clinical Director
Tina completed her Master’s degree in Social Work at Colorado State University. During this time, she became certified in Mediation and Advanced Clinical Behavioral Health. Her professional experience includes working in geriatrics and hospice with an emphasis on mental health. She is a graduate of the Family Leadership Training Institute. During this time, she implemented and facilitated a support group for parents raising children with special needs and brain disorders. She spent five years as the Vice President of the Larimer County Autism Society and Director for community awareness. Tina enjoyed her time in Santiago Chile volunteering in schools for children with autism and at a local community resource center for children. She has also completed a suicide and sexual assault training while volunteering for the sexual assault hotline. Tina is passionate about advocating for children and their families. She has dedicated her life to improving resources for families with children who have special needs.
Kristin Thom LCSW, Admissions Coordinator
Born and raised in Wisconsin , Kristin moved to Colorado after spending over 20 years in the Chicago area. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and her Masters Degree in Social Work from Aurora University.
Kristin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an extensive background in mental health including crisis intervention, assessments, verbal de-escalation training, inpatient clinical experience, and private practice. Kristin believes deeply that clients can heal and live full and productive lives, despite the challenges they may currently be facing. She hopes to help guide families through the admission process with compassion, empathy, and understanding. When not working, Kristin loves to spend time outdoors exploring her new home in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two dogs, Bear and Charley. She is also the very proud mom of 2 adult sons.
Kelsie McGuire LPCC, Therapist
Originally from Texas, Kelsie has completed her undergraduate degree at Harding University earning degrees in psychology and leadership in ministry. She went on to receive a graduate degree in Counseling at Colorado Christian University. Kelsie is trained in EMDR and is a MINT certified Motivational Interviewing trainer. She has experience working with homeless populations, individuals with addictions, victims of domestic violence, and inner-city youth.
Kelsie is passionate about helping people realize the potential they hold within themselves to heal. She holds the belief that when an individual’s values and actions align, they will experience a full life. Kelsie’s hobbies include exploring new coffee shops, backpacking, off-roading, running, playing soccer, and reading.
Mark Van Steenberg LCSWC, Therapist
Originally from the state of Ohio, Mark completed his undergraduate degree at Bethany College in West Virginia concentrating on communications, film, and electronic media. Mark then attended Youngstown State University where he earned his graduate degree in Social Work. Utilizing expressive art and nature to process trauma and build one’s strengths is Mark’s passion. Mark has extensive experience in working in school-based programs, community mental health, emergency psychiatric services, and addiction treatment.
Mark utilizes his experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Trauma to help the struggling teens at Fire Mountain reach their full potential. Mark also has experience as a Clinical Director and integrates his experiences as a leader to help model and build leadership within the milieu at Fire Mountain. Mark believes in building strong connections to build healthy communities.
In his spare time, you will find Mark hiking on local trails, spending time with his family and dog Chewbacca, and coaching youth within the community.
Kelsie Foster MA, Art Therapist
Kelsie came to Colorado from the Finger Lakes region of New York. It was back in upstate New York where she earned her bachelor’s degree in New Media Design. Kelsie then received her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.
Kelsie utilizes empathy, mindfulness, and expressive arts while working with clients. At Fire Mountain, Kelsie guides the teenagers in creating art focused on the process rather than the product. With art therapy, the purpose is not always to make beautiful creations, but more so to heighten self-understanding, bring out personal meaning, and give an opportunity to release catharsis in a healthy manner.
She has experience running art-based Dialectical-Behavior Therapy groups with teenagers and adults, applying art therapeutic approaches with all ages of the grief and loss population, and working as an art therapist with teenagers in residential treatment. To have a work-life balance, Kelsie makes time to get outdoors on the trails, create art, attend live bluegrass music, and spend time with her loved ones, including her dog, Barley.
Tug Levy, Education Director
Tug has always loved connecting with people and understands that helping people connect their lives with meaning and purpose is his true passion. Tug holds a master’s degree in education, and as a professional educator, he taught mostly science, in addition to social studies, health and wellness, and math. He also coached middle school and high school soccer. He believes in an experiential, integrative approach to education. Most of his teaching experience was with students who were from lower socio-economic backgrounds and many who were newly immigrated to the US. Tug has always been drawn to working with “at- risk” youth.
Tug left public education in 2010 and worked for 5 years as a professional mentor in a private, residential treatment program for young men between 18 and 25 years of age, who were struggling to succeed as young adults, often suffering from mood disorder as well as substance and/or screen abuse issues. More recently, Tug spent two years managing Boulder’s Runaway, Homeless Youth program. In these different yet related roles, Tug has gained much knowledge and experience working with people of all walks of life and valuable expertise in working with a variety of significant, often debilitating, personal issues such as anxiety and depression, low self-esteem and motivation issues and addictions.
Laura Hufnagel, Education Coordinator Paraprofessional
Laura is a Colorado native, born and raised in Fort Collins and is now a local resident of Estes Park. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado. Laura holds numerous certifications and skills such as advanced first aid and CPR, MINT certified motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, and is a sexual assault victims advocate. Growing up Laura has seen and experienced first hand some of the difficulties facing students who have unconventional learning styles within a traditional school setting. Laura is passionate about helping each student find their own style of learning and is committed to helping others succeed in their academics.
