Susan Tellone, RN, BSN, CSN, MSN - Clinical Director
Susan Tellone (she/hers) is a Certified School Nurse and health educator with a Masters degree in nursing and a Bachelor’s degree in mental health and rehabilitation. She has been working as a psychiatric nurse for the past 38 years with an emphasis on suicide prevention. She worked in the Emergency rooms of Monmouth Medical as one of the first PESS (psychiatric emergency suicide screeners), and went on from there to teach for many years at the University of Medicine and Dentistry on various topics on mental health, but specifically the psychiatric screening law of New Jersey. In 2008 Susan took a position at Manasquan High School as a school nurse and educator and soon after that, her school experienced one of the larger teenage suicide contagions on record. During her tenure at Manasquan, as a response to the suicide contagion, Susan took on the roles of Crisis Coordinator, Anti-bullying specialist and Master Lifelines Suicide Prevention Trainer. She co-authored a Project Serv Grant (Schools against violence) and was able to get funding into her school to develop a Crisis plan based on the Lifelines Curriculum that became a national model. She presented this plan at the National Conference on Suicidality in Florida in 2009. She was also the keynote speaker at the Annual Conference for Safe and Drug Free Schools in Boston in 2010, and presenter at the REMS conference in Washington DC 2011, International Conference of Suicide Prevention in New York City 2012, NJEA teachers conference 2014, and most recently at the Mental Health America Conference in 2019. Susan continues to present both locally and Nationally on this topic. Susan and her crisis team focused on the rebuilding of Manasquan School District with a renewed emphasis on strength and resiliency of the students, faculty and community. Since retiring from education, Susan worked for three years as the Vice President of the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County. During her Vice Presidency at MHA Susan through County and grant funding was able to bring the Lifelines Suicide Prevention program to over 160 schools in Monmouth County. Presently she holds the position of the Clinical Director at Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide where she continues her passion for preventing suicide among our youth through education in schools and communities.
Kalisha Smith , LCSW - Associate Clinical Director
Kalisha Smith (she/hers) is a New Jersey licensed clinical social worker, a NJ certified social work clinical supervisor, and a licensed minister. She is committed to helping people be empowered to live in their place of spiritual, physical, and emotional purpose. Kalisha has been privileged to work in the social service profession for the past 19 years, supporting youth experiencing acute mental health concerns and providing supervision of direct care staff to youth in crisis through the NJ Children’s System of Care.
Kalisha serves as the Associate Clinical Director of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide where she provides training on the continuum of prevention to school districts, community organizations, and clinicians.
Kalisha is the owner of Wise Counsel Services which offers individual, family, and group therapy services for adolescents and adults with a faith-based emphasis for those that welcome spirituality into their journey.
Kalisha is married to her life partner, Pastor Jerrold W. Smith Jr, and together they parent 5 awesome daughters: Kayla, Kennedi, Kamryn, Kyndall, and KaiLee.
“Shame does not move people to a healthy place, but love, hope, and accountability transform lives.”
Emily Sullivan is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) with a Master’s in Social Work, specializing in Management and Policy at Rutgers University. She is a passionate advocate for community health, completing a Policy Fellowship with the legislative office of Senator Vin Gopal and working as a Case Manager with a mental health nonprofit. Emily also has managerial experience in hospitality and holds a certification in Human Services Management.
Since joining the team in the new role of Healthcare Program Manager, Emily has worked closely with the Associate Clinical Director and the Director of Business Development to expand the reach of SPTS’s Behavioral Health Toolkit, Mental Health Crisis Toolkit, and Adolescent & Youth Clinical Training for Suicide Prevention.
Lisa Waterman is the Lead U Experience Coordinator. She has been with the Lead U Crew for five years. Lisa previously worked as a teacher in Monmouth County and is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Sociology, Masters in Elementary Education, and a Masters in Administration and Supervision.
She is a mom of three kids and also a Girl Scout Leader. Lisa is trained in mindfulness education and yoga. She is very passionate about the mission of empowering our youth to care for their mental health and wellness.
“Country Mike” as he’s known around these parts has been with Lead U since 2017. Dabbling in a little bit of everything during his tenure as a crew member, “Country Mike” was brought on to the full time Lead U/SPTS team on January 3, 2023.
With an undergraduate degree from Kean University in theatre education in 2016, Lead U has been such a perfect blend of utilizing those educational & entertaining pieces. Outside of the cowboy hat, he goes by “Mr Mike” as a BCBA for children for developmental disabilities. In 2020, he received a master’s degree from Georgian Court University in behavior analysis and continues to implement the trifecta of education, theatre, and behavioral management every day through these impactful programs and couldn’t be happier!
“Cool pants” Connor Effenberger is a former middle school digital citizenship and social studies teacher. Currently, he is the newest Program Manager at Lead U.
Outside of his work with the lead u crew, he’s a musician, gardener, graphic designer, video editor, sometimes chef, proud cat dad and professional wrestling aficionado. He’s been with lead U since the origins and is so glad to bring his signature pants (and occasional shorts) to the team!
Kyle Kalbach (he/his) is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Kyle graduated from Monmouth University in January of 2018, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Communication: Journalism and Public Relations.
Kyle was initially brought onto the team as a communication/marketing intern. During his internship experience, Kyle proved his dedication to SPTS and it’s mission to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides each year. Kyle was brought on as a Program Assistant where he worked to schedule and maintain the high quality of all of SPTS’ educational programming, and in the spring of 2019, Kyle took on the role of Operations Manager and now recently earned his title at Community Outreach Coordinator. He is driven and excited to continue to use his knowledge and skills to help impact the lives of teens.
