Our Staff

Director

Tammy Depperschmidt

Executive Director and Teacher
3.5 Years

Tammy grew up in Putnam County on her parent's farm in Buffalo Valley.  She graduated from both Upperman High School and Tennessee Technological University.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education in 1996.  Tammy served as Education Coordinator for two facility schools for at-risk youth in Colorado, Family Tree, Gemini and Children's Ark.  She also received her Masters Degree from the University of Colorado in Special Education.  Tammy and her husband, Robert, moved to Tennessee from Colorado in August of 2011.  Robert retired as a Major in the United States Air Force after serving our country for 24 years. "I was challenged daily through the experience of working with inner city youth in Colorado.  Many of these adolescents suffered from gang life, severe abuse, and neglect.  In an instant, a seed was planted deep within my heart and took root.  Little did I know then just how much my life would be impacted by working with these kids for over 14 years and how the Lord would use it in years to come."  

Tammy stepped on as Executive Directer in March of 2012.  "Children are our future. Like us, they need nurturing, guidance, and love to grow into healthy adults who can, in turn, impact the lives of others.  The Lord has blessed me in so many ways.  I do not consider what I have been called to do simply a job.  I am living a dream.  As the children grow stronger, so do we.  The future looks bright for our children.  They live a life that is good because of our Lord and supporters who believe in our ministry.  So grateful to our community who makes Mustard Seed Ranch a place where God's love resides for generations to come."


House Parents

Greg & Kim Julian

Boys' Houseparents
6.5 Years

Greg and Kim have served as house parents since 2009. They were also key in helping the Ranch open it’s doors for hurting children. Greg and Kim play a vital role on our childcare team for support of their boys. They have taught our boys that their faith in God will help them in every area of their lives. Their teachings are apparent in our boys’ every day life. They partner with our guardians to provide family preservation as the boys transition into adulthood.  


Albert & Becky Willis

Girls' Houseparents
4.5 years

Albert and Becky have served as house parents since 2011. Albert and Becky play a vital role on our childcare team for support of their girls. They partner with the girls’ guardians as a team to provide love, consistency, and structure as the girls continue to grow and learn. They teach our girls to be strong and depend on their relationship with God to grow and overcome. It is such a blessing to watch the girls grow as they continue their walk with God.


Daniel & Dusti Brooks

Boys' Houseparents
2 years

Daniel and Dusti have served as house parents since 2013.  Along with their own children, Daniel and Dusti have supported 5 children during their time at MSR.  "As a family, we decided to open our lives to other children in need of love.  We moved to Mustard Seed Ranch in 2013 and accepted the position as houseparents for the second boys' home.  Our first child, Caleb, joined our family in November of 2013.  He is a great big brother and continues to amaze us as he grows in Christ's love.  We have watched God strategically move through our lives He has opened doors we would never have imagined.  He brought our middle son Max, through adversity with such grace.  He has held our oldest son Clay, close to his chest while Mommy and Daddy were pulled in 10 different directions, and given us joy through our youngest and very energetic, Tate.  He has walked with us, and even carried us through days when no one else knew what we were going through."  (Dusti Brooks, Housemother) Daniel and Dusti play a key role in providing for our boys along with other childcare team members. Daniel and Dusti are teaching the boys how to problem solve, cope, and to depend on God through faith in Him.  As a result, the boys are growing both spiritually and emotionally.  We are so honored to have the Brooks in our MSR family.


Administration

Rachel Ickes

Social Worker
7.5 Years

Originally from central New York, Rachel is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where she earned her degree in psychology, specializing in child and adolescent development. She received much of her initial professional experience in Lenoir, North Carolina where she gained valuable experience living on site in a group home for girls.  She served as a child care worker at the Baptist Children’s Home in North Carolina for five years, learning firsthand what it takes to mentor and develop relationships with children in the group home setting.

Rachel began feeling the desire to move to Tennessee in 2006 after her family eventually settled in Cookeville.  She recalls being drawn to this area by saying, “I just really felt like this is where the Lord wanted me.”  Without any definite explanation, other than to be closer to family, she moved in September of 2007 and stepped out in faith without knowing what was ahead. As it turns out, she ended up moving only seven miles from the MSR property.  “All the pieces finally just started coming together,” she said. 

Rachel looks forward to the arrival of children with great expectation and stated, “I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and love animals.” She believes that MSR provides an ideal setting for our children to grow. Rachel stepped on as Social Worker for our kids in 2008.  She meets with them regularly to help them work through problems, grow, and create opportunity.  She assisted in the process of opening Mustard Seed Ranch and plays a vital role in the progress of our ministry.  

