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Meet Our Teachers

Lea Ferg-Plunkett

Lea Ferg-Plunkett
Academic Art Instructor

Lea Ferg-Plunkett graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and came to Rawhide in 2018.

After spending time subbing in the public school system, Lea felt God calling her to art therapy for hurting teens. She is very excited for the opportunity to help at-risk youth, especially through art. Being at Rawhide is an answer to prayer.

In her spare time, Lea enjoys spending time with family and friends, making pottery, and being creative.

Matt R.

Mat Rieckhoff
English/Physical Education

Mat is a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he majored in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English-Language Arts. Prior to working at Starr Academy, Mat worked for Rawhide in the Gillespie Home for one year, before moving to Kanas City, Missouri to teach Physical Education for the 2016-2017 school year.

At Rawhide, Mat teaches Physical Education 9-12, English, Weight Training, and Health. He is passionate about teaching the students about the importance of life-long personal health and fitness and enjoys leading by example.

Mat is also passionate about coaching, serving as an assistant for the UW-Oshkosh Wresting Team. His other hobbies include mountain biking, duck hunting and camping. Mat is most excited about helping Rawhide student discover their God-given potential and watching as them as they begin to make positive life choices.

Ben Schultz

Ben Schultz
Behavioral Skills Instructor

Ben received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a human services emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2001. Ben joined Rawhide in January of 2015. Before starting at Starr Academy in 2017, he worked at the Cornerstone Group Home and a Work Experience Trainer for the About Face Program. Ben believes his way of connecting with youth from a relational point of view benefits him now as a Behavioral Skills Instructor. Ben’s diverse job and life experiences have provided him with the tools needed to teach the youth cognitive self-regulating skills while instilling core values such as integrity, character and self-respect.

In his free time, Ben enjoys camping and the outdoors with his wife and three children, as well as their two Golden-Doodles. Ben is also an avid bow hunter, downhill skier, and weightlifter.

Matthew Stewart
Behavioral Skills Instructor

Matthew has worked with at-risk youth ministries for over 17 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rogers Bible College in Arkansas and is working on a master’s from Huntington University, Indiana.

His bachelor’s degree is in Counseling with a Biblical emphasis. As Starr Academy’s Behavioral Skills instructor, Matthew helps guys reintegrate into the classroom when difficulties occur. He states that “Rawhide gives me the chance to assist guys going through a rough time in their lives – the same assistance that God showed me.”

When Matthew is not teaching at the ranch, he enjoys working out, playing basketball and football with the guys, and working on his house with his kids.

Chris D.

Chris Doran
Math Instructor

Christopher earned his undergrad degree from Marian College in Fond du Lac and taught in New London for fifteen years, most recently at the off-site alternative high school.

He was drawn to Rawhide so he could continue helping youth reach their full potential. It has always been his mission and passion to assist youth and their families be successful and active members of their communities.

In his free time, Christopher enjoys bicycling, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing. Throughout the year he and his family enjoy traveling throughout Wisconsin.

Steve Heminger

Steve’s Graduate studies were at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida where he earned a teaching degree in Computer Sciences. He went on to become certified as a Special Education teacher Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities.

At Rawhide, he is one of the Resource Room academic instructors. Steve is responsible for teaching in either a small group or one-on-one the core subjects of English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Life Skills.