Staff of Safe Harbor Academy, the Christian therapeutic boarding school depicted in the Hallmark movie, Safe Harbor. – therapeutic boarding schools and boarding schools with therapy.


Safe Harbor Staff

Robbie Smith

Robbie W. Smith, D.Min., M.A. Counseling Psychology, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Robbie is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and she holds an Honorary Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Theological Seminary Jacksonville, given for her service and knowledge of Christian Ministry to children and families; she holds two earned Master’s, one in Christian Counseling from Southeastern Theological Seminary Jacksonville and a second in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Florida. Robbie has served multiple professional organizations in an official capacity including Treasurer of the Northeast Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. She was Treasurer for the Florida Association of Christian Child Caring Agencies from 1991 to 1994, served as President of FACCCA from 2005-2008 and is currently serving on its Executive Committee.

Doug Smith

Douglas R. Smith, D.Min., M.A. Counseling, Co-Founder (retired)

Douglas R. Smith, D.Min. holds an Honorary Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Theological Seminary Jacksonville; a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling from Southeastern Theological Seminary; he is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor and a Professional Member of the National Christian Counselors Association. He is also an ordained minister.

Doug is a member of the Meninak Club (“Bringing help where none is available”); a former member of the Northside Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. ABC World News Tonight profiled Dr. Smith as the “Person of the Week” in May 1996.

Dr. Smith’s previous background is in Mechanical Engineering; he was a merchant seaman graduating from the Harry Lundberg School of Seamanship in Maryland. He has taught college level courses in acoustics, acoustics theory and musical acoustics. He has built experimental aircraft, drag racing, and hydroplanes sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association.

School Principal

Katrina, School Principal

Katrina comes to Safe Harbor after 25+ years of Christian day school experience, having earned education degrees from both Clearwater Christian College and Trinity Baptist College. Prior to joining us she spent time in the shoes of a classroom teacher, department chair, and then principal. This path built a broad range of skills to draw from, and she now uses this training and experience to help our boys.

Individual education plans for each young man are created to help them recover credits as needed and then continue toward earning their high school diploma. Her specialization in curriculum design and brain-based learning are tools she relies on daily as she helps our boys “learn how they learn” so they can once again become successful students.

During her free time she is an avid reader, loves visiting historical places, and is always ready for the next road trip.

Jim Filmont

Assistant Director

Jim, Fundraising & Marketing Director

Jim’s journey to Safe Harbor started in 1998, when he volunteered on the weekends repairing boats and mentoring the boys. Over the next two years, Jim played many roles at Safe Harbor, including sitting on the Board of Directors. Fast forward many years – after a long professional career as an insurance consultant, Jim felt called to return to Safe Harbor on a full time basis. His dedication to helping the boys, love for all things boating and outgoing, high energy personality make him a perfect fit for the many tasks that enable Safe Harbor to serve young men. Jim graduated from the University of Delaware with an English Major. Jim has two teenagers of his own and loves all things outdoors, but especially enjoys camping, surfing and of course, boating and fishing.

Leslie Kritzman

Office Manager

Leslie, Office Manager

Leslie has the first smile people see when they walk into Safe Harbor’s door. Her warm smile and joyful demeanor make her a pleasure to be around. She brings administrative experience and grace under pressure to the office at Safe Harbor. Leslie and her husband Bill have three wonderful children, Scott, Blair, and Emily. Like any mother of three, Leslie handles multiple tasks at once, helping each person entering the office, whether for the first time or the last time, feel welcome, appreciated and well served. Before becoming a part of the Safe Harbor team she was an Assistant Corporate Secretary/Treasurer for 28 years. Her heart for the boys and families of Safe Harbor is evident in all she does for the program.



John, Certified Teacher

John holds a dual major in accounting and history. “Mr. John” worked nearly four decades in the retail automobile business, most recently serving 20 years as Chief Financial Officer for a local dealership before taking an early retirement to pursue his first love: teaching. As a licensed and certified teacher of math and social studies, he brings great enthusiasm for advanced mathematics and he can be found teaching the various subjects one-on-one to our students. John loves to serve the community as a certified high school basketball referee, and enjoys spending free time with family: Kathy, his wife of 44 years, his 3 daughters, and 5 grandchildren.


Classroom Supervisor

Spenser, Classroom Supervisor

Spenser is house parent at Safe Harbor Boys Home, with a passion for the younger generation of all backgrounds. He began working for Safe Harbor in March of 2015. Spenser graduated from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville as a Pastoral Theology major. Spenser is married and has a 4 year old daughter. At the age of 16 he began working with children in summer camps, and since then has continued working with youth as a tutor during the school year, and a teacher during the summer. Spenser enjoys reading the Bible, playing and watching soccer, drawing abstract art, and watching Sci-Fi movies. Although still involved in the world of education, helping mentor and watch over the boys at Safe Harbor is Spenser’s main focus. Displaying the love of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ toward the boys is what motivates Spenser daily. His prayer and goal is that they may come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior

Spenser enjoys reading the Bible playing and watching soccer, drawing abstract art, and Sci-Fi movies.


