Our Team

A new paradise

Coral Reef Academy staff

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.
Rodney Rice - Founder, Coral Reef Academy

Rodney Rice

Founder

Mr. Rodney Rice is the Founder and Owner of Coral Reef Academy, Mr. Rice is the youngest of six children, and had experienced many cultures at a young age as a result of his father serving in the Military. Being raised as an Air Force Brat has provided him and his siblings the opportunity to travel the world and be immersed in many cultures that have benefited him greatly. It was part of this experience that led Mr. Rice to seek an alternative treatment measure that allowed struggling older adolescents and young adults to experience new cultures and have their horizons broadened while engaging in evidence-based and individualized treatment. Being part of a large family, and then later in life having a family of his own, Mr. Rice holds family values and commitments as paramount, along with diversity, and providing opportunities for others to experience different cultures and be impacted by them.

Mr. Rice has worked in the treatment and the helping professions for over 25 years and uses that experience and knowledge daily. He attended BYU and majored in Social Work as well as playing football. Mr. Rice played in the NFL following his collegiate career and is quoted as saying “I believe I was allowed to play in the NFL long enough to broaden my platform so I could reach the kids that I work with today”. Mr. Rice followed his NFL career by working for a national treatment provider and soaking up all the knowledge he could in learning about the care and treatment of youth. Following that he founded Coral Reef Academy and has been the driving force and visionary there ever since.

For over 20 years Mr. Rice has provided care and treatment to youth and their families tirelessly. Mr. Rice believes in treating each student as if they were his own children. A coaching mentality and forming a team is a strength that shines through in how Mr. Rice has built and continues to run Coral Reef Academy. Mr. Rice is one of the most straight forward, humble, honest, and committed people to serve the treatment population
.
Mr. Rice is married to a wonderful woman for over 20 years. Together they have four boys and reside in Las Vegas with frequent trips to and from Samoa. Family remains the most important construct in Mr. Rices’s personal and professional practices. In Mr. Rice’s free time he lifts weights, attends his children’s sporting events, gives back to his community, and spends time with his parents.

Donjoe Bryce Bio

Donjoe Tina Bryce

Program Director

Donjoe came to Coral Reef Academy as Executive Assistant to our Executive Director in
Saoluafata in 2006 from being First Secretary to the Minister of Works from 1999 to
2003, before traveling to settle her children in New Zealand. She was educated in Samoa in Administration/Accounting and holds a Diploma in Public Management. Her passion is working with NGO communities and youth. She was the first coordinator of New Zealand Funded program addressing Violence against Women and Children in Samoa. She is a qualified New Zealand and Australian Counselor on above issues also a trained/qualified Paralegal which has seen her travel the Pacific countries advocating for the end of Violence against Women & Children. She is a mother of 8 children all settled in their various careers with families of their own in NZ, Hawaii and Samoa.

Bryan Marks Bio - Coral Reef Academy

Bryan Marks

Chief Operating Officer

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 program as the 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.

Viliame Nateru

Viliame Nateru

Executive assistant

Bula Vinaka

Mr. Nateru is 37 years of age, still single and our Fijian colleague who has lived in Samoa for the past 12 years. Vili, as he is fondly known, started working for the program from 2008 to 2015 . as a Chef and then 2018 to date as Chef/Quality Assurance Officer. .

Viliame is a qualified chef by profession but also has excellent administration, public relations and quality assurance skills. He is a good communicator (now fluent in Samoan) and adapts well to any situation and different environments.

Vili currently is the Executive Assistant and is very happy to be of service to any parent/staff who requires his assistant/help.

Viliame believes that “His blessings come from doing good for others, even those less fortunate than himself”.

Lisa Von Colln Bio

Lisa Von Colln MA, NCC, LPC, RPT-S

Clinical Director

I have always loved working with children, teens and families and that is where my background as a therapist began. I started my therapist career at DHS as a child protection therapist and then went on to work in community mental health as a child therapist and a mental health consultant in preschools. Before I became a therapist my career was in residential treatment in admissions and marketing, with Coral Reef Academy being the last treatment center I worked with before returning to school for my Master’s.

My areas of specialty include anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, behavioral issues, ADHD, self-esteem and confidence issues, self-harm, emotional regulation, attachment and adoption issues.My approach to counseling is eclectic as the needs for each person is different. With teens, while using a client-centered, strength-based approach, I often bring in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as needed. I am also EMDR trained. I believe in building trust and providing a safe, compassionate, non-judgmental space for people to share their stories.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. I received my Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and then my post-masters certificate in Counseling Children and Adolescents both from Regis University. I currently teach in the Master of Counseling program at Regis University as an affiliate faculty member.

Spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do. I love to work out, hike, ride my bike and travel.

Lindia Key LCSW

Lead Therapist

I have over 25+ years of experience working in the field of social work and community services on a variety of levels. For the past 10+ years I have worked exclusively in the areas of community outpatient therapy and within educational settings, with both students and staff.
My counseling style is eclectic, interactive and open. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity, and compassion; realizing that I must meet the individual client from their starting point before we can venture into areas of lasting change. Remembering, change is a process that can only begin when the first step is taken outside of an existing space of familiarity. I recognize individuals are far more than a diagnosed psychological label; which, while useful, never conveys an individual’s entire story.

