Cramer Creek

12508 Cramer Creek Road 
Clinton, MT 59825

(406) 825-2600


Boys and Girls

Call admissions department for current tuition.

The length of time a student stays varies with the severity of the problems the young person brings into the program. The actual length of stay is typically determined through regular correspondence between the Cramer Creek staff and referring sources. The average length of stay is approximately 12-14 months.

Cramer Creek is a non-profit residential treatment center and school for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18. Cramer Creek is located in the Garnet Range, approximately 30 miles east of Missoula, Montana. The property is nestled in a beautiful valley including approximately 160 acres of evergreen pines, two perennial streams, and meadows that provide a beautiful setting and is ideal for horseback riding, hiking and other outdoor activities. The facility is all newly constructed including our administration building, dining hall, school, laundry, 5 cottages and a family cottage

Our treatment program is intended for 12-18 year old males and females who may be experiencing a wide range of educational, emotional and/or behavioral problems. These problems include difficulty in family and/or peer relationships, mood disorders, externalizing disorders such as attention deficit, hyperactivity and oppositional defiant disorders, substance/alcohol abuse related disorders,attachment disorder, self-harming behaviors, anxiety disorders, and personality disorder features. Students also typically have experienced setbacks and problems in school and may have been placed in a special education program

The education program at Cramer Creek focuses on (1)excellence in teaching, (2) integrating the PPC model into the school, (3)using an education plan to develop, implement and evaluate each student’s education goals, and (4) providing a state-of-the-art learning environment for our students. Our Teachers believe that excellence in teaching is achieved through a variety of skills, such as superior knowledge of the content area, classroom management and organization,class preparation, and instructional methods. These skills, however, must be augmented with the ability to establish a positive relationship with the student in order to become a great teacher and instill a desire for learning. Teachers are able to build positive relationships with students based upon enthusiasm for the subject matter, a love of learning, a devotion to working with kids, respect, the ability to listen and learn from our students, and the ability to relate the subject matter to each student’s world.

Cramer Creek provides an extensive student activities and recreation program. These activities include skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, camping, river floats, cycling, weightlifting, aerobics and swimming. Our campus also will have fields and courts for baseball, indoor and outdoor basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, volunteer services to the local community are an integral part of the PPC philosophy.

Examples of recent off campus activities by the students include the following. The students have recently visited the Museum of the Rockies ( in Bozeman, Montana, Fairmont Hot Springs ( near Anaconda, MT, the Missoula Art Museum (, and the 110th Annual Arlee Celebration (, a Native American celebration of traditional dances and drumming. The students recently visited our State Capitol in Helena, Montana ( where they attended a legislative hearing and went on a tour of the Capitol building.

Examples of recent activities on our campus include the following. The students had a 4th of July celebration that included a barbecue, ice cream social, talent show and fireworks display. Other weekend activities have included mountain biking, frisbee golf (folf), basketball, volleyball, and canoeing at Beavertail Pond State Park.

During our recent end of Summer break students participated in the following activities: attendance at Missoula Osprey professional baseball games (; day trips to find sapphires at Gem Mountain ( - most students were successful; and rafting trips on the Blackfoot River. The Sapphire Group also entered (and won their category) at the Spontaneous Construction sculpture contest hosted by Home Resources ( Additionally, the Beartooth Group recently donated community services to the Poverello Center ( and to the Missoula Humane Society
The Cramer Creek Art Program believes that all individuals have a creative spirit and that creativity can foster learning on many levels. Our program is in part focused on the creative process experienced as a group collaborative. Through group projects, executed in a variety of media, students will not only learn how to express themselves as individuals but learn how that expression relates to others and to the world in which they live.


The goals of the Horsemanship Program are to teach the range of skills necessary to be a capable caretaker and rider, to receive school credit for participation in the Program, and to teach responsibility and build self-esteem. As with the Art Program the Horsemanship Program is designed around teaching specific skills and, while not designed to be an equine therapy program, to have tangible therapeutic benefits.

The property was chosen because it provides a private wilderness setting that is easily accessible to the resources of Missoula. With a population of 64,000, the “garden city” is rich in community resources, such as the University of Montana, medical services, social services, art galleries, museums, theaters, year

School Staff


Sean Nunnelley became Principal at Cramer Creek in June, 2008. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology in 2003 from Sul Ross State University. In 2005 he received a M.A. in Education from Sul Ross State University and was named to the Who’s Who list among national graduate students. He has worked as a special education teacher and school counselor using the PPC model at the High Frontier School (, our sister program in west Texas. Sean enjoys kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking and has coached and played rugby for the past three years. Sean is very active with his church and enjoys all of these activities with his wife and two sons whenever possible.

Art Director

Francis Pearson comes to us after having been Art Director for Opportunity Resources Inc. of Missoula. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana in 1992. Francis has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana, taught art to youth across the state of Montana while participating in the Artists in Schools Program, and has directed numerous art workshops at Montana’s Warm Spring State Hospital. He has also taught summer classes for youth in the Flagship Program as well as the Missoula Art Museum. Francis has show his work extensively in Minnesota, Montana, California and New Hampshire and his work is held in many private collections and museums. While not teaching Francis can be found working on his own creations in his studio in Missoula, Montana.


Laura Hedgers Alvarez received her B.A. in English/Secondary Education with a teaching minor in Dramatic Arts and a certification in secondary education with an endorsement in English from the University of Montana. Upon completion of her degree, she moved to Hollywood and worked in the the film and television industry for the next ten years. In 2004 she returned home to her native Montana. Based on her professional career in costuming, Ms. Alvarez was asked to teach at the University of Montana as an adjunct professor in the Department of Drama/Dance in Costume Design and Technology.


Jennifer Cox is the Science teacher at Cramer Creek School. Originally from Colorado, she received her B.S. in Wildlfe Biology from Colorado State University where she worked as a naturalist, environmental educator, and coordinator of an after school program. Ms. Cox received her Master’s in Education with emphasis in curriculum studies and a certification in secondary education with an endorsement in Biology from the University of Montana. Due to the unique location and setting of Cramer Creek School, the science curriculum blends environmental education with traditional classroom learning.


Tessa Larson grew up in the small town of Plains, Montana. She graduated with high honors from the University of Montana with B.A.’s in both English and Spanish, and a minor in Latin American Studies. Tessa also has a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Montana. She received the Mortar Board award, and was chosen as the University of Montana’s Outstanding Senior by both the English and Foreign Language Departments. While in college, she was fortunate enough to participate in study abroad programs to Mexico and Central America. She previously worked as a team leader for the Montana Migrant Education Program, which builds skills and creates opportunities for underprivileged Hispanic migrant workers. She is grateful to be teaching Spanish language and culture in her home state.

Social Studies

Austen Carr grew up in Richmond, VA, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, WA. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. While in college she studied environmental science and culture in Botswana in southern Africa. After college she worked as the public programs coordinator at a children’s museum, taught English in Honduras, and led backpacking trips for middle and high school students. She received her Master’s in Education from the University of Montana in 2008 and feels fortunate to be teaching, living, and coaching soccer in Missoula.

Cramer Creek

Residential Treatment Center

(406) 825-2600

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