Marine Life Educator, Film & Print Media Instructor

Joe, Marine Life Educator, Film & Print Media Instructor

Joe has many gifts and talents that he shares with the Safe Harbor students. Joe is an excellent underwater diver, he is an outstanding photographer, he encourages others to volunteer at Safe Harbor and his knowledge and personal experience of deep water and shallow water reefs brings an excitement to his work. Joe has a love for the environment that he shares with all the students. Joe founded a nonprofit organization known as TISIRI (Think It, Sink It, Reef It). This organization collaborates with city, state and federal agencies to create offshore and inshore reefs that create aquatic environments using materials that would ordinarily go into landfills. All these skills are brought together teaching the students at Safe Harbor.


Administrative Assistant

Peyron, Administrative Assistant

Peyron joined us in our front office at Safe Harbor this year. Her voice is the first one that you will hear, and she will be more than happy to get you in contact with who you need, or answer any questions.

Peyron, or PJ as we call her, has 4 grown children and is a grandmother to 10, and has lived in Jacksonville area for almost 30 years. She is an AVID Baseball fan, and supports the Florida Gators and the local Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

We are blessed to have her as part of the Safe Harbor family, her love and care for people is evident in all she does.


Bandon and Shelly, Houseparents

Brandon and Shelly became house parents at Safe Harbor Boys Home in June of 2018. They have experience in small group and youth ministry and enjoy being a positive influence on adolescents. They have a passion to help the boys at Safe Harbor reach their highest potential in life and it is their prayer and goal to see each of them develop a personal relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus. Brandon enjoys reading the Bible, praying, nature, outdoor activities, hot weather, and cards. His previous background is medical research and refereeing. Shelly enjoys reading the Bible, praying, helping others, fishing, being by the water, walking on the beach, jogging and a good cup of tea. She has a medical background in Dermatology as well as experience as a nanny and tutor.

Will and Kay


Will and Kay, Houseparents

Will and Kay came to Safe Harbor as houseparents in August, 2018. They are graduates of Concordia University Nebraska where they each earned bachelor degrees in secondary education. Will also has a masters in secondary school counseling and was a high school counselor for the past 25 years. They are the parents of five daughters and have three grandchildren. Will has been sailing since he was 14 and enjoys sharing his passion with the boys. In addition to homeschooling their daughters, Kay has tutored students in math and science for the past 25 years. Kay has brought her gardening skills to Florida and enjoys “playing in the dirt” with both the decorative plants and the vegetables in the raised bed gardens.



David, Counselor

Originally from Seattle, David developed sea-legs serving in maritime unions and off-shore ventures throughout the 70’s. Wishing to cultivate a more expansive academic outlook, he enrolled at the University of Washington where he graduated with a double major in Journalism and Political Science leading to stints at various print publications throughout the country including Florida. When print media’s impact lessened, he returned to school earning a Master’s degree from George Washington University. This was academically satisfying but something was missing. As such he obtained a Master’s degree from Liberty University in professional counseling primarily because it taught how a Christian could counsel in a secular world. This opened doors, eventually leading to the opportunity to apply his Christian convictions towards helping adolescents become honest, strong, reverent and responsible men at Safe Harbor Boys Home. This added purpose. David lives in the Arlington section of Jacksonville with his wife Pam and a number of cats and dogs all of whom pretty much have the run of the house.

therapeutic boys home

Should you need help finding therapeutic boarding schools, therapeutic boarding schools, troubled teen ranches, therapeutic boarding schools, please let us know. Safe Harbor is among the top therapeutic schools, our therapeutic boarding schools for boys; one of few residential treatment centers and residential schools for teens that is affordable. As a home for troubled boys it serves at-risk boys, we help boys in Florida, Georgia, in Kentucky, in Tennessee, in Missouri, in Louisiana, in Arkansas, and in Texas. Plus, in the Midwest in Michigan, in Ohio, in Indiana and in Illinois. Mostly, troubled teens from homes along the east coast including in Virginia, in North Carolina, in South Carolina, in Pennsylvania, in New Jersey, in Massachusetts and in New York are provided counseling and therapy.

Safe Harbor Staff

Staff of Safe Harbor Academy, the Christian therapeutic boarding school depicted in the Hallmark movie, Safe Harbor.