Fisher, Zahm hired to lead Arrowhead Ranch as private school

Mindy Carls
Doug Fisher is the new leader of Arrowhead Ranch as it becomes a private school.

Doug Fisher of Moline became the principal at Arrowhead Ranch, rural Coal Valley, on Wednesday, June 16.

Osco resident Jon Zahm is the new director of marketing for

Arrowhead. He started in the position Monday, July 12.

Fisher served as the vocational coordinator at Black Hawk Area Education Center, East Moline.

During his service there from 1990 to 2009, he developed opportunities for students of both standard and special education to receive quality real-world work experience.

Fisher also students with behavior disorders in the Moline district and students with learning disabilities in Sherrard.

“My passion is helping children and young adults who have challenging academic and social needs,” Fisher said. “Ben McAdams did a great job setting up the transition of Arrowhead to being an accredited private residential school. We are ready with a first class faculty to deliver excellence in student achievement and social skills development.”

Fisher earned his associate of arts degree in psychology from Black Hawk College, a bachelor of arts degree in special education from Monmouth College, and a master’s in educational administration from Western Illinois University.

He also completed 30 graduate hours in special education at Olivet Nazarene University.

“We are fortunate to have a person of Doug’s caliber and experience in this position,” said Arrowhead CEO Angela Moody. “He has devoted his entire professional career to working with special-needs children and adults, with an emphasis on those with behavior disorders. He will be a great help to our students and teachers.”

Zahm, 41, brings 22 years of experience in fundraising, marketing, and community and public relations for non-profit and political organizations.

“We are very pleased to have a person of Jon's experience and passion joining our leadership team and spearheading our outreach and community impact,” Moody said.

Zahm holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Villanova University and a master of arts degree in secondary education from National-Louis University.

His background in working with young people is extensive. Married, and father of three boys, Zahm is a member of the Orion school board. He has coached boys’ basketball and baseball in Galva, and baseball in Orion.

Previously, Zahm worked two years as a dean’s assistant at a large Chicago suburban high school. He worked on detecting gangs, preventing drug use, breaking up fights, and improving school climate and safety.

“This is a dream job for me in so many ways,” Zahm said. “I get to use my experience in fundraising and connections in the community to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth. At the same time I will get to know these students personally and work with the teachers and staff at Arrowhead to improve their lives.

“Arrowhead is an undiscovered gem in a lot of ways,” Zahm said. “I will get the word out far and wide about this great organization with a 65-year success record.”

The mission of Arrowhead is to motivate at-risk youth to become productive and responsible young men and women. Arrowhead provides counseling, education and social services to youth and their families.

The ranch was founded in 1945 and has served young people ages 12 to 21 in a picturesque and safe setting in rural Coal Valley for 65 years.

Jon Zahm