Staff Bios

David LePere

Executive Director

Executive Director David LePere - Therapeutic Schools

David LePere
Boys Boarding School Email Address
LinkedIn for Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School

David has over two decades of experience in therapeutic schools and wilderness-based education. Prior to joining Cherokee Creek Boys School in 2007, he directed Middle and High School therapeutic schools in California, Oregon and Utah. He has “grown up” in the business, holding positions as a teacher, team leader (primary) wilderness guide, as well as Program Director and Executive Director.

In addition to his work with therapeutic schools, David helped start a wilderness program sponsored by Houghton College that serves teens in western NY. He was also part of a group that developed and led a leadership camp program through Perm State University in Perm, Russia. Teenagers were selected from all over Russia after winning a national competition that named them as future leaders for the country.

David has been a member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council. While on the council, he participated in research projects that measured the short- and long-term impacts of therapeutic use of the outdoors on teens and young adults who are in out-of-home care.

David is an active member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). He has served on a variety of committees, chaired the Best Practices Committee, and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors.

David has presented at NATSAP regional and national conferences, as well as Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) conferences.

David enjoys all things outdoors, but especially climbing, biking, skiing, and backpacking. He has been a certified mountain, rafting, caving, experiential activities, ropes courses, and primitive living skills instructor and taught all of the above plus canoeing. He has also been a mountain climber for nearly 30 years, and is a certified AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) guide who has led groups of students climbing all over the US and Canada. Living in our region, David has been making a switch to kayaking so he can spend more time with our students and his three sons on the wild rivers of the Southeast!

“My professional mission statement is to serve students and families through inspired leadership. The opportunity to lead at Cherokee Creek is an honor and privilege. Every level of our school, from the board to our teachers and counselors, operates from the values of Safety, Quality, Creativity and Fun! I am always excited to collaborate with our excellent staff, our committed parents, and most importantly the energetic, wonderful students of Cherokee Creek Boys School.”

David and his wife, Janine, met while working as counselors at a therapeutic boarding school. They have been married since 1994 and, along with their sons Riley, Cole and Dylan, enjoy living in the Southeast near their parents and family.

Let me share a middle school story…

“When I was in Middle School, I had the ultimate pair of bell-bottoms. Those pants perfectly complimented my feathered back hair and CHiPs-style sunglasses! My love of the wilderness began back then at summer camp. Even though I was set on fire (accidentally) by my camp counselors, those early wilderness experiences taught me how to make friends and be better prepared for my school years and beyond.”

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