"What can I say? The Coral Reef Academy staff was incredibly warm and available, and their clinicians are very skilled. That was so reassuring. When you implicitly trust the staff, it feels like your son is just around the corner instead of far away." -Merle M.
Despite-or perhaps because of-our location on a small island in the South Pacific, Coral Reef Academy has attracted world-class talent from Samoa and abroad. We're proud of our clinical staff, our teachers, our mentors and our campus staff and look forward to you meeting them in person and experiencing a warm "Talofa lava!" or "Welcome!" Meanwhile we have provided a brief introduction to some of our staff, below.
Chief Operating Officer
Bryan was born in New York but has traveled across the country and world throughout his experience and education. Bryan has currently settled in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with visits monthly to Samoa.
Bryan completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in substance abuse counseling prior to completing his Masters in Human Services. More recently Bryan completed a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
Having worked in many areas of the helping professions, Bryan most recently worked for a top tier young adult Director of Quality Assurance and Outreach. As of March of 2016 Bryan has taken the position of Chief Operating Officer and Partner of Coral Reef Academy . Bryan has worked in private treatment centers, not for profits, and has worked as an Independent Educational Consultant. Bryan has a unique skill set that draws from his personal, educational, and professional experience. Bryan also has the advantage of having been a product of programs and treatment centers and can draw from his personal journey, including being one of the first students at Coral Reef Academy 20 years ago.
Bryan has three beautiful children and spends every chance he gets with them. Bryan likes to read, hike, and engage in fitness based activities. Any ocean based experience is what Bryan does when he has time and is near the ocean.
To reach Bryan directly you may contact him in any of the ways below:
Patrick Dotson - top -
Patrick Dotson comes to Coral Reef Academy from the State of Utah. Patrick received a Master's Degree in Social Work from Utah State University and Licensed in Utah as a Certified Social Worker. Patrick has extensive experience working in treatment environments with adolescents and adults. Patrick has been the lead therapist at a drug and alcohol residential treatment center on the Ute Indian reservation in Northeastern Utah and has grown to love the culture and people of the Ute Tribe. Patrick also has experience with outpatient programs and has offered such mental health services as; Individual, family and group therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, experiential therapy, Child Centered Play Therapy, couple counseling, domestic violence therapy for perpetrators, substance use treatment, and addiction treatment.
Patrick has been married to his wife, Bridgette, for fourteen years and together they have five children. The adoption of their oldest child from Samoa has created strong ties and a passion for the people and culture. Patrick and his family look forward at renewing old relationships and creating new ones.
Tasha Johnson, ACMHC - top -
Tasha Johnson comes to Coral Reef Academy from the state of Utah. She is a licensed mental health counselor (ACMHC), with an MS in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Additionally, she has training in dialectical behavioral therapy, play therapies, and attachment disorders.
Tasha has been working in adolescent residential treatment for the last couple of years in Draper, Utah. She loves working with adolescents and young adults and has experience working with a wide variety of mental health issues. Some of these issues include family relationship conflicts, post-traumatic stress and trauma, substance abuse, oppositional defiance, depression, anxiety, attachment, ADHD, and pervasive development disorders. Her approach to therapy includes modalities such as cognitive-behavioral, expressive and experiential therapies, and family therapy.
Tasha developed a love for Polynesian cultures while living in Hawaii a few years back. She has moved to Samoa with her daughter and is excited about being a part of the Coral Reef Academy team, and being immersed in a new culture. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, hiking, reading, gardening, making jewelry and creating artwork.
Moana Jonas - top -
Head Program Teacher
Moana Jonas comes to Samoa by way of New Zealand. She was educated there, and received a Diploma of Teaching from Waikato Univesity. Before moving to Samoa in 2006, Moana worked for over 10 years in a variety of educational settings. She has worked at all levels of schooling from the primary to senior levels. Her final position, before joiing Coral Reef Academy was with a High School for students with special needs. Here she gained valuable experience in working with students requiring additional support and skills. Most importantly, Moana brings her love of teing passion for providing a supportive and effective learning environment for our students to work each day.ore pal note, Moana joined the Coral Reef Academy team in 2010. She works closely with all the students, identifying their academic plan, working with their individual learning nd supporting them at the various levels of education presented in our school.
Filia Sua, RN - top -
Filia is the program nurse for Coral Reef Academy. She looks after the health and the general well being of all students and staff on campus. She has been working with the Coral Reef Academy since July 2008. Prior to working for Coral Reef Academy, she was firstly employed as a Registered Nurse mostly at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, now called the New Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Australia from 1988 till 2006, secondly at the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick, Sydney Australia and occasionally at the Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland New Zealand. Her main field is the Pediatric Emergency Department with some experience in the Adolescent Mental Health. She did all her nursing and education training in Samoa.
Raised in one of the rural village of Samoa called Sauano, Fagaloa. Filia now lives with her one and only 4year old son and her husband at Maagao, not far from Apia the capital of Samoa. Filia has recently moved back from Australia and established their small Bed and Breakfast Accommodation, which is running beautifully at the moment by her husband despite the tsunami which hit Samoa on September 29th.
Michele Stinnett - top -
Director of Admissions & Referral Relations
Michele Stinnett is our Director of Admissions & Referral Relations. Michele brings an extensive background of more than 22 years of experience in a variety of settings including Blessing Hospital Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Services, Chaddock Residential Treatment Center specializing in trauma and attachment and most recently The High Frontier Residential Treatment Program. Michele graduated from Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1994 and began her journey working with children, adolescents, young adults and their families.
Michele has had an administrative role in admissions and referral relations for the past 15 years working with families and referral sources across the country. She offers a great deal of knowledge, compassion and enthusiasm so please contact her for more information.