DEDICATION:

This blog is dedicated to "The Children Left Behind." We will not rest until the safety of our children and those that are entrusted with their mental health care are held accountable for abusing the children's God given rights, those rights upheld by our constitution, and those that have been complicit in obfuscating the truth!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIDGE CREEK SCHOOL - A LETTER TO LON WOODBURY BY CLARKE POOLE - MORE DEJA VU

For those of you that were not privy to Ridge Creek School facility when it was Hidden Lake Academy, Mr. Clarke Poole worked in Admissions, degreed in Psychology, and was working on his PhD.  Mr. Poole submitted his resignation citing his repeat concerns over  "unsafe and unethical practices regarding the admission of certain students to Hidden Lake Academy."  His resignation letter referred to educational consultants citing his concern for the  "physical and emotional safety of the families and children you refer."

Mr. Poole released  the now infamous (1) "in-house emails" between himself, Mr. Buccellato, and Ms. Nicole Fuglsang. Ms. Fuglsang, unlike Mr. Poole, walked away taking Hidden Lake Academy secrets with her. Ms. Fuglsang was a "mandated reporter," like the rest of staff all these years, she did nothing.

Mr. Poole was vilified, threatened with a lawsuit, much like Ms. Marla McGhee, only he was stronger and Buccellato's "henchman" disappeared into the night.  Aside from a handful of true, decent, loving friends,  most educational consultants and industry people protected their purse strings, and offered no support.

Mr. Lon Woodbury was one such educational consultant and industry blogger.  His "Struggling Teens" and "Woodbury Reports" apparently continues to be subjective in reporting "industry news," appears spineless, and obviously does not see past his bank account in exposing those facilities that tarnish what honest advocates have dedicated their life to - the safety and well-being of our children.

This came into "Jilliestake" yesterday.  At the time of publish, there has been no response to Mr. Poole's email to Mr. Woodbury.  If Mr. Woodbury would like to respond, "Jilliestake" would be more than accommodating in publishing his response.


July 21, 2011
 
To: Lon Woodbury, Woodbury Reports, Inc
From: Clarke Poole
 
Dear Lon,
 
I’m wondering if you’re going to print today’s article from the Dahlonega Nugget, the link to which is found below, or if you will wait as you did the last time Ridge Creek School was in the news and print only the “rebuttal”, which was no rebuttal at all but only advertising hype written by Ridge Creek School and which never addressed the substance of the news story, although I doubt there will be a “rebuttal” this time around. Ridge Creek School is finally done.
 
I’d like to know, Lon, whether you’re a legitimate journalist, or a propagandist for your industry. Many parents come to your website, and hire your firm, expecting to get independent and competent advice regarding a school for their child. If the way in which you have dealt with Ridge Creek School is any indication, you have misled and ill-served your readers.
 
For some time, you have known or should have known, that Ridge Creek School was on the brink of collapse. You also knew, or should have known, that it was operating with skeletal staff: no Director or Assistant Director of Education, no Special Education teacher, few if any certified teachers, no Director of Operations, and the list goes on. You also knew, or should have known, that staff turnover was happening at the speed of light, with some newly hired staff leaving within a few days of being hired and some not even showing up for work on their first day. You also knew, or should have known, that Ridge Creek School’s credit rating was somewhere below zero, that staff paychecks have been bouncing for months and that for years it has been in arrears on everything from federal, state, and county taxes to paying for food service. You also knew, or should have known, that there is a growing list of lawsuits against Ridge Creek School , as well as liens that go back almost 10 years against Ridge Creek School, Hidden Lake Academy, Inc, HLA, Inc, and their owner, Len Buccellato. You knew all these things, or should have known them if you are indeed a journalist and a source of information for parents of “struggling teens” as you claim. Yet to my knowledge you never once offered a word of caution to parents who were considering Ridge Creek School as a placement option for their son or daughter. There are now scores, if not hundreds, of parents who have been left with huge debt and children who are worse off than before. Len Buccellato continued to solicit students, largely with the aid of educational consultants, and cash their tuition checks right up until the week the school announced its closing with no hint to the parents that this was the case. That money will never be recovered, and those children are left in the lurch. Your website and the news articles it contains are widely read by industry professionals and parents. You could have helped to avoid much financial pain and emotional suffering if you had printed what you knew. But you did not.
 
