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Staff

Adminstrative Staff

  • Clay Hatcher
    Executive Director

    Clay Hatcher is the Director of Gateway. Clay Hatcher previously served as a coach, counselor and pastor at Gateway. Clay was raised in a Christian home by a father who modeled a highly-structured leadership role with his three sons, Clay recognized this structure as a contributing factor for…

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  • Debra Pitts
    Admissions Manager/Family Relations

    Debra Pitts was born in Bonifay, Florida in 1962.   Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old.  Her mother married several times to abusive/alcoholic men, but one step-father loved her as his own and made a difference in her life.    She loved him dearly.  In 1982 Debra…

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School Staff

  • Vicky Syfrett
    PSNC Coordinator

    Vicky Syfrett, a native of Mississippi, studied photojournalism and police administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College. For the past 28 years Mrs. Syfrett has worked with troubled youth in various educational settings. Since joining the staff of Gateway Boys Academy in June 1998, she has served in…

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  • Cindy Wade
    Academic Administrator

    Mrs. Wade is a career educator. She spent 25 years teaching in neighboring Walton County. Before retiring from the public school system in the summer of 2015, she taught elementary grades K-5 at four elementary schools from the agricultural northern part of the county to the beaches of…

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Program Staff

  • Pastor Luke Owens
    Counselor

    Luke Owens was raised here in Florida and spent a majority of his childhood in the church admiring the calling God gave to his grandfather. In 2010, after serving in the United States Army, Luke earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems and Information Technology and worked…

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  • Pastor Jon Hatcher
    Counselor

    Jon Hatcher was born in San Diego, California. He lived many different places as a child. His father was employed by the Florida Forest Service. He had the privilege of being raised by Christian parents who took their five children to church and read the Bible and prayed…

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  • Pastor Billy Rice
    Direct Care Supervisor/Biblical Counselor

    As a graduate of Riverside California Teen Challenge, Chaplain Rice is intimately familiar with the mission and function of residential youth ministry.  Billy Rice was awarded a certificate of achievement for Juvenile Hall ministry to teens in the greater Los Angeles area. Chaplain Rice earned certification in September, 2007…

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  • Tony Henderson
    Instructor/Biblical Counselor

    Tony is a native of Florida. He grew up in church; his mom and dad were pastors so he knew at an early age God was calling him to minister to troubled young men. In 1999 Tony received certification in corrections. He worked at a juvenile prison as…

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  • Tony Henderson
    Program Manager/Biblical Counselor

    Tony is a native of Florida.  He grew up in church; his mom and dad were pastors so he knew at an early age God was calling him to minister to troubled young men. In 1999 Tony received certification in corrections.  He worked at a juvenile prison as…

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KITCHEN/GROUNDS STAFF

  • Jerrine Brooks
    Food Service Manager

    Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana to two very young parents. Her parents divorced when her mom was 21 and was left with 3 kids to raise. As the eldest Jerrine took a lot of the responsibility on her shoulders. Her mother got saved when she was 11…

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  • Raul Cornejo
    Facility Manager

    In July 2011, Raul Cornejo and his wife Claudia entered a new door of ministry at Gateway Boys Academy. Raul serves as a Biblical counselor to a number of assigned students as well as the Facilities Manager for our facility Raul Cornejo is a native of Baldwin Park,…

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