Meet the Staff
I am a licensed clinical psychologist who received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Masters Degree and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas. I have spent my 30 year career working with adolescents and their families in a variety of settings. My clinical specialties include ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, and parenting styles.
I arrived on the Valley View campus in 1987. I was impressed right from the start by the outstanding therapeutic milieu and the seamless design that promoted the healthy growth of the students. I was so impressed with this exceptional institution, that I proceeded to spend 30 years of my career contributing to its mission. I provided psychotherapeutic and consultative services to several generations of Valley View students. The staff is remarkable in their ability to develop solid, positive relationships with even the most withdrawn or disaffected boys. Acting out is contained firmly and without drama. Personal dynamics are explored such that boys can connect the dots of their experience in meaningful and beneficial ways. Many avenues of healthy expression are provided. The end result is students with greater self control, more self awareness, and the development of a positive sense of identity.
Prior to being named Executive Director of Valley View School, my professional life had three main components. I had a private practice in Worcester, MA, where I treated adolescents and adults. A portion of my practice involved providing psycho-diagnostic assessments and consultation for an inpatient psychiatric unit at UMASS Memorial Hospital. The second part of my career consisted of evaluating and treating patients within a large primary care clinic affiliated with the UMASS Medical Center system. My position was embedded within the medical treatment system, which afforded me a great opportunity to collaborate with physicians in the provision of holistic and integrative care for a host of medical and psychiatric disorders. The third segment of my career has been providing psychotherapeutic and consultation services at Valley View School.
It is a great honor and privilege to have been named the Executive Director of Valley View School. Valley View is a remarkable school with a storied past. The therapeutic milieu that impressed me 30 years ago continues to be the foundation of our program. However, the fields of adolescent psychology, neuroscience, and diagnostic and therapeutic techniques have exploded in the last few decades. We are committed to using these insights to provide even better outcomes for our students and their families. In this regard, we have launched initiatives to enhance our family therapy services, group therapy options, and wellness/ mindfulness programming. We recognize that each student has a unique learning style and thus we have adapted our academic program to meet these individualized needs. Combined with our team of outstanding doctoral level clinicians, psychiatric services, ever widening array of activities, and our beautiful 200+ acre campus, Valley View School constitutes a first-class therapeutic and educational facility.
On a personal note, I have a wide range of interests that includes hiking, travel, playing guitar, and taking on-line educational courses. I have always kept physically active and enjoy weight training, football and basketball. I am pleased to note that I can still get up and down the basketball court with our students. Having raised three children, and being on the verge of sending our youngest off to college, I understand the joys and challenges of parenting a teenager in today’s world. I have great empathy for both teens and their parents who find themselves stuck in a negative spiral. I am pleased that we at Valley View School can offer a path out of this painful struggle, and give our students skills that will be essential in all aspects of life.
This is truly an exciting time for Valley View School. I look forward to providing leadership as we continue our mission to empower our students with the tools they need to become healthy, engaged young men.
I am excited to join the Valley View team after over fifteen years experience working with youth and families in therapeutic wilderness, residential, and young adult settings. I bring with me crucial skill sets garnered from working as a staff and manager in many leading program milieus, as well as MSW therapeutic experience in the residential and psychiatric fields. I believe that the ultimate therapy for budding youngsters is the opportunity to delve into new horizons with the aide and support of nurturing adult mentors. My mantra in this fashion of work has always been; “give me a fish – feed me for a day, teach me to fish – feed me for a lifetime.” It is through the paradigm of multifaceted experiential endeavors that individuals may begin to develop a sense of self worth, confidence, independence, and new passions for life. It is this passion that will ultimately serve to distinguish them as leaders, innovators, and active participants in the lives they set out to lead in their young adulthood and beyond. There is nothing greater than bearing witness to the blossoming of a dynamic, well rounded character. I am thrilled to work with your son as he embarks on this journey and look forward to joining you in greeting him on the other side.
Valley View is pleased announce that Dr. Jared Tonks has assumed the position of Clinical Director.
Jared earned his Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Idaho State University, where he previously earned his Master of Counseling degree. Jared received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University. Dr. Tonks brings a concentration on adolescent development, understanding and managing at-risk behavior, family therapy, and family unification. With a career spanning over 15 years in therapeutic schools, wilderness programs, and consultation practices, Valley View is excited to have a clinician of his caliber joining our team.
It has always been my belief that Valley View School has a thriving academic program that was established through hard work and dedication over the last 40 years. I am thrilled that I now, through my position as Director of Education, have the opportunity to be part of the milieu that will lead Valley View School into the future.