Rachel meets with each child weekly and provides a support system in every area of their lives. Rachel’s devotion to children and their future is outstanding. Rachel supports the houseparents and other staff members and assists where she is needed.We are thankful Rachel stepped out in faith so that the Lord could lead her to MSR and fill the role laid out for her.  Rachel gives so much of who she is to all of us at MSR, we are very blessed to have such a dedicated and loving person working with us.
 

Kayla Fitts

Case Manager
6 Years

Kayla grew up in the area and attended Jackson County High School where she was active in FCA and basketball, winning three state championships during her high school career.  She attended King College on scholarship and competed in nationals at the collegiate level before graduating in 2008 with her degree in youth ministry. She graciously acknowledges how God has used athletics and opportunities in basketball to direct her current path. 

She simply states, “The desire of my heart is to share the love of God with children.” This passion is evident through the various ways she has already been involved with children. She spent time with inner city youth through Urban Promise while in college.  Kayla joined us in July of 2009 following a stint in Honduras where she spent six weeks working in an orphanage. She is also currently active in youth ministry at Living Hope Church where she enjoys teaching, planning events, going on mission trips to Nicaragua, and spending time with the kids. 

In the beginning, Kayla dedicated a year to living in the girls’ home and and became a shining light to everyone at MSR. She says that she loved being an integral part of the girls’ lives…becoming a part of their family…and making a difference, through her actions and devotion.  

Kayla served in the school as an assistant to the Education Director.  She played a crucial role in helping provide a quality education for our students.  Kayla serves MSR administratively.  

Kayla is the case manager for our younger boys' home. She spends time with each child weekly and provides a great amount of support to our houseparents. She is an amazing person and employee, she always goes above and beyond to help support everyone at the Ranch.  She is a true team player!
 

Christopher Stamps

MSR Grounds Maintenance
6.5 Years

Christopher has served as a big brother to our kids and volunteers his time to help keep MSR looking absolutely beautiful! Christopher has a heart of gold and goes above and beyond to be sure “his kids” are always taken care of. We don’t know what we would do without Christopher Stamps.


Education

Joyelle Hudson

Education Director
6.5 Years

Joyelle Hudson, has served as the Educational Director at MSR since 2009.  Joyelle and her husband Heath are Cookeville natives and have a son, Eli, daughter, Isabelle, and Noah. Joyelle has a BS from TTU in Multidisciplinary Studies grades 1-8. The Hudson family enjoys fellowship at Trinity Algood.  Joyelle explains, “When we heard about the Ranch and attended one of the first banquets, we immediately knew this was a much needed ministry and what a blessing it would be to the kids as well as the community.  As we caught the vision for the Ranch, I developed a special interest in the educational program. I was already homeschooling our son and seeing the fruits of working one on one with a child. Since coming on board, it has been a tremendous blessing to see the Lord grow and encourage the children at MSR through their accomplishments in learning.”

Through the education program at MSR, the children are getting individualized instruction to meet their unique needs, which is designed to help them transition smoothly into their next phase of development. We are thankful for Joyelle and the important role she is playing as she contributes to their progress!  The majority of our children started in our home school. Joyelle plays a very important part in their ability to transition into public school and in the success of our children.
 

Kelly Hodge

Therapist
3 Years

Kelly has served as a therapist since 2012. She provides individual and family therapy for all of our children. Kelly has been responsible for the reunification of two families and continues family therapy after the child is discharged from MSR. Our children are learning how to cope and overcome, Kelly has played a vital role in their progress. 


Interns

Casey Knight

MSR Intern
3.5 Years

Casey found Mustard Seed Ranch after listening to Director, Tammy Depperschmidt speak to her class about what MSR offers children.  Casey was hooked from that point forward!  Casey has served as the intern in the older boys' home since 2012. She has always loved being with kids. Casey recently graduated from Tennessee Tech University.  Casey works a full-time job at Averitt Express, she leaves that job every day and goes to the Ranch to serve as an intern.  Her dedication is so beautiful and a testament to what God has called her to do, love children.  "Mustard Seed Ranch seemed like the place for me to get involved.  I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be than at the Ranch!"  We are so blessed to have Casey as a member of our family at MSR. Casey is the true definition of unconditional love and devotion for kids.  We love Casey!
 

Meredith Archer

MSR Intern
1 Year

Meredith is our newest family member. She has recently stepped on as an intern for both Willis and Brooks homes. Her loving and faithful spirit is naturally rubbing off on our children. She assists our families wherever she is needed. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful woman of God helping guide our children as they grow.