"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.
Breda Tipi-Faitua Alalatoa, TPAS. MBA
Director Of Operations
Breda's focus under Operations includes: management of program finances, physical facilities, food services, security, transport, vendor relationship management, program contracts, immigration matters, government and private sector relationship management and community relationship management. Breda commenced work at Coral Reef Academy in 1997 as a Program Teacher. She has since then held a range of positions within the organization such as Deputy Program Director, Director Education, and Assistant Executive Director. She graduated from the University of the South Pacific (Fiji) with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English Language-Literature and Public Administration. She then continued on to Auckland College of Education (New Zealand) and graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching. Further studies at Massey University (New Zealand) resulted in a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Management. Breda has recently completed her MBA from the University of the South Pacific. Breda's teaching career commenced at the top government high school "Samoa College", where she taught English language and literature from junior to senior high school levels. From Samoa College Breda moved into a position as an English language and literature lecturer at the National University of Samoa. Breda was appointed as Head of the National University of Samoa's English department in 1994. Since her appointment at Coral Reef Academy, she has continued to connect with Education by tutoring an evening class "English for Academic Purposes" for the University of the South Pacific and Management classes for the Bachelor of Commerce program at the National University of Samoa.
Breda is of Samoan and Tongan descent and was born in Auckland New Zealand and is married with three daughters. She is a proud grandma of 3 grandchildren.
James Hyman, MA, LCPC - top -
Lead Program Therapist
James graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. Degree in psychology, religion, and nutrition. After continuing religious studies and residing in Israel, he pursued graduate work at Naropa University where he received his Master Degree in Wilderness Therapy. He currently holds a license as a Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Montana.
James worked as a family counselor for a therapeutic boarding school in Montana. His professional emphasis at this time was family therapy and group facilitation. He managed the emotional growth aspect of the program for students in multiple peer groups, including theme groups, personal challenge initiatives, and experiential techniques.
Subsequently, James returned to Georgia where he served as a mentor for a teen aftercare program. James concentrated on experiential and interactive techniques with his caseload, focusing on the specific challenges inherent with transitioning home from boarding school.
James continued his career with adolescents by joining the clinical team for a wilderness program in the southeastern US, specializing in family programming and equine therapy. James supervised and trained field staff in effective strategies and outcomes for students. He also facilitated student groups, conducted family sessions, and created individualized programming for specific therapeutic needs.
James' clinical areas of familiarity have included: ADD/ADHD, opposition and defiance, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and Spectrum disorders.
James moved to Samoa as a newlywed, and is thrilled to serve this school, this family. The journey for him and his wife is ever-unfolding each day in this very special place!
Yuri Davydov, LPC - top -
Yuri is a Program Therapist at Coral Reef Academy. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) from Idaho where he began his career at a therapeutic boarding school working with troubled adolescents in 2008. Most recently he carried out psychosocial rehabilitation services (PSR) to families and children in his local Idaho community while designing behavior intervention plans and interning as a counselor in the McCall/ Donnelly School District. He has experience working with clients and families dealing with relationship issues, post traumatic stress, oppositional defiance, attachment, attention deficit, and hyperactivity. Yuri is frequently reminded of the fact that solid communication, awareness, and patience within the context of a therapeutic relationship and new experience leads to empowerment, motivation, growth, and ultimate success-- which translates into everyday life.
Yuri acquired a BA in Cultural Anthropology at Colorado College and a MS in Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho. He speaks Dutch, Russian, and Spanish and has studied several other languages as well. While abroad in New Zealand he studied Maori language and history and became enthralled with Polynesian culture and its fundamental morality--a terrific foundation from which to help boys develop into responsible men. He is excited to continue his career in a place of pure culture, natural beauty, and adventure.
Yuri enjoys incorporating his passion for adventure sports and the outdoors in his therapeutic endeavors. For years prior to his current career he guided fly fishing trips around the Idaho and Wyoming wilderness. He empowered his fly fishing clients to success by utilizing present moment awareness and experience which is essential to Yuri’s therapeutic orientation. Yuri came to Samoa to motivate and empower the students at CRA and help them discover their full potentials. The chance to develop adventurous interventions and utilize the South Pacific’s vast opportunities to nurture CRA students has become a phenomenal reality for Yuri.
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.
