- Support Services
Shane’s greatest possession is his family. He has been married to his beautiful wife since 1999. Together they have three boys and a girl. His family enjoys camping, fishing, horseback riding, playing football in the front yard, hiking, and going on 4 wheeler rides.
Sean currently lives in Midway, Utah, with his three children. Outside of work and raising his family, Sean spends his extra time working out, playing softball, and restoring cars with his children. He says,”restoring cars is one of my best ways to restore myself.”
Dr. Christopher Tolen is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. He started his mental health career in 1991 and eventually earned his Doctorate in psychology in 1999. Throughout his career, he has worked decades in the support of adolescents, young adults, and families. He has focused his profession with a commitment to evidence-based methods and practices.
Dr. Tolen is trained in and utilizes Brainspotting, Trauma-Focused CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Applied Behavioral Analysis. He has served as a therapist, program director, clinical director, supervising psychologist, an APA internship director, and an Executive Director. He has experience working in outpatient therapy, corrections, residential treatment, and wilderness therapy. He is the founder of two successful businesses including an outpatient therapy program and an aftercare transition program. As a clinical psychologist, he has provided psychological testing for over a thousand youth and young adults across the country and in multiple settings including schools, homes, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and wilderness therapy programs.
Dr. Tolen was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and lived his childhood in both Sitka, Alaska and Santa Fe. He is the son of two public school teachers and was raised to appreciate and value culture, exploration, adventure, and family. His travels and aftercare therapy work have taken him to nearly every state in the union, to the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Africa. He and his wife have been married since 1994, and are the proud parents of four children and a growing number of grandchildren. He and his wife have two sons with autism, one of whom completed wilderness therapy. In his free time, he enjoys sports, reading, movies, travel, spending time with his family, and singing barbershop.
Doug is passionate about working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and takes every opportunity to educate other therapists and professionals. Doug is married to his best friend Jennifer; they have five children. In his spare time he enjoys reading, watching sports, and gardening.
Kevin has been a member of Daniels Academy for over four years with two years of previous therapeutic experience. He has previous experience at Daniels Academy as a residential coach, shift lead, home manager, and residential director. His favorite part of the job is helping our young men have meaningful and unique experiences while at Daniels Academy through evening programming, recreation outings, and international trips. Kevin graduated with a degree in history and has broad experience in recreational activities and travel. He enjoys lots of variety in his recreational pursuits and likes to help others develop their own interests. Some of his favorite activities include skiing, rock climbing, trail running, oil painting, and playing with his border collie.
Sierra’s name symbolizes her love of mountains, being outdoors, overall being active. This feeds her passion for Recreational Therapy. She studied Recreational Therapy at the University of Utah, and focused specifically in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Sierra started at Daniels Academy as a Recreational Therapy Intern, worked as a residential staff and now works as the Recreational Therapist. In her free time, she rock climbs, skis, mountain bikes, camps, hikes, mountain bikes, and much more.
Jay has a passion for teaching, learning, and the outdoors, which makes him an ideal fit for Daniels Academy. He relishes being a part of the growth process for our students as they progress. Jay has been a Utah educator for the last 10 years; in his free time, he enjoys swimming and rock-climbing, and is in the process of honing his cooking skills.
Shawna Newton has been a registered nurse for over 8 years and worked in the nursing field for 13 years.
A mother to 4 married children, and a grandmother to 11 grandchildren, Shawna definitely knows how to support our students.
BS in Business Finance – Brigham Young University
MBA – University of Utah
Audrey’s professional experience includes working as a Retirement Specialist for Fidelity Investments and working as the Controller and Book Keeper for various companies.
In her free time, Audrey enjoys various outdoor recreational activities including skiing, mountain biking, golfing, hiking, and gardening. Her favorite past time is spending time enjoying life with her four children.
A native of the West Virginia area, my accent normally gives me away. Though I have run a military dealership, managed a horse ranch, as well as some commercial properties; I realized early in my adult life that I loved journeying with people. So I left the WV and ventured to Colorado and committed my time and effort to help people living in homeless shelters and halfway houses in the Denver region. From Colorado, I journeyed to California and began working with teens and their families suffering from mental health issues, crises, and addiction.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with family and find a full life enjoying my children and grandchildren. I love motorcycles, high country experiences (especially in the Rockies), good food, and I am a bit of a “gym rat.” My mantra around staying healthy is, “you must live close to your heart and follow your natural design…your destiny. “
Sam’s greatest joy is his family. He and his wife Lori share five children and nine grand children. Sam enjoys spending time with them and doing any of a variety activities with them. Sam enjoys almost anything outdoors including fishing, camping, back-backing and many water sport activities. In recent years he has been involved with long distance open water swimming and when he has time, he enjoys training triathletes to swim efficiently.