You also knew, or should have known, that Ridge Creek School was accepting students who had long histories of violence, severe psychological disorders, and criminal records. This resulted in numerous attacks on other students and staff, causing injuries requiring hospitalization. You also knew, or should have known, the long history of suicide attempts at Ridge Creek School . These are not unfounded allegations, Lon. They are facts that could have easily been verified by checking with appropriate state agencies and local law enforcement. Why did you not do this?
 
Ridge Creek School and its owner have ruined many lives, and by your silence and tacit support you are complicit in every one of them. As a journalist and as an educational consultant, you are a disappointment.
 
There is a book currently in the works that will expose all this and much more. It will name names. I’ll see that you get a copy so you can perhaps review it on your website.
 
Sincerely,
 
Clarke Poole
 
 

"JILLIESTAKE" RESPONSE TO ALL EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS THAT WERE COMPLICIT IN THE HIDDEN LAKE ACADEMY AND  THE RIDGE CREEK SCHOOL/RIDGE CREEK WILDERNESS COVER-UP:

BY DEFINITION YOU ARE "MANDATED REPORTERS" AND YOU DID NOTHING BUT CONTINUE TO REFER CHILDREN AND YOUTHS TO THIS HELL HOLE FOR $4,000.00 AND $5,000.00 DOLLAR FEES FROM DISTRAUGHT PARENTS.

TO ALL OF YOU:  A VERY SPECIAL PROVERB HAS BEEN CHOSEN:

"NONE SO DEAF AS THOSE THAT WILL NOT HEAR."

BTW - TO OUTSOURCED PSYCHIATRISTS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS THAT KNEW WHAT WAS TRANSPIRING OR WERE ASKED BY MR. BUCCELLATO TO CHANGE DIAGNOSIS  TO MAKE THE CHILD PLACEMENT MORE APPROPRIATE TO THE FACILITYAND DID NOT REPORT THIS TO THE PROFESSIONAL LICENSING BOARD OR CPS - YOU ARE "MANDATORY REPORTERS."

And that's my take ...

For "The Children Left Behind"
I am,
Jill Ryan


(1) "Clarke Poole Emails" between Clarke Poole, Mr. Buccellato ,and Ms. Nicole Fuglsang.