After earning her degree in Psychology and Sociology from William Paterson University, Shantell Hawthorne, jumped straight into the field by working as a care manager at a CMO agency, connecting youth and families with much needed resources and supporting families in reaching their goals and family vision. She worked with youth and families from various backgrounds and championed the strength-based approach while serving these communities. She then became more hands-on as an educator and Positive Youth Development Specialist where she educated youth by facilitating curriculums and programs that focused on social emotional learning, physical and mental health, as well as identifying available resources in communities. Driven by her passion for serving youth, she worked to impact them by providing education on topics such emotion management, positive coping skills, and positive self-image. She encouraged youth to be the “change makers” they were meant to be and empowered them to assist in changing the conversation surrounding mental health and suicide in order to decrease the stigma.
Shantell now serves as SPTS Program Coordinator where she assists in the managing and logistics of programs.
Dawn Doherty (she/hers) is the Executive Director of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. She joined SPTS in 2012 and works closely with the Program staff to ensure the successful delivery of suicide prevention training and consultation throughout the United States. Representing SPTS on the local level, she attends community meetings, works to obtain funding to offer local training and is a member of the Professional Advisory Council of the Mental Health Board of Monmouth County. Dawn plays an instrumental role in the operations, development opportunities and fundraising efforts of SPTS.
Dawn graduated from Babson College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Rutgers University. Previous marketing and management positions within the hospitality industry, in addition to her business acumen have helped to prepare her to work with the SPTS team to further advance the organization’s position within the local and national field of suicide prevention.
After providing 25 years of executive support to C-Suite executives in various, for-profit industries, Claire joined SPTS in September 2023 as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Leadership Team.
Claire is passionate about being a strategic partner who delivers exceptional administrative support, process improvement, project management, and event planning. She lives in Ocean County, NJ and belongs to her local chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Stacey Donovan, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Stacey Donovan (she/hers) joined the SPTS team in December 2020 in the newly created role of Director of Business Development – Mental Health Solutions. Within the organization, she is charged with building and leading the expansion effort for the Mental Health Crisis Toolkit, the Behavioral Health Toolkit, and related products. She works closely with the Executive Director and Clinical Director to advance the mission of SPTS.
Stacey is a result-driven business development professional with a demonstrated history of working in the health care industry. She has a sincere interest in health and wellness and values the importance of the patient experience. In 2016, she merged her dedication to mental health and wellness with her professional healthcare experience, making the decision to transition from a hospital management role into a human services focused role in the non-profit sector. Stacey joined a NJ based mental health nonprofit as the Chief Development Officer. Prior, she held business development and corporate communications positions in area hospitals as well as healthcare marketing agencies.
Stacey is committed to improving mental health and wellness through education, advocacy, and resiliency building programs.
Kelly Coulson joined the SPTS team as Director of Operations in 2021 as a result of the acquisition of Lead U. She is an experienced educator, passionate mental health advocate, and personal-development connoisseur.
As co-founder of Lead U, Kelly works closely alongside JD Wilson and the Lead U team to develop and implement assemblies, workshops, and professional development experiences that creatively engage and empower learners of all ages. Within the SPTS organization, Kelly also supports the team in enhancing daily operations, promoting strategic expansion of the SPTS mission, and creating a strong organizational culture.
In addition to her intrapreneurial drive, she brings seven years of experience as an elementary school teacher working in both Monmouth and Ocean Counties. During her time as a teacher she was actively involved in developing staff training workshops, curriculum writing, mentoring student teachers, and facilitating various school and districtwide committees. She holds a B.A. in English and Elementary Education with a Teacher of Students with Disabilities endorsement from Monmouth University.
Shawna Lougee, SPTS & Lead U Marketing Coordinator
Shawna, also known as Sosh, started in 2019 as a Lead U crew member and jumped behind the camera documenting for social media quickly earning her nickname. After earning her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, life took her in a different direction as she began working in marketing for businesses large and small.
Her passion for children and their development never wavered and she took the opportunity to nanny for an amazing family for 3 years while working with Lead U. She is now excited to be full time with SPTS and Lead U as their newest Marketing Coordinator.
Shawna is extremely grateful to be involved with The Society of Prevention for Teen Suicide and to help spread awareness about the importance of mental health and resilience.
A Monmouth County local and former SPTS Youth Council since 2015, Olivia was recruited to Bucknell University as a member of the Women’s Rowing team, participating in Division I Athletics all four years.
She graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing. Her hobbies include traveling, going to the beach, skiing, but most importantly- spending time with her family, friends, and golden retriever, Leroy!
Fun fact: Olivia studied abroad in Ireland and has visited 17 countries!
Don Quigley is a survivor of suicide loss, after having lost his son Sean in 2004. As a result, Don co-founded the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide with Scott Fritz in 2005 with the hopes that they could make a difference. Don’s firm belief in the mission of the organization is that if we could save only one life, and one family from having to endure what he and Scott endured, then it would all be worthwhile.
Don played an instrumental part in lobbying to help New Jersey become the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring teachers to have two hours of suicide prevention training as part of their professional development. Don has spoken at many PTA and other gatherings with parents and has spoken twice at the Fellowship for Christian Athletes for high school golfers and their coaches.