To Call
850 547-9011


Adminstrative Staff

  • Clay Hatcher
    Executive Director

  • Chuck Odum

    Chuck Odum virtually grew up in the military, having a father stationed in Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia since Chuck was three years of age. At the age of 22, Chuck recognized the Lord’s call to full-time ministry. But it wasn’t until eight years later, as he attended his…

  • Katie Rice
    Administrative Assistant/Human Resources/Admissions

    Katie Rice is a native of Washington State, in 2003 she graduated from Western Baptist College in Salem, Oregon (now Corban University) with a BA in English Communications, and a minor in ministry. In December of 2013 she completed studies for her MBA in Human Resources via Corban…

  • Charles Steward
    Finance Manager/Human Resources/IT Instructor

    Charles Steward has served Gateway Academy since June 2009 an instructor to students who desire to learn computer hardware technology. Charles earned his MBA in Information Technology from Western Governor’s University, Salt Lake City Utah in December 2013. He not only services our technology, but manages the operations…

  • Claudia Thoss
    Family Relations Manager

    As the “voice” representing the staff members and students at Gateway, Claudia Thoss corresponds with parents on a weekly basis, sending student evaluations, notices of counseling appointments, and any pertinent information regarding a cadet’s progress. Teaming with the Program Manager and the biblical counselors, Claudia ensures a consistent…

  • Michael Rice
    Character Education Coordinator

    Michael Rice was born in Union City, Ca in 1981. He grew up in a very abusive home with Alcoholic parents. His mom divorced his biological father after years of physical and mental abuse. His Step dad came in the picture when he was 6. As Michael grew…

  • 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…


School Staff

  • Dana Frick
    Academy Administrator

    Dana, a former resident of Indianapolis, is a 2007 graduate of Huntington University, a small Christian university located in northern Indiana. Once she earned her Bachelor of Music degree, she taught private lessons in both voice and piano until the Lord called her to southern Tennessee. While there,…

  • Michah Tombley
    Physical Education Teacher

    “Today alone 153,000 people died and more than half of them are unsaved or haven’t even heard of Jesus. That very fact drives me to tears and fills me with sorrow. Sadly, I wasn’t always like this.” Micah grew up in a Christian house hold, his father was…

  • 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…

  • 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…


Program Staff

  • Jayson Williams

    Jayson Williams was born in Dothan, Alabama, and currently lives in Ashford, Alabama. He has a wife and five children. Jayson surrendered to Christ at the early age of eight years old, was actively involved in his youth group, and answered the call to ministry at the age…

  • 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…

  • Larry Collins

    My life begun on May 29, 1957. Two years later I lost my mother. My oldest sister and her husband took the rest of us, which were four more sisters and one brother. My oldest sister and my brother in law had four more boys, who were like…

  • 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…

  • Kevin Scofield
    Academy Adminstrator

    Kevin was born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California to good parents that loved each other and loved me a lot. As a child he had no church involvement whatsoever. “We didn’t go to church on Christmas or on Easter. I started drinking alcohol at the age of…

  • 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…

  • Jeremy Schoemann
    Lead Counselor/Worship Leader

    Jeremy was born in Wisconsin, and lived there until 2011. His interest in counseling stems from the impact his counselors and mentors had on him during his time at Jericho Road Ministries, where he completed their New Life program for men struggling with addiction and related issues. After…



  • 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…

  • 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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