M E D I C A L  N E W S

Nature or Nurture: The Role of Epigenetics in Mental Health

One of the oldest debates in psychology is on whether "nature or nurture" determines why people are the way they are. Are people born the way they are or do they become that way because of how they are raised? 

Tourette Syndrome: A Disorder Tough on Adolescents

"It makes it difficult to make friends, especially in the teenage years because people are just so judgmental on what you look like and what you do." - Quote from a teen interviewed by the Tourette Association of America.

Students with Influence Over Peers Can Reduce Bullying, Study Shows

The power of peer influence and social context (e.g., home, school, etc.) are important determinants of youth behaviors that are emphasized in a positive peer culture. Peers with social influence can reduce bullying.

S T A F F  S P O T L I G H T
Reg Christensen
Mathematics Teacher

If you have a frightening math problem at your hands, Reg Christensen is your go-to guy. Or if you need someone to sing in your choir, Reg will be that guy too.

As the mathematics teacher at WRA for almost a year now, Reg works tirelessly to provide his students with opportunities to progress through math as well as Spanish and music. His contribution doesn't end there, though. He provides counseling to students in preparation for their graduation and future lives in college, professional careers and recovery.

He pulls from his experience of four years spent teaching and interacting with the troubled youth at the Navajo Indian Reservation. Reg attributes his talent to his Positive Control System (PCS) training, which allows him to communicate more effectively and create a safer, more positively enforced therapeutic environment where distressed youth can trust, learn and thrive. He enjoys the one-on-one interaction with his students the most, as it gives his students a chance to process knowledge and information at their own pace and gives him the opportunity to see what areas need the most work corresponding with the type of treatment they are receiving.

"I particularly remember a student of mine whose brain was so affected by his stressful circumstances that he was unable to process any kind of information," said Reg. "I worked with him diligently for three months, and seeing his remarkable progress, where he was getting A's and B's in his all his subjects, has been one of the highlights of my career. Everybody at WRA worked very hard with him."

Reg graduated from the University of Wyoming with dual bachelor's degrees in mathematics and mathematics education along with a Spanish minor. He received his master's degree in mathematics education from Western Governor's University in July of 2014.

Reg's inspiration comes from his passion to educate his students in a manner that steadily transitions them toward regaining control of their lives. He sees WRA as an opportunity to teach in an atmosphere where he can work one-on-one with his students to help them reach their goals and see them thrive in many ways, not just in math. Reg welcomes this change of pace, where he interacts with each individual personally and wholeheartedly. It gives him a sense of pride in directly contributing to a child's progress.

"Do your best!" he tells his students. "Don't settle for mediocrity! Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others!"

He holds himself to the same standard, with eyes always set on future accomplishments. He wants to get National Board Certification in mathematics, finish off degrees in Spanish or music, and see his kids as well as his "other kids" live life to their fullest.

At home, Reg lives with his wife and five children, and the family is expecting a sixth in the summer. Together, they stay active by camping, swimming and playing a variety of sports. Reg is also a music fan, playing the piano, violin and guitar as well as singing in a few choirs.

He cites his family, faith and the lessons he has learned from others in helping him move in the direction he has chosen.
F A C I L I T Y  U P D A T E S  &  A C T I V I T I E S

White River Academy recently held their Parent Weekend, filled with seminars for parents and family activities such as wagon rides, bowling and board games. WRA also held a graduation ceremony for a student who successfully completed high school and the WRA                  program. 

Students also participated in more service projects. In addition to working on a display case for a local elementary school, they also filled sandbags for West Side Grating, they created a donation box for a local food bank and aided senior citizens in the local care center. 

S T A F F  A D D I T I O N S

White River Academy welcomes Wayne Mortenson to support staff!

 White River Academy welcomes Kayla Massa to support staff!

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275 West 100 South, Delta, Utah 84624

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