My approach is determined by the needs of the client, as each life’s journey is unique, and so must be their treatment goals and objectives.

Henrietta Aviga Bio - Coral Reef Academy

Henrietta Aviga

Program Nurse

Talofa Lava, I am the Program Nurse for Coral Reef Academy.  I was educated in New Zealand and registered as a Comprehensive Registered Nurse in 1993.  I have been working in a variety of nursing areas here in Samoa, New Zealand, and recently Remote areas of Australia.  I have experience in primary health care, chronic disease, pediatric nursing, corrections, mental health, research, surgical & emergency nursing.  My nursing experience has allowed me to be exposed to a number of scenarios including emergency and remote situations.  These situations have taught me resilience, compassion, mindfulness, empathy, and a strong work ethic.  As a Program nurse, my role is primarily to support our clinical team, manage medication, health education, liaise with parents, local community networking, and assess student health needs on a daily basis.  I have worked in this program for a number of years between 1995 to the present day.  As a mother myself, my passion to support young men to make better choices and seek help to guide them is imperative in their CRA journey.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count” (unknown)……while the outcome is important, it is all about the journey!

Ms. Gaynor Fepuleai-Tupuola Bio - Coral Reef Academy

Gaynor Fepuleai-Tupuola

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Gaynor is from Apia, the capital of Samoa where she still resides with her husband. Gaynor is a graduate of Samoa College as well as the University of Samoa. She holds a Diploma in Education. Gaynor gained experience teaching while posted in Government schools in the village of Siumu for over 10 years.Gaynor later taught at a host of private schools including All Saints Anglican School where she was Head of the English Department. With her skills, she implemented Policy & Procedures for Occupational Health & Safety in school-based environments. Gaynor also gained management experience in that role before coming to CRA.Gaynor is an educator who is passionate about “Inclusive Education”, this leads her to further studies at Australian Pacific Technical College where she graduated with a Certificate III in Education Support and Certificate IV – Disability. She implemented an Inclusive Curriculum and worked closely with students with special learning differences and facilitated classes for both students and parents.We are lucky that Gaynor chose CRA as her latest work home. Gaynor helps run the Education department and is engaged in direct teaching, tutoring, grading, evaluating, and setting classes/ curriculum for our students. Gaynor remains passionate about teaching all students and her unique experience and education shines when working with students who have learning differences.
Amio Talataina Bio

Amio Talataina RN

PROGRAM NURSE

Ms. Amio Talataina is a Registered Nurse by profession. She was educated at Anoamaa College and further to Samoa School of Nursing within the National University of Samoa where she attained her Degree-Bachelor of Nursing. She specializes in the EPI Health & Community Programs for the Ministry of Health.

Ms. Amio is no stranger to Coral Reef Academy as she was employed as a student mentor in the early stages of the program in Samoa.
She is the loving mother of her 2 children, a boy and girl and blessed grandmother of 9 grandchildren. She loves to socialize with people of different ages and backgrounds.
She has a beautiful voices and loves singing Gospel and country music.

Jane Tiumalu Bio

Jane Tiumalu

US BASED ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

My name is Malia Jane Tiumalu, I am of Samoan and American descent and I am a mother to 6 beautiful children. My family and I currently reside in the beautiful state of Las Vegas, Nevada.

I have worked in medical administration for the past 15 years, primarily with the developmental population. I also have a background in office management, human resources, medical billing, and school administration. I have a deep passion for helping families during times of crisis. Finding long-term solutions for loved ones can be complicated and emotional for all involved. I have found that if families have the support and compassion from others to assist them during their crisis, it will lead to a successful outcome and better quality of life not only for the child/adult but for the families as well. I believe the term “IT TAKES A VILLAGE” is the best way to describe our team. I love what I do, I love being a part of “THE VILLAGE,” and I look forward to meeting and working with you.

John Vitale

DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES

Mr. Vitale started with Coral Reef Academy in 2000 in its early stages in Saoluafata later moving to Vaitele and now Siusega before taking sabbatical leave in 2017. He came back to the program in 2021 and has continued from where he left off.

John is a qualified mechanical engineer. He also holds certificate in Plumbing, Electrician and Carpentry from Samoa Polytechnic so you can say that he is our “Jack of all trades”.

Big John as he is known is quiet and soft spoken. He does not talk much but puts his all in ensuring the Coral Reef Academy campus is safe and comfortable for students and staff.
John is 59 years of age married to his beautiful wife Peka with 3 daughters and blessed with 12 grandchildren.

John believes that “The more love we share now the better this world will be for those coming after us”

Coral Reef Academy Team photo

Find out if our program is the right solution for your son

We understand that making decisions like this are a big deal and can be very difficult for your family. Let us answer all of your questions.

About us

Coral Reef Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young boys who may have lost their way. Based in Samoa, our school offers both individual and group therapy led by licensed clinicians.

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