Maynard Sweigard – Executive Director
From early adolescence until he entered a Teen Challenge program, Maynard Sweigard was himself a troubled boy. In 1974, he graduated Teen Challenge, a new man. He decided to enroll in the Teen Challenge Ministry Institute, which was started by David Wilkerson, the founder of Teen Challenge. After graduation he was ordained and went on to pastor two churches. He also served as a Jail Chaplain. With a heart for helping troubled boys, like he was as a teen, Maynard founded a residential program for boys in Florida, building it from ground up to a thriving program. In 2017, he was called to Texas to put the same kind of energy and vision into New Hope Boys Home. Maynard and his wife Barbara, married 43 years ago, have two grown sons, Nathan and Aaron, who also work in full-time ministry.
Jeff Pirtle – Therapist and Administrator
Jeff was born and raised in Borger, Texas, a small town in the Texas panhandle. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University in 1985 and his Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Tech in 1990. He holds licenses as a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Licensed Child Care Administrator.
For the past 30 years, he has worked in numerous inpatient and outpatient settings and has gained a great deal of experience in many different aspects of therapeutic care. Jeff has specialized in working with adolescent males and their families for the majority of his professional career. He was the Administrator and Clinical Director of a residential program for at risk adolescent boys for over 20 years and has maintained a successful private practice since 1993.
Jeff has been married to his wife, Tiffany since 1990 and they have two adult children.
Dan Santema – School Administrator
Dan grew up in Rock Valley Iowa and graduated from High School in 1979 – the same year he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. In 1982, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Photography from Brooks Institute. Then, he moved to Dallas TX and worked in the photography industry for many years. In 1995, the Lord led him to a career in education with an emphasis on Special Education. He taught in some of the toughest high schools in South Dallas and felt the Lord use him to accomplish His will in numerous areas. In 2005, he earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. Later that year he moved to Austin, Texas where he became a school Principal. Dan’s wife is Kelly they live in Austin with two boys.
Dan says, “It is my prayer that the Lord will use me in a mighty way to accomplish His will. I have a passion for and a calling to help students that are struggling to become productive members of society. I am honored and humbled to join the ministry at New Hope Christian Academy as the Education Coordinator.”
Ashley Trahan – Admissions Coordinator
Ashley Trahan is the admissions coordinator at New Hope Boys Home. She is a graduate of Teen Challenge. After years of drugs, crime, and homelessness she surrendered and found freedom in Jesus. She graduated Teen Challenge and completed an internship then went on to become a staff with the program. She met her husband, who also works with Teen Challenge, and we now have a beautiful son together. Ashley and her husband have the privilege to show these young men the love of God and watch as their lives are transformed.
John Eason – Student Development Director
John Eason is a part of the Student Development Program at New Hope Academy. He has been the pastor of Celebration Community Church in Bastrop TX. for the past 30 yrs. For 10 years. John has been involved in residential therapeutic recovery ministries.
Irby Trahan – Maintenance Coordinator
Irby Trahan graduated from the Teen Challenge program. He completed an internship with the program and went on to become a staff member. Irby has worked in various positions within the ministry and now is the maintenance coordinator at New Hope. He enjoys being able to teach the boys skills and trades that will help these young men be successful.
Jake White – Evening Program Director
My heart is for young men to come to Christ. I was a troubled teen and didn’t have any men or women of God around me to help me overcome the problems in my life. Growing up with a rough background, the Lord uses my testimony to show that it doesn’t matter what has happened in your life, that Christ can heal and change anyone’s heart. When Christ changed my life, I knew I wanted to work with troubled teens. Today I am doing that, and I feel truly blessed to be working for the Lord and helping his children come to know him.