From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 12:57 PM
To: Christy Jones; John McMillon; Josh Watson; Clarke Poole
Cc: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: HLA Student Profile.....
Please give a brief summary of the student you feel is a good fit for HLA. I want to make sure Admissions and the counseling department are on the same page. J
THANKS!!!!!
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:44 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang; Christy Jones; John McMillon; Josh Watson
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
One whose parents can afford the tuition.
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:48 PM
To: Clarke Poole; Christy Jones; John McMillon; Josh Watson
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
This is not the standard we want to set!
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:48 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang; Christy Jones; John McMillon; Josh Watson
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
There are ideals, and there is reality.
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 4:01 PM
To: Clarke Poole
Cc: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
Clarke, make sure all your potential students are reviewed by me before forwarding them on to Len.
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 4:01 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
I'll be glad to, Nicole; but lets be real. Len and Len alone sets the standards for admission to HLA. It really doesn't matter much what we or Counseling think. It's his call, plain and simple.
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 5:28 PM
To: Clarke Poole
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
Clarke,
You are either part of the Team or you are not. You chose. There are standards whether you use them or not.
If you are having bad day or have become frustrated please forward your emails to me directly instead of sharing your negativity with all around you.
I wouldn’t take a student profile to Len that I didn’t think was appropriate or borderline appropriate, it would be a waste of his time.
He trusts his staff maybe he is putting to much trust in you if you feel you do not need to follow the standards for the type of student that is appropriate for HLA.
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:17 AM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
Nicole... this deserves a thoughtful reply, and this morning I have a tour that should arrive at any moment followed by a move-in this afternoon. There is also some follow-up with the 4 move-ins I have scheduled for the rest of the week, but between now and then I will reply and we should certainly get together.
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:05 AM
To: Clarke Poole
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
I would love to meet with you Clarke and discuss your concerns.
Also, do you have copies for all the files for Fridays move-in’s or do you still need some from RCI?
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 9:50 AM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: FW: HLA Student Profile.....
Nicole,
Let me first acknowledge that I responded inaccurately to your initial request for a student profile summary of applicants deemed appropriate for admission to HLA. You asked for my opinion on appropriateness, and I responded, somewhat but not altogether facetiously, with what I see as the official view of appropriateness.
To be absolutely clear on this, I have no lack of confidence in my ability to submit appropriate applicants for approval. In fact, based on some of the acceptances I've seen in the last year or so, I am confident that my opinions on acceptances would have been far less problematic than how some of the official acceptances turned out. This might be due to the fact that my focus would be solely on the appropriateness of the student for this school, rather than concerns based on finances or consultant politics.
There is a fairly long list of students whose appropriateness I have questioned, especially in the last year or so. To point to just a few, let's look at (Jane Doe 1), (John Doe 1), and (John Doe 2).
(Jane Doe 1) had trouble here from the beginning, with most of her incidents involving violence. Finally, she was complicit in an elopement that culminated in the physical, and, by all indications, sexual assault on another student who was hospitalized for several days due to her physical injuries, especially internal injuries in the pelvic area. Then, rather than being dismissed immediately, she remained enrolled here for another month. The educational consultant who referred her to Hidden Lake was (Consultant 1).
(John Doe 1) came here with a very troubling history and equally troubling psychological evaluation. He was constantly involved in trouble including physical assaults on other students. He finally attacked and threatened to kill another student and the on-call clinical staff was called to evaluate him. She determined he was not only sincere but determined to actually try to kill the other student, and signed the order to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital. He did not return to Hidden Lake. The educational consultant who referred him to Hidden Lake was its owner, Len Buccellato.
Finally, we have (John Doe 2). Why in the name of Heaven this boy was ever even considered for admission to Hidden Lake is beyond me. He should have been in a padded cell in a psychiatric prison, and we knew it going in. It's difficult to distinguish his psychological evaluation, which was done by Len Buccellato and Brad Carpenter, from that of Hannibal Lecter's. Yet, in spite of first hand knowledge that this boy was not only totally inappropriate but dangerous, he was approved for admission and attended for a full year, interspersed with hospitalizations, until withdrawn by his parents. The educational consultant who referred him to Hidden Lake was (Consultant 2).
As an aside to this disgraceful episode with (John Doe 2), I took a call several months ago from (Consultant 3) an educational consultant in Miami. She had received from us a copy of Lakeside Reflections, in which was a photo of (John Doe 2). A month before (John Doe 2)’s family contacted (Consultant 2) for help in finding placement, they had called on (Consultant 3) at her office. She had, quite sensibly, recommended only RTC's for (John Doe 2), but there was his picture in Lakeside Reflections, a Hidden Lake student. In her excited (foreign) accent, she said "Clarke! My God, Clarke! This boy is a student there? Oh my God!" At least I was able to tell her he was no longer enrolled, but I was unable to give her a reason as to why he had ever been accepted in the first place without opening an ethical can of worms, so I feigned ignorance.
There are others, of course, who were known from the beginning to be inappropriate for placement, and I'll be glad to go into them with you, but I'm sure you are starting to get the point. Len has repeatedly said to me and everyone else who has ever worked in this department that "we do not do well with dysthymic kids", yet I have never seen a dysthymic kid not accepted for admission. If we know we do poorly with them, why accept them? At least they are not a danger to others, but they do little for our retention rate, which currently stands at 40% for the Peer Groups graduating in May (assuming none of the few who remain are withdrawn between now and then).
This brings us back to your question about my being or not being a part of the team. Just for clarification, you stated "You chose", indicating I have already made my decision, and the implication was that I had chosen to not be a part of the team. Perhaps you meant to say "choose", but perhaps not. I have, in fact, chosen, but not in the sense that you imply. As I said in an e-mail to you and Len several months ago, every comment and observation I have made as an HLA employee has been made with the intention of calling to management's attention practices that I believe are detrimental to the reputation and longevity of Hidden Lake Academy, as well as the safety and therapeutic well being of its students. Also as I pointed out, every time I do so I am reprimanded. I have a long list of such occurrences archived which I'll be glad to share with you and with others, should that be necessary. I am trying to be a member of this team, but I am not an automaton or a sheep. I have views and opinions which I am qualified by education and experience to express. No one has to like them or act on them, and obviously no one ever has; but I still feel compelled to state them, even if it puts my job in jeopardy, especially if I believe they involve ethical compromises and issues of student safety.
