The Closing of The Goodale School
Closing of Goodale
I want to take this opportunity not to be sad about the closure of Goodale, but to tell an incredible story of a group of people who came together and created the very best I have ever experienced. Three years ago, I left my job to take on a new position as Clinical Director. Two days before I was to start in my new position, the program was closed by the state for various citations. On Monday morning I was asked to still come into work as the new Clinical Director to join the efforts of reopening the program.
The State of North Carolina did not reinstate the license and the program was never reopened.
In August 2020, Monarch a large non-profit providing mental health and human services throughout the state was convinced by a few of the Board members from the previous program to apply for a new License to open a therapeutic boarding school for the same population that had been served before. Monarch was able to obtain the License and hired staff and The Goodale School and Recovery Community was born.
The last three years have been full of laughter, tears, hard work, and most of all building a community. This is being written as a tribute to the staff, students, and parents who made the story of the last 3 years. It has been an honor to work alongside Jordan Stevenot, and Jeremiah Horne. We spent many long hours dreaming, developing, and creating our vision of the program. Our goal was to be sure that all three aspects of the program were equally important, academics, clinical and residential. We worked hard to be clear with Educational Consultants, parents and students that our goal was for the boys to be teenagers and to have as normal of an experience as possible while being a teen, attending high school, addressing mental health and substance abuse issues and learning how to have fun.
Our first year, 2021, was challenging because of the Pandemic. Educational Consultants could not come visit and hesitated to refer to a new program. Parents could not visit and meet the people who would care for their child. We relied heavily on the relationships we had and were able to get our couple of students. Thank you to those of you who supported us early on.
Our second year, 2022, we were becoming known, and tours began to happen. As Consultants came on campus and met the team in person, momentum built. We were steadily growing our milieu and finding our stride. 2022 brought a time for us to solidify our values, our program and our student profile. As a team we came to know one another in a way that words do not really describe. The members of Leadership were committed to the mission of the school, the welfare of the students and the parents had complete confidence that their child was being cared for while they were away from home.
In 2023 we reached our highest census of 12 students with 7 on our referrals list. We had 4 High School Graduations, way to go boys and Academics Department. Several of our students celebrated a year of sobriety before graduating. We had 6 program graduations, completions, or successful reunification with their parents returning home. And all of this was before June.
On June 16th, 2023, the Board of Directors met and voted to close the program. We were told over the phone on Tuesday June 20th, 2023, that the program was closing. We were surprised and devastated by the news. It has been difficult to really put into perspective what has happened.
We are grateful to all the programs out there who have received our students. We know you will take care of our boys. We have supported them and their parents through this very challenging time. I am so proud of our team, every single member of this team continues to show up and do their job with integrity and grace for one another, the students and the parents.
Thank you, parents, first for trusting me and my team with the care of your child. Thank you for working with your consultant, therapist, teachers and mentors to have the best Goodbye possible during a terrible situation.
Thank you, Students, for rising up and showing your maturity. You were amazing the last few weeks. You continued to show up in a healthy way and support each other as you learned the news of where you would be going next. You continued to share your heart with each other at every goodbye circle. What an honor it has been to be in your community.
Thank you, staff, in the face of losing your job, you have continued to care. You have continued to show up. You give 110% every time you show up. It seems like it would be tempting to find you next job and move on, yet you are here loving and caring.
So, if anyone ever asks you what The Goodale School and Recovery Community was, please tell them it was the true definition of just that. A Community of students, staff parents and consultants who cared deeply for one another and did great work.