Michael Redivo

Michael Redivo, Ph.D. – Executive Director

Dr. Redivo has been with Desert Heights Academy since its start in 2008 and has played a critical role in staff development and training. Dr. Redivo’s Productive Conflict Model is a key part of the Desert Heights Academy program, which teaches students that conflict is inevitable – but it is how they deal with that conflict that will impact their futures. Additionally, Dr. Redivo has been a fundamental part of the Desert Heights Academy clinical program and continues to provide guidance and support to all our clinical team members.

Sam Wright

Samuel L. Wright, Jr., M.Ed. – Director of Operations

Mr. Samuel L Wright, Jr. serves as the Director of Operations for Desert Heights Academy, and the Executive Director for Desert Breeze Transportation.  Wright’s career in Education began in Indianapolis, Indiana where he worked as a self-contained Special Education Teacher.  In 1998 Samuel Wright relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where he obtained a Masters in Educational Leadership and continued his work in Special Education.  His passion for students with special needs drove his focus on the improvement of private schools, specializing in positive behavior management models and clinical support. Wright has promoted a collaborative culture and connects the school to its wider environment.  He has been instrumental in equitably structuring the organization for success. Wright fosters genuine trusting relationships with students, staff, families and communities guided by mutual respect.  Samuel Wright empowers others to work in the best interests of all students at Desert Heights Academy.

 

 

 

Matthew Rago

Matthew Rago, School Director

Mr. Rago is the Director for Desert Heights Academy. For the past ten years, he has served as a special education teacher and leader in the Phoenix public school system in a variety of settings. Mr. Rago began his career as a special education resource/inclusion teacher, supporting students with emotional disabilities, specific learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities in general education classrooms. In 2010, he helped establish a program for students with autism in his district, and for the next eight years, served in the roles of special education teacher, autism program lead, and campus special education facilitator. Within these roles he has provided training to teachers and support staff in evidence-based autism strategies, behavior management, data collection, and IEP compliance. He has also facilitated parent trainings that focus on creating structured learning environments at home, using visual schedules, and supporting sensory needs. He has a BA from the University of Arizona, a M.Ed in Special Education from Arizona State University, and a M.Ed in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University. Mr. Rago believes in providing all DHA students with a structured and individualized education that is driven by their interests, learning styles, and goals.

Ann Oliver

 

Ms. Oliver has been with Desert Heights Academy since 2016, and has played a huge role with our Oasis Team for students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. Her education began in Chicago, Illinois where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Dominican University. Ms. Oliver began her career serving as a Special Education Teacher in Chicago Public Schools and helped students learn independent living skills through community based instruction. Ms. Oliver relocated to the Phoenix area where she has continued her work with special needs students in our Oasis High School Program. Ms. Oliver has a passion for helping our students learn new skills needed for growth and development. 


Lynn Coleman

Lynn L. Coleman Ed.D.
Clinical Director

 

Lynn L. Coleman is a Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Director for Desert Heights Academy. She has been working in the field of mental health for over a decade, specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern University before completing her master’s and doctoral degrees at Boston College and Boston University, respectively. In 2015, following an internship in community mental health, in Illinois, she moved to Phoenix to complete a post-doctoral residency at Desert Heights Academy. Coleman is passionate about her work and loves DHA’s collaborative approach to supporting students and families.