I'll be glad to meet with you and with Len to discuss these and all other issues that are of concern to you; and when we do so, I will go into a longer list of concerns of my own. I would appreciate a response to the issues I have raised here in response to your question regarding my commitment to this school, and my competence in evaluating applicants.
Sincerely,
Clarke Poole
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 1:37 PM
To: Clarke Poole
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
While we will address the majority of this email not on email… I wanted to make one comment….
This whole topic came about because of the comment you made that an appropriate student is “one whose parents can afford the tuition”.
It was interesting to see that of the three families you discussed two were provided with significant financial aid because their families could not afford the HLA tuition.
Doesn’t really fit with your statement.
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 1:39 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
As I noted in my response below, that comment was partially in jest. It has no bearing on the description of the students' appropriateness for this school. I'll be glad to meet with you at any time.
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 2:02 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: FW: HLA Student Profile.....
I have reviewed my notes for these families and I see nothing to indicate that any of them requested one cent of financial aid. May I ask the source of your information and also ask you to check this out yourself? As I indicated, it still has no bearing on anything, but I want to make sure we each have all our facts right before we go into a meeting.
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 2:08 PM
To: Clarke Poole
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
I know because I was a part of the approval process while they were at RCI and then moved on to HLA.
I know for a fact the level of aid they were getting at RCI & HLA as I worked with both families directly.
I am the source of this information.
Sincerely,
Nicole Fuglsang, MA, NCC, LPC
Director of Public Relations/Admissions
phone (706) 867-1720
fax (706) 864-5826
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Sat 2/25/2006 9:57 PM
To: Nicole Fuglsang; Bill Gray Jr.; Len Buccellato; John McMillon; John McMillon; David Reifenberger; David Jordan; Mark Keith; Christy Jones
Subject: FW: HLA Student Profile.....
Nicole,
I can understand precisely why you said you do not want to continue to address my concerns over student safety and unethical practices on e-mail. However, there are several final points I want to make for the record.
(1) You stated with total certainty that two of the students referred to below received "significant financial aid because their families could not afford the HLA tuition." Upon my questioning the accuracy and veracity of your statement, you also said "I know because I was a part of the approval process while they were at RCI and then moved on to HLA. I know for a fact the level of aid they were getting at RCI & HLA as I worked with both families directly. I am the source of this information." The adamancy with which you state your position is compelling. However, it is totally false.
I went to Bill Gray's office at 4:30 Friday afternoon and asked him to personally check the financial records for the three students in question as a means to help me refresh my memory. He did so in my presence. None of these students received one cent of financial aid. (Jane Doe 1)’s family received the Ridge Creek rebate the first month she attended Hidden Lake Academy, rather than the third month as is normally the case. However, the amount of tuition paid by her family was exactly the same as any other family. There was no financial aid requested or granted to any of these three families, period. This raises the question in my mind as to why you so steadfastly insisted that you were right in spite of my urging you to check your facts.
The whole business of financial aid was, of course, a red herring designed to deflect the focus away from the point of my letter: that the safety of Hidden Lake Academy students is being compromised by the improper and unethical admission of totally inappropriate and dangerous students. As I noted, it had nothing whatsoever to do with the concerns I had raised. Just for the record, (John Doe 2)’s psychological evaluation, conducted and signed by Len Buccellato, includes a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder, Pedophilia, and Personality Disorder with Antisocial Features. I am still waiting for your response as to why this boy, as well as the others, was approved by Len Buccellato to attend Hidden Lake Academy.
(2) You are the Director of Public Relations for both Hidden Lake Academy and Ridge Creek, as well as Director of Admissions for both institutions. In this job, you are the public face and voice of both programs. It would stand to reason that we would want in this very important position someone whose integrity is above reproach, since you speak for both programs. The fact that you intentionally attempted to mislead, obfuscate, and deflect rather than address honestly my concerns regarding student safety and ethical placement is, in my opinion, an insult not just to me, but to everyone in either of these schools, students and staff alike, as well as the parents of students and the educational consultants who they hired to assist with placement.
On January 31, 2006, you sent out a notice to all staff, and perhaps others outside HLA, that the "new student riding program will be completely operational by February 1st, 2006". It was obvious to all with eyes that this was impossible, since it was nothing more than a small area of scraped dirt the day before. I sent a reply to you stating "This is exactly what gets us in trouble with parents and consultants." I never received a reply. The "riding program" is still in exactly the same shape as it was the day you sent the announcement... no horses, no program.
If this approach to "public relations" is condoned by management, then it is no wonder we are constantly losing both students and staff. It is wrong, dishonest, and shameful.
(3) I am still waiting for answers to the questions I raised with you regarding admissions policy. In my capacity as senior admissions coordinator, I have an ethical responsibility to the parents and educational consultants with whom I work to be able to assure them that their children and clients are safe in this environment and properly placed here according to their needs and our ability to successfully address those needs. I am requesting a face-to-face meeting with you and with Len Buccellato to assure me that policy will be changed and those crucial issues properly addressed. I am also requesting that David Reifenberger, Director of Human Resources, also be present. Unless I am granted this meeting and in it given personal assurances by Len Buccellato that these concerns and others that I intend to raise will be immediately and honestly addressed, I have no choice but to tender my resignation in accordance with proceedures proscribed in the HLA Employee Handbook effective at close of business on March 15, 2006.
I am copying Len Buccellato, owner of HLA; Bill Grey, Director of Operations, HLA; John McMillon and Christy Jones, Director and Associate Director of Counseling for HLA, respectively, who you copied on your original e-mail; David Reifenberger, Director of Human Resources; David Jordan, Director of Counseling for Ridge Creek; and Mark Keith, Director of Operations for Ridge Creek.
Sincerely,
Clarke Poole
From: Nicole Fuglsang
Sent: Sun 2/26/2006 9:37 AM
To: Clarke Poole
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
Clarke,
We will meet Monday to discuss your concerns.
Again, email is not the appropriate place for this conversation as things are easily misconstrued. It concerns me that you are so willing to slander those around to try to prove your point. I understand that you are frustrated and apparently angry but is unprofessional to continue this email banter. It seems as though you just want to do this to get what you "think" in writing.
As to your statement below.... I expressed my understanding of the situation. If it was wrong I will correct it. Jumping to the conclusion that I "intentionally attempted to mislead, obfuscate, and deflect rather than address honestly my concerns regarding student safety and ethical." is completely false, slanderous and is absolutely insulting. Again email is not the place for this conversation as thoughts and tone of an email may be misconstrued. We will meet on Monday to discuss your concerns.
Nicole'
From: Clarke Poole
Sent: Sun 2/26/2006 10:12 AM
To: Nicole Fuglsang
Subject: RE: HLA Student Profile.....
For the record, Nicole, the definition of "slander" is to utter a false report. Unlike your e-mails, mine contain only facts which I or anyone else can verify. I will be in my office by 8:30 tomorrow morning, and I will be ready to meet with you and the two others at that time.
The End.


