Monte MacConnell

Monte lives with his wife, Anne, and his four daughters here on the ranch. He was born in Idaho and spent his younger days immersed in ranch life. Monte is a Marine Corps veteran and served in The Gulf War. He has a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Idaho.

Monte began working with young people as a wilderness instructor and was surprised by how ill-prepared young men were for the life ahead of them. He created Wisdom Ranch School in 2001. The school’s innovative yet common sense approach to working with adolescents proved successful and the school thrived for over a decade. After enjoying a short sabbatical, Monte is back with this current iteration of Wisdom Ranch which is based on the fundamentals that were so successful before.

Jill Allen

Jill Allen serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Wisdom Ranch. Jill began her career working in therapeutic boarding schools. Serving as behavior specialist Jill provided direct intervention, created school safety protocols, and trained staff. She has also provided in-home supports to clients and families as a case manager and supervisor with Boys Town of South Florida.

Jill originally joined Wisdom Ranch’s partner program, Brightstone Transitions in 2017 upon moving to Georgia. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her family, reading, running, and travels back to New England to see family and friends.

Jolene McGuire

Jolene serves as Chief Marketing Officer.  She joins us with over 25 years of experience in the programming and education fields. Jolene’s work with families is often regarded as insightful and compassionate and has impacted the lives of thousands of youth and families. Born and raised in Southern Idaho and having grown up on her family’s cattle farm, Jolene is no stranger to ranch life. Jolene has a passion for the outdoors and when not working she can be found hiking, biking, running, or doing yoga.

Bill Van Lente
Administrative Director

Bill comes to us out of semi-retirement with degrees in business (MBA) and psychology (PsyD) to be our Program Director. He has many years of experience managing businesses and people and working in K-12 and higher education. He values the experiential learning approach that the ranch offers for each student. Bill is not just happy in the office setting; he also raises and trains horses! Additionally, he has managed cattle for the Duck Valley Indian Reservation yet finds Wisdom Ranch a great place to learn new skills and techniques for student learning and cattle ranching.

Jack Adkins
Shop Manager

Jack is a lifelong Idaho resident who is truly a “jack of all trades.” He is skilled in woodworking, carpentry, leather-working, silver-smithing, training and packing horses, farming, welding, mechanics, and on and on! In addition, his artistic ability with pen and paper should be revered and he pours that creativity into each project he tackles.  Honestly, no one with such big hands should be able to do such fine work!

John Tucker

John has over two decades of experience working with young people and adults. He was one of the architects of Wisdom Ranch School, serving as the Academic Director and Admissions Director.

John has extensive experience developing programming, creating curriculum, and managing staff. He has spent the last several years working in the addiction treatment industry where he continued to advocate for innovative approaches to treatment.

At the Ranch, John can usually be found elbows deep in an engine.

Raised in Columbus, Ohio, he considers this year’s Buckeye football team to be “the best ever”.

Cameron Stark
Student Mentor

Cameron is a native Idahoan and Army veteran. In the Army he served as a Blackhawk Crew Chief responsible for the maintenance and repair of ten UH60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Prior to Wisdom Ranch, Cameron worked with young people at a therapeutic boarding school in Idaho. He is an avid fisherman, wood lather, and reader of very long  high-quality fantasy novels.

Zach Perry
Student Mentor

Former student Zach Perry returned to the ranch after graduating highschool with us in 2008. Zach credits the ranch with helping him find his direction and purpose.

Kathy Barlow Adkins
Culinary Arts

Kathy is our culinary arts aficionado!  She comes weekly to plan, purchase for, and layout a family style dinner entirely prepared by students. From homegrown apple pie to a full celebratory dinner for Canadian Thanksgiving, she is up to any challenge! If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of her homemade Uncle Jack’s Wild Honey BBQ Sauce, don’t hesitate!

In Memoriam

Bill Orchard


Bill Orchard was a valued member of our Wisdom Ranch family for over 15 years. Bill guided over 600 students in Wisdom Ranch School and our current Wisdom Ranch Vocational Gap Year. He taught the fine art of welding with unending patience, humor, and skill. His quiet, kind-hearted approach to welding, horsemanship, and ranch life in general, will be greatly missed.

Gifts in memorial will be used to offer scholarships to allow more students to learn on the ranch Bill so loved.