I began my career at Valley View School in 1999 and it has been an amazing journey for me. I have worked both as an evening counselor and teacher and feel having worked in an assortment of roles gives me multifaceted experience. Caring, consistency and the ability to connect with the students are just some of the attributes I am pleased to say I possess. I have a clear view of the requirements that students are faced with in both the residential and academic setting.
Educational opportunities can be found both in and out of the classroom and are not limited purely to academics. Students should be given the opportunity to not only grow educationally, but also socially and emotionally. Creating and implementing a well-rounded educational plan is at the forefront of my agenda.
Over the last decade I have had the pleasure to work with many devoted staff that have helped our school prosper and grow. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students and participate in many aspects of their lives with my goal being to provide them with a positive influence. Making a difference and seeing the improvements the students make over the course of their stay at Valley View School is the reinforcement that all the hard work is making a difference in their lives. Working with our students is my passion and my calling.
I look forward to working with both students and parents. I am excited for the opportunity to lead the academic program, continuing to offer high quality education for our students.
It’s been my pleasure to work with the staff, teachers, and clinicians at the Valley View School. One of the things that impresses me the most about the school is that although they are very empathetic and understanding of the boy’s needs and difficulties, they don’t encourage using those difficulties as excuses for abdicating personal responsibility and self-efficacy. It is this balance between supportive interventions and high expectations that I think is one of the school’s greatest strengths.
I have also found that the structured environment helps create an atmosphere where the expectations for the boys are clear and designed to convey the sense of security and stability.
It is this combination of a holistic understanding of the boys, that includes sensitivity to their emotional needs, an appreciation and treatment for their diagnoses, as well as the consistent message that we hope and belief in their ability to rise above their difficulties by accepting help when needed and learning to assume personal responsibility that is one of the most therapeutic influences the school offers.
During more than forty years of practice in clinical psychology, I have had the privilege of accompanying many youngsters on their journey toward personal growth and development. As an affiliate professor in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Clark University and as an Associate in the Departments of both Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, I have tried to share the benefits of that experience with the next generation of clinicians.
The fifteen years during which I have participated in the program of services provided by Valley View School have been among the most clinically rewarding for me. The young men of Valley View’s student body have typically presented both daunting challenges and extraordinary potential. Over and again, I have seen families demonstrate selfless commitment and a readiness to sacrifice so that their sons might draw closer toward realizing that potential. Moreover, I have consistently been extremely impressed with the way the dedicated staff at Valley View provide a context within which growth and development might occur. Most striking is their sincere dedication to the overarching proposition that every student can be helped to move beyond the challenges of adolescence and toward a productive and satisfying experience as a young adult.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to participate in the Valley View program. Further, it has been a humbling honor to have had many students share with me their concerns, their questions, their aspirations, their efforts, their disappointments and their personal successes.
I started my collaboration with Valley View School as a consultant from the Harvard Medical School doing psychological testing with students. I enjoyed my experience and the school environment so much that I was thrilled when I was asked to join as adjunct staff psychologist. I have been serving the student community and their families with my services for the last eight years. My commitment is to helping boys attain their true potential. In doing so, I operate from a collaborative approach with families and the community of Valley View.
The school works as a prototype of community of which the students are the citizens, and staff is there to facilitate their full participation. The boys are confronted with learning to participate responsibly in order to enjoy the benefits. In such ideal challenging context, I work in helping the boy/citizen to work through the specific obstacle in the way of his full participation in the community. Possible obstacles may be constituted by learning disabilities, self-esteem issues, impulse control, and I enjoy working with different techniques and approaches according to the need. However, the unique strengths of this community, however, are: the strong and at the same time simplified structure of life, which helps everybody to follow clear and strong messages; and the high level of communication among all staff which leaves no space for manipulations, and other behaviors unaccounted for. As an experienced child psychologist, I can honestly say that these components are essential for outgrowing the challenges, which these boys bring with them to the school. Because of these elements I have been able to enjoy results with the boys and families I have worked with, that I could have not obtained in any other context.
As a chef for greater than twenty years good nutritious food is my passion. Now as a team member of Valley View School I look forward to working with the staff and to prepare healthful meals that growing boys need. I hope to role model and teach good nutritional habits that the students will have the rest of their lives. Good nutrition is the foundation of good health, this is necessary for active learning.
I look forward to using my teaching skills in the formal incidental teaching of the students as they are in the food preparation area and dining room.