Derek & Melissa Barney

Family Teachers – Mountain Birch Home

Derek and Melissa have been with Alpine Academy since 2011. When they began this journey, they had no idea how much the girls and parents they have the opportunity to work with would change their lives. Over the past five years, they have been able to work with over 50 girls and have loved every minute. They love that every girl that walks through their door is their family and are thankful to have so many extended family members.

Derek and Melissa met in 1997 and have been married for more than 19 wonderful years. Besides their over 50 girls, Derek and Melissa have three of their own children. Brandon, their son, is 14, Kendal, their daughter, is 11, and Luke, their little caboose, is 2. Their kids love the Family Teaching lifestyle, consider the girls their sisters and “never want to leave”.

Derek and Melissa are thankful for the circumstances which brought them to Alpine Academy. After not being able to have kids after Kendal was born, Derek and Melissa decided to do foster to adopt to add to their family. After the babies they were fostering were returned to their families, they decided to foster teenagers instead. They were able to foster a 16 year old girl and loved it. During that time, Melissa was awarded Foster Mom of the Year. And from there, the rest is history.

In addition to being a great dad, Derek graduated in 2015 with his Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree. He loves spending time with his family, watching and playing baseball, running marathons, and reading great books. His dream is to retire with all his family around him on a warm sandy beach.

When Melissa was younger, her dream was to be a mom. So, being a family teacher, Melissa gets to live her dream every day. In addition to spending time with her family, Melissa loves doing yoga, sewing, reading and enjoying the sun any chance she gets. Her dream in life is to make sure that every girl that comes through their door knows they are loved and appreciated for who they are.

Together, with their family, Derek and Melissa plan on growing their family into the hundreds and loving every minute.