About Timber Ridge School

Senior Leadership Team

Our Senior Leadership Team is made up of leading experts with extensive experience in transforming the lives of troubled young men. They have the education, dedication, and compassion to make Timber Ridge School the unique place that it is.

Mr. Derek Unger, M.A. – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Unger has been with Timber Ridge School for over 22 years and has also held positions to include Night Counselor, Unit Manager, Case Manager, Director of Admissions & Community Based Services and Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Unger was named CEO by the Board of Directors and assumed his new role in April 2021. He received a Masters in Counseling from West Virginia University. Wanting to make a difference in a child's life drove him into the field 25 years ago. "To be able to give a child a chance, whether it be a better life, or instilling a belief in a young child that he/she can do or be anything they want. This still drives me today." In his free time, Mr. Unger loves spending time outdoors; hunting, fishing, and time at the beach with his family.

Ms. Susan Groom, M.Ed. – Director of Educational Services
Ms. Groom joined Timber Ridge School in 2014 with over 33 years of experience in the field of Special Education. She holds two Master’s degrees — one in Education-Learning Disabilities and another in Education Administration. Prior to her employment with the School, Ms. Groom witnessed the difference that Timber Ridge School made in a young man’s life and that of his family. Ms. Groom cherishes the “opportunity to make a difference working with young men and their teachers as they access their education.” Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Mr. James Rankin, M.S., M.A. – Director of Residential Services
Mr. Rankin has been with Timber Ridge School since 2002. During this time, he has worked as a Student Life staff, interim Unit Manager, Case Manager, and previously the Director of Residential & Case Management Services. He has also served as an Assistant Basketball Coach, Youth Corps Leader, and is a certified Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Instructor. Mr. Rankin earned a B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and a M.A. in Psychology-Mental Health Administration from the University of the Rockies. He comes from a military family and is a veteran of the Marine Corps himself. Mr. Rankin enjoys helping troubled youths realize their true potential so they can leave as a young man who is ready to make a good life and showing our students that they are cared for. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and beloved dog, traveling, reading, and outdoor activities.

Ms. Robbie Marchant, M.B.A. – Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Marchant began at Timber Ridge School in 2007 and oversee three departments – Finance Office, Dietary, and Maintenance. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Princeton University and her MBA from the University of Missouri Kansas City. A reader and painter in her free time, Ms. Marchant says, “the staff at Timber Ridge are so positive and dedicated that I know I am part of something great.”

The staff gave Andrew the tools to work on his own needs, and since we knew what those tools were, we could help our son from home. We accomplished this success in partnership with the staff at Timber Ridge.
— Parent

Mr. Ted Shobe, M.S. – Director of Quality Assurance
Mr. Shobe has been with Timber Ridge School since 1992. He has held positions of Student Life, Unit Director before becoming the Director of Quality Assurance. He holds Masters Degrees from West Virginia University in Educational Leadership and Safety and Environmental Management. Mr. Shobe is a certified Crisis Intervention Instructor. He has helped many young men reach their potential and transition to adulthood. “When students complete their education, participate in sports and gain employment in the community, it has a powerful effect on their confidence to be productive citizens. Most of all, I really like to see when they learn to give back to others.” In his free time, Mr. Shobe enjoys playing music, skiing, biking, and scuba diving.

Mr. Vic Williams, M.Ed. – Assistant Director of Admissions
Mr. Williams joined Timber Ridge School in 1978 and has served in many capacities within our program including Unit staff member, Unit Director, Director of Residential, Director of Residential and Coordinated Services, Director of Clinical Services. Mr. Williams is motivated every day to change the lives of our students. One of his major goals is to help students achieve a happy and productive life. “I get the best feeling when former students contact our school thanking us for our help.” He has a Masters of Education in Professional Studies and is a Board Certified Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Instructor. His hobbies include music, basketball, football, and golf.

Other Senior Leadership Team members are:

  • Mr. Rick Loy, M.A. – Director of Clinical and Case Management Services
  • Mr. Adam Collis, M.S. – Director of Admissions
  • Ms. Barbara Stickley, PHR – Director of Human Resources
  • Ms. Mary Ann Herrmann, M.S.N, R.N. – Director of Health Services
  • Ms. Juli Ferrell – Director of Development
  • Mr. Matt Markwood – Computer Network Administrator
  • Ms. Debbie Vance – Executive Assistant / Coordinator of Marketing & PR