In her free time, Laura spends most of her time in the great outdoors, participating in activities such as backpacking, traveling, rock climbing and skiing. She also enjoys creating art and spending time with her loved ones.
Gina Sferrazza, Horticulture Teacher
Born in Colorado, Gina has always felt a deep connection to the beautiful outdoors that this state has to offer. Gina has worked on small-scale organic vegetable and herb farms and found that being in the presence of nature, nurturing the plants, was a healing experience for her. In discovering Horticultural Therapy, which is the use of gardening as a form of therapy, she decided to pursue this path to guide others in the healing aspects of nature.
Gina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Horticultural Therapy from Metro State University of Denver. This individualized degree is where she combined Horticultural Therapy, Agriculture, Social Work, Psychology, and Holistic Health classes to create a degree that truly fit her path. She is passionate about building connections to the plant world and believes in the innate healing power of working with plants. Her passions center around plants – identifying them, growing them, learning about wild plants, making herbal preparations, cooking, eating, and drinking lots of herbal teas!
Kate Stephens, Teacher
Kate was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. After graduating with a double BA in philosophy and psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2013, she moved Virginia in 2016 to complete a graduate certificate in elementary education from the University of Richmond.
Having family roots in Colorado, Kate moved to Estes Park in 2017 with her awesome cat Rick. Kate has a deep love of the outdoors and enjoys hiking, climbing, running, camping. Practicing yoga or reading a good book are some of her favorite pastimes when she isn’t traveling the globe! Having visited South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Canada, Kate is excited to share her experiences and vast knowledge with the clients at Fire Mountain.
Alex Bernat, Instructor
Alex draws strongly from his own journey of healing from a life-threatening eating disorder as a teen, and he has studied with the International Harp Therapy Program and at Quest University in Canada. Alex teaches a student-centered, needs-based Health & Wellness program oriented towards assisting students at cultivating their own well-being as well as a Music class to give students the opportunity to explore sound & music in a way that enriches their quality of life and quality of treatment. Outside of Fire Mountain he also works as a part-time nanny and as an empowerment mentor working directly with youth and their families. He has taught martial arts to ages 3 and up, has taught origami to elementary school students identified as being at-risk, and has tutored Math and Science at the high school level. He has also studied Reiki and supported youth in association with Natural Highs, a substance abuse prevention and intervention program in Boulder, Colorado. He brings his harp with him to many of the classes he leads and loves to incorporate that into his work.
Operations Team- (Administration, Kitchen, & Property)
Barb Boyer Buck, Operations Manager
Bio Coming Soon!
Deliliah Ruebush, Administrative Assistant I
Originally from West Virginia, Deliliah traveled across the country with her car packed and hopes of better opportunities and to find a grand adventure. Deliliah is a graduate of West Virginia University, with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and a history of working in the hospitality industry.
Deliliah enjoys helping others and she hopes to inspire kids with her positive presence here at Fire Mountain. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, traveling, relaxing by the river, and exploring the natural beauty that Colorado and surrounding areas have to offer.
Tracey Neff, Cook
Tracey comes to Colorado after living for 27 years in Minnesota, where she obtained a degree in forestry. She is a proud mother of one daughter. In her spare time, Tracey enjoys traveling, cross-country skiing, gardening, botany, and exploring the outdoors. One of her goals when at Fire Mountain is to pass along her joy of plants and the outdoors to others. In the past, Tracey owned her own herb growing and sales business. She utilizes this experience with Fire Mountain’s own indoor herb garden.
Jordan Frazier, Marketing and PR Coordinator
Jordan is a public relations, communications, and marketing professional. Finding her passion for story writing at an early age, she was the editor-in-chief of her high school yearbook in Fort Collins for two years.
Following her passion for travel and adventure as well as a desire to delve into the intricacies of cross-cultural communication and connection, Jordan moved overseas to Edinburgh, Scotland at age 19 to pursue her BSc and start working in the Sports Marketing industry for a multi-national trampoline park. Seeking a change to a more creative and collaborative industry, Jordan decided to move to Barcelona, Spain to complete her MBA specializing in PR and Communications less than a year later.
After living abroad for almost five years, Jordan decided to return back to Colorado to further her career. Through experiences of working with young people for many years, Jordan decided she wanted to move into a field that helped to support children in a more direct and impactful way.
Direct Care Team
Aidan Longtain, Direct Care Manager
Born and raised in Boulder County, Aidan currently splits his time between Louisville and Estes Park. He earned a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado and is fascinated by interfaith mediation in conflict zones. Aidan is also an experienced group facilitator and has trained with organizations such as Partners for Youth Empowerment and Authentic World. Aidan, the product of a turbulent adolescence, strives to support each Fire Mountain resident in discovering how facing the suffering and trauma of childhood opens the door to a truly fulfilling adulthood.
A former competitive skateboarder, Aidan thrives in intensity and loves to be challenged. Some of his favorite things include campfires, bears, and quality craftsmanship.
Direct Care Staff
From left to right: Aidan, Katia (with her dog Bella), Nick, Deliliah, Matt, Rebekah, & Jake.