419-833-1308 email@example.com 501 C3 non Profit Charity
Meet Our Staff
Deb DeHoff Founder/Executive Director Surrounded by horses, children, staff and volunteers is where you will find Debra at Serenity working on the farm. The true magic happens where ever the horses are involved with kids and families.
No stranger to working with horses or families, Debra is an Advanced Level equine specialist with EAGALA and also spent several years developing and mentoring for the company with members in the U.S. and other countries. Truly has a passion to work with Equine assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning programs. Receiving certification from PATH, INTL. to instruct therapeutic riding, Debra enjoys the arena classroom of clients from age 3 to 67, offering fun, engaging lesson plans. Named 2014 PATH certified instructor of the year for our region, she is humbled by the opportunity to work in the field. Also certified in the following: Ok Corral, (EAP) Medication practices, CPR/First Aid.
An avid student of the Parelli (PNH) method, and also a volunteer for Parelli Foundation for therapy services, she enjoys the journey of improving horsemanship skills for self, horses and entire therapy center of staff and volunteers. Integrating training methods into lesson plans for riders, advancing volunteer horse handling training and inviting Parelli instructors to the farm are a huge asset to the health and wellness of Serenity Farm horses. Accomplished Level 1 and 2, Debra is working on auditions for Level 3 with a new therapy horse this year.
Holds an Associates of Science degree in Managing Integration of Information Systems.
Attended Sangamon State University for BS in Social Work.
Directed CASA program/investigation of child abuse.
Debra enjoys bringing horses, people and healing together to a whole new level of experience.
Michelle Reiter Associate Director/PATH Certified Instructor With over 25 years of teaching and 35 years of riding experience, certified instructor Michelle Reiter offers a unique combination of talent and passion to the mission of Serenity Farm. “To combine my love for children and horses, that’s the reason I joined the Serenity Farm family,” said Michelle. With undergraduate degrees in Elementary and Special Education, and a Master’s Degree in Reading, Michelle uses her extensive teaching experience to foster stronger relationships with clients. “I started my career as a teacher of developmentally handicapped children,” Michelle states. “That experience guides my interaction with the children and helps me respond to their needs in an understanding and caring way.” Riding horses has been part of Michelle’s life since the age of 10. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the emotion in a child’s face as they connect with one of the horses. Even more gratifying is seeing the positive emotional reaction of a loving parent.”
Michelle has spent the last few years embracing the Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) method as both a student and a teacher. She has ridden in Jesse Peters' level 2 PNH clinics to improve her horsemanship skills, which enables her to model and integrate those skills into her therapeutic riding classes. These are skills which her students/clients can apply both inside the arena with their equine partner as well as outside the arena. She loves the way that the Parelli method teaches trust and respect, which she implements into her lessons. She enjoys watching her clients play the Parelli 7 Games both on the ground and in the saddle. Michelle also helps to assess and integrate new therapy horses that are entering the Serenity Farm therapeutic riding program. Being able to identify their horsenality helps her find the "best fit" horse for her clients.
Dr. Krista Shirley, PT, DPT Physical Therapist/ PATH Instructor Horses have been a cornerstone for the majority of my life as the motivation for learning experiences. Early riding lessons grew into volunteering at a local therapeutic riding farm. This lead to spending my college years earning a Bachelors in Therapeutic Horseback Riding and participating in many extracurricular horse-related learning opportunities and riding teams. A passion for life-long learning took me from the field of therapeutic riding back to the classroom.
I graduated from the University of Toledo with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy with an interest of incorporating horse’s movement into my treatment strategies, known as hippotherapy. Serenity Farm is the perfect environment to fulfill not only my interest in hippotherapy, but also life long learning. The high standard of care given to every individual from our four legged team members, to the volunteers and clients families encourages continuous education from taking courses to taking time with the Serenity family.
Leslie Head LSW Leslie has worked in a wide variety of settings as a Licensed Social Worker and Chemical Dependency Counselor. She started her career working with abused children and then with adolescents struggling with chemical dependency and substance abuse issues. She now works with youth helping them attain their educational and career goals and gain skills they need to lead independent and successful lives. Leslie has a passion for working with people helping them find their own solutions for the challenges they face.
Leslie has been blessed to be a part of the Serenity Farm journey since shortly after Debra DeHoff started putting together the pieces for the Program 16 years ago. She fell in love with the idea of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) from the moment Debra described it to her in a passing conversation. Debra mentioned a vision she had for something she called Serenity Farm, and she was hooked immediately by the idea of horses helping people. Leslie grew up with horses of her own and has experienced the magic of a relationship with a horse. Throughout her journey with Debra and the amazing programs and people at Serenity Farm, she has seen firsthand the ability of the EAL process to help people of all ages with so many different issues. The process is so effective in helping people face their challenges and make positive changes in their lives. Horses have an amazing ability to connect with even the most troubled souls in ways that mere humans can’t.
Leslie is so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Serenity Farm, working with Debra and the incredible staff and volunteers. Serenity Farm is a wonderful place that makes positive and life-changing differences in people’s lives every day.
Kathleen Warrington Team Thunder Coordinator/Lucky Rider Volunteer Kathleen is a retired school teacher, joined the Serenity Farm Team in 2005. With training over the years, she became a barn buddy, side walker, horse handler and team captain in the Therapeutic Riding Program. As the Team Thunder Coordinator she organizes visits to many establishments such as care centers, senior centers, special needs classrooms, hospice, libraries, and others. Kathleen is also involved in fund raising and EAL Sessions.
Pam Hoch Graphic Designer/ Therapeutic Riding Volunteer When I was growing up, I honed my artistic skills by drawing horses. So, it is no wonder that I am a graphic designer by profession and spend my weekends with horses for fun. Serenity Farm is a place where I can nurture both my passions. Since 2009, I have been happy to share my skills to help Serenity Farm Equestrian Center project an image that is consistent with the quality of their programs and the friendly professionalism of their volunteers and staff. There's always something going on at the farm and good communication keeps everyone informed.
In addition to graphic and web support, I am a horse handler for Therapeutic Riding. I have audited or participated in the Jesse Peters Clinic since 2015. The wealth of knowledge Jesse shares with us helps all of the horse handlers refine our skills. Clear and consistent communication with the horses makes them happier and our clients happier and safer!
Bonnie Bach Volunteer Coordinator Retired in April of last year and started volunteering at Serenity in April of this year serving in therapeutic riding, team thunder, team captain and fundraising efforts. I look forward to joining the staff team as Volunteer Coordinator. Grew up in Woodville and went on to U T to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in education while working at St Vincent for 45 years - 25 as Human Resources manager and 20 years as Director of Facility Support Services. Added to this impressive experience, Bonnie served as President of the Board for Mercy Federal Credit Union. Married since 1976, one daughter and two sons, 4 grandchildren and one great grandson too. Enjoy our family time in the pool, Imagination Station and many other moments too.
I’m currently a member of Zion Lutheran Latcha and serve as a deacon and member of church council active in mission services.
Dave Claydon I.T. Support David has over 25 of years of experience in the IT field and currently the Manager of Applications Development at HCR ManorCare. He uses this experience to support Serenity Farm in any of their IT needs. David holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Toledo in Information Technology. David is married to Karina and they have two children.