5 comments:

  1. Mr. Poole's email letter to his bosses and Ms. Ryan's commentary get my blood to boiling. How did this school survive for as long as it did? How can people like Mr. Buccellato and Ms. Fulsang be allowed to work with children? Or with any living thing? It is outrageous. It is shameful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Anon, Thank you for your thoughts. This has taken six years to unravel and the picture is not pretty. There have never been any criminal charges filed against these "caretakers." The DHS (ORCC) never filed anything and they, too, walked away and stone-walled all effort to bring transparency and justice for the children. "Mandatory Reporting" is a law, and not to comply is a criminal offense, along with conspiracy... a conspiracy by definition appears to include the ORCC in Georgia.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Distressed AmericanJuly 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Rereading these emails after 5 years sets my blood boiling, too...although I was struck then, and am again, at what a fine character Mr. Poole seems to have, I suspect I'd be delighted to have him as a friend. The subject boils my blood, as do Ms. Fulsang's mails, but Clarke's broadsides and responses are wonderful and warmed the cockles of my heart.

    Reading earlier that there is a 'book currently in the works that will expose all this and much more' had the opposite effect. I look forward to what, presumably, will be another fine book by (also presumably) Mr. Poole (with Jillie??), who seems to be a fearless straight shooter, a man who has a moral compass and a code of ethics, both completely lacking in the HLA/RCS heirarchy. The children, and the families damaged by and/or ripped off by HLA/RCS are lucky to have Mr. Poole on their side, and to have Jillie on their side as well, for she has many of the same qualities, and has been extraordinarily tenacious in bring this to light.

    Maybe now, at long last, something approaching Justice may be done.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why is Nicole Fuglsang still allowed to work in the exact same position at a differenct treament facility? caloteens.com

    ReplyDelete
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