Vanya Taule'alo, Ph.D. Fine Arts - top -
Vanya is an artist and educator. She was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has lived in Samoa since 1976. During her first twelve years in Samoa she established a kindergarten and a private primary and secondary school. In the early 1990's her family took six years study leave in Sydney where she completed a Masters in Fine Arts at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Vanya completed her doctorate in Fine Arts in 2006 the University of Newcastle in Australia. "Fetaia'i i Gafa we shall meet in our children, An Investigation into Contemporary Samoan Art." Her exhibition is her personal journey and follows the merging of two very diverse and rich cultures; her Anglo-Celtic heritage and her husband's Samoan gafa, which is manifest in her children. She did this through distance mode.
Over the years Vanya has exhibited in New Zealand, Australia and Germany and she has published articles pertaining to her work and that of other Samoan artists. Her works explore themes relating to the society in which she lives, the myths, cultural practices, issues relating to identity, family, the environment and climate change. Her current works examine the fragile mangrove ecosystems in Samoa and she is developing a visual response to the recent tsunami.
Between 1997 and 2008 Vanya was a senior lecturer at the National University of Samoa, attached to the Faculty of Education focusing mainly in Visual Arts. She was the advisor and major writer for the Visual Arts Secondary Curriculum, which was introduced into secondary schools in 2005. In 2009 she has been consultant/writer for the Samoan Primary School Visual Arts Curriculum and eight Teacher Manuals years 1-8. As well she enjoys mentoring students at the Better Way programme for the Coral Reef Academy.
Since June 2008 Vanya has become a full time artist and visual arts educational consultant. She hopes to spend more time in her studio and build a small gallery/viewing area for her works.
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.
Lisa Morales Von Colln - top -
Marketing & Admissions Director
Lisa comes to Coral Reef Academy with over 16 years experience in admissions, marketing, transports, and management. She received her B.S. degree in Business from Brigham Young University. Lisa was an integral part in the formation of two residential treatment centers specializing in the treatment of troubled adolescents and has served as Admissions Director and Marketing Director for a variety of therapeutic programs. Her most recent position was the Director of Marketing for an inpatient treatment center that specialized in the treatment of women with eating disorders.
Lisa's goal in admissions and marketing has been to provide compassion and certainty to the families with whom she works during their troubling times. She is excited to be able to provide a treatment center option to professionals and families that not only provides extensive treatment, but also adds the Samoan culture which are woven throughout the program activities. Alofa, Tautua, Fa'aaloalo –love, service, respect– values which the program are built around.
Lisa is married and the mother of 3 beautiful children. Being the mother of adopted children, she has served on a board for potential adoptive parents and worked closely with birth mothers during the adoption process. When Lisa is not watching her children play sports she is an avid runner and crossfitter. As a certified CrossFit Endurance Trainer, Lisa loves to coach and train others.
Motoi Motoi - top -
Motoi was born in Sauniatu, Samoa but grew up in Hawaii and Utah, where he developed a love for sports. Motoi maintains a passion for instilling in our young men the importance of lifelong learning, health and fitness. He also serves as a role model through extensive participation in fitness activities and coaching of competitive (rugby/basketball/soccer/volleyball) and non-competitive activities with a focus on team sportsmanship, physical strength, endurance and flexibility. Our athletic program is accredited by Park City Independent, so Motoi's documentation and observation of individual participation is crucial. As Sport's Coordinator, Motoi also organizes CRA's sports participation within the community.
Motoi returned to Samoa about 5 years ago. He has 3 children, Ivan 5, Chance, 2 ½ and baby girl Ioana, 5 ½ months. He loves spending time with his family after work, and doesn't mind babysitting for his daughter for as long as it takes. He enjoys cooking good healthy food using home grown local vegetables, fruits and spices.
Motoi has been with CRA since July 2008, firstly hired as a student mentor and later promoted to the position of Sport's Coordinator. He enjoys his role as the Sports Coordinator a lot as not only allows it him to help and interact with students, in the gym and on the field, but it also helps him stay in shape and exercise.
Faumui Harry Carter - top -
Harry has been with CRA for 12 years, working in different departments. He started as student mentor, mentor supervisor, maintenance manager, residential manager and now Samoan Culture Coordinator. Harry is a Samoan matai (chief) his matai title is Faumui, for 26 years. He is 53 years young, happily married to Barbara with 3 children. Harry was educated in Samoa and later in New Zealand.
Harry brings his knowledge of his Samoan culture and customs after being a matai for his family for 26 years. He is still active in his role as a leader for his family, village and church.
Harry teaches the students Samoan culture and history on Mondays, Samoan handicrafts and Samoan cooking on Tuesdays, Samoan language and Samoan myths/legends on Wednesdays, Experiential trips on Thursdays and Samoan dancing and singing Fridays.