Sam brings many years of experience to the Daniels team. Sam started his path to becoming a therapist in a roundabout way. Sam’s desire to assist others and his interest in science lead him to the field of exercise physiology where after receiving a bachelor’s degree he completed course work toward a masters degree. Because of an injury he changed fields and received a second bachelor’s degree in an engineering field and worked in engineering in aerospace. After working in aerospace, for a few years, he discovered his true passion was not in that field and found that passion was in the field of family therapy and working with adolescents. Returning to graduate school Sam received a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University. Sam has also received intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Sam started his career as a therapist in residential treatment with adolescents in 1990. He worked in a variety of settings over the years including outpatient therapy, day treatment and acute inpatient treatment. Sam was a clinical director in a residential program for several years however he prefers and is most passionate about working directly with the students and their families. He has worked with a variety of individuals and families with a variety of challenges. Sam finds the most enjoyment in working with adolescents on the Autism Spectrum and their families and is very excited about the opportunity to work with the students and families at Daniel’s Academy.
Esther Israel is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in the State of Utah. She holds a B.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in Forensic Psychology, and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology. Esther has conducted psychological assessments and psychotherapy in a variety of mental health settings. She is thrilled to be a part of Daniels Academy.
Bio coming soon!
Misty has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and is DBT certified. She has many years of experience working with a broad-spectrum of adolescence, from acute residential to the juvenile justice population.
Misty truly loves helping people of all ages and has dedicated herself in providing guidance and the tools that our youth need to succeed. Misty is a firm believer of living by example, therefore she strives to keep a positive attitude and she lives a healthy lifestyle and loves to stay active.
Misty’s number one pride and joy is her family. She is happily married and has 3 boys and 2 dogs. Misty and her family enjoy being outdoors, camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing.
Nick has worked at Daniels Academy for over three years. He has worked at both homes during his time with Daniels, and he has strived to build healthy, professional rapport with the young men under his care while also providing them with the tools they need for future success. Nick has maintained positions as a residential coach, assistant shift lead, and shift lead, and he has worked closely with the therapists in providing quality care our young men. He has also participated in a number of trips with our young men, and he has helped to make these trips into meaningful experiences that our young men will remember and cherish for years to come.
Nick is currently working to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Family Studies, with plans to go on to graduate school in Neuropsychology. Nick originally started his college career in Mechanical Engineering with plans to go into Biomedical Engineering. It wasn’t until Nick started working with Daniels that he realized that he wanted to make the shift to working with people and helping them work through the neurological and psychological difficulties they experience. In both of these majors, there is a common thread of wanting to provide a service or care that would directly benefit and improve the lives of others; this is a core quality of what Nick looks for and hopes to contribute in his work and career.
Nick enjoys everything from board games to mountain biking. He has a wide variety of interests in both indoor and outdoor settings, and he is very open to trying new things. Nick is also a tinkerer and a handyman, and he enjoys working with his hands to build, construct, and repair various things ranging from vehicles to computers, phones, and televisions. Nick has been married for over three years to his beautiful wife who is also going into Neuropsychology. He is the proud owner of a Bearded Dragon named Calcifer, and he has a love for all sorts of animals and reptiles.
Randon grew up in Utah with 5 older sisters. He has worked a variety of jobs over the years, but Daniels Academy has been his most enjoyable one. During his time at Daniels, he’s worked as a Residential Coach, a Shift Lead, an International Coach, and an International Trip Lead. He very much enjoys the time spent working with students, and helping them build the skills they need to be successful and lead independent lives.
Bio coming soon!
I am passionate about advocating for children and helping families learn to navigate and advocate within the educational system. I am committed to helping maximize functional independence for each student and creating an environment for each student to succeed in the educational setting and in the world.
Craig’s interdisciplinary expertise allows him to connect the various aspects of the Daniels Academy Curriculum in a unique way. A husband, and a father to three teenage sons, Craig enjoys reading, hiking, and sports.
Michelle’s experience with a diverse population within the Special Education community makes her well suited for Daniels Academy. Originally from Idaho, Michelle moved to Utah with her husband in 2019 and has enjoyed all that this beautiful state has to offer. Michelle enjoys spending her free time being around family, playing the piano, reading a book, cycling, and exploring the outdoors.
MD: University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences
Residency in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Utah
Professional experience in pharmacology research studies, community mental health, school-based programs, telemedicine, prison population, foster care, sex abuse, substance abuse, rural mental health, day treatment programs, residential programs, autism spectrum, and consult-liaison work. Additional training in psychodynamic psychotherapy through the Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis.
Board-certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Board-certified in Adult Psychiatry
Board-certified in Forensic Psychiatry
Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Jake has a passion for history, politics, learning, and educating others. He shares many interests with our students allowing him to better connect with them on a more personal level. Jake is excited to start his teaching career here at Daniels Academy. He enjoys spending his free time hiking, bowling, reading, boating, and watching movies.