Who We Are

OUR MISSION

Reinventing K-12 Mental Health Care

By partnering with districts to help them implement culturally inclusive mental health
and behavioral support programs that have been proven to improve care, strengthen
academics, address trauma, and maintain students in-district, we believe that every
child can reach their greatest potential.
THE ESS STORY

Impacting Student Lives for Over a Decade

Since 2009, Effective School Solutions has been a leader in in-school mental health. We began as private therapeutic day school, an out-of-district placement for students who could not be served in their home district. From that experience came an idea- why couldn’t the same type of clinical programming be adapted and offered within the four walls of a school building, so that students could be retained in district? From this simple idea, ESS was founded.
Since that time, ESS has grown from an initial set of two partner districts, who are still with us today, to serving over 2,000 students each day, in 90+ districts across 9 states. Our support for districts has expanded in recent years to support a full range of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support aligned programs for districts, codified in our MTSS Framework for Mental Health.

Our Leadership

Duncan F. Young
CEO
Gerard Barone

Senior Advisor

Lisa Ciappi
Chief Program Officer
Teresa Ely
Regional Vice President Of Programming, NJ
Alyssa Haley
Director Of Quality Management
Joanne Malinka
Regional Vice President Of Programming, New England
Dawn Ortiz
Regional Vice President of Programming, CA
Cheryl Planten
Director of Account Start Up
Michael Roseman
Senior Vice President of District Partnerships
Laine Whitaker

VP of Professional Development

Patsy Grove
Regional Vice President of Programming, Mid-Atlantic

Want to Join
the Team?

There has never been a better time to join the Effective School Solutions team! We are constantly growing as we partner with more and more districts to develop whole-school systems that support the mental and behavioral health of all students.

Contact Us

Effective School Solutions
121 Chanlon Road
New Providence, NJ 07974
973-299-9954
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Duncan F. Young

CEO
Duncan Young has devoted his career to helping students reach their full potential by partnering with school districts to help build capacity and create long-lasting change. Prior to his time at ESS, Duncan was the CEO of Envision, the nation’s largest provider of career exploration programs for K-12 students. Prior to that he led the school consulting and teacher professional development division of Scholastic, Inc. Duncan has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BS from the University of North Carolina. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Katie, and three daughters, Mary Grace, Georgia and Cecilia.
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Patsy Grove

Regional Vice President of Programming, Mid-Atlantic
Patsy Grove is a Regional Vice President of Programming overseeing the Mid-Atlantic region. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of clinical experience working with adolescents and adults in a variety of clinical settings including residential, outpatient and medical facilities. Patsy is passionate about working with high-risk populations while incorporating increased family engagement and involvement strategies to help promote emotional, behavioral, and familial success. She is dedicated to making sure we provide quality clinical programming and support, while also ensuring positive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders.
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Laine Whitaker

VP of Professional Development

Laine Whitaker, MSL is the Vice President of Professional Learning at ESS. She has over 15 years of teaching experience serving at-risk youth at the New Jersey State Department of Children and Families, Office of Education. Additionally, she was a High School Dean of Students before transitioning to consulting. Laine is an Advanced Trainer of The Nurtured Heart Approach®, a Certified Mental Health First Aid® Instructor and holds several Parenting and Youth Group Facilitator certifications. She has a Social Work certification from Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in Leadership from Cabrini University. At ESS, Laine uses her knowledge and passion for healthy student engagement to offer professional learning, coaching, and consulting to educators and parents. Laine was also an Adjunct Professor at Cabrini University where she taught a course on Social-Emotional Learning, which she designed for education majors.
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Michael Roseman

Senior Vice President of District Partnerships
Mike is the Senior Vice President of District Partnerships for ESS. In this role, he oversees the development of new district partnerships and programs as ESS continues to broaden its clinical programming to impact more students, families, and schools across the country. Prior to joining ESS, Mike spent 14 years at Edmentum, developing a deep understanding of how to create and maintain successful large-scale implementations. Mike has been an educator, designing curriculum and teaching secondary coursework to students with disabilities, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education, with a focus on Character Education.
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Cheryl Planten

Director of Account Start Up
Cheryl Planten is the Director of Account Start Up for ESS. Prior to joining ESS, Cheryl spent over 25 years working at Connecticut Hospitals, managing Child and Adolescent Partial Hospital Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Outpatient Services, as well as Adult Addictions Services. Cheryl has a master’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations and is both a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
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Dawn Ortiz

Regional Vice President of Programming, CA
Dawn Ortiz is the Regional Vice President of Programming for California. Dawn joined ESS in 2011 as a program coordinator demonstrating a passion for culturally inclusive mental health in schools and its impact on teachers, students, and their families. Since graduating from New York University in 1998 with an MSW, she has worked in various settings ranging from psychiatric hospitals, general education, behavioral and alternative schools, and addiction centers. Dawn oversees Regional Directors who ensure the mission of ESS, which is to allow students and their families to fully benefit from all their district has to offer.
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Joanne Malinka

Regional Vice President of Programming, New England
Joanne Malinka is the Regional Vice President for New England. Joanne has 19 years of experience working with at-risk populations (children, adolescence, families, and adults) in various clinical settings. In her career, she has worked closely and collaboratively with the Department of Children and Families, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, several Connecticut school districts, hospitals, the foster care system, and other clinical providers. Her focus and passion have always been in promoting, implementing, and teaching trauma informed treatment/care. Joanne has been with ESS since 2017
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Alyssa Haley

Director Of Quality Management
Alyssa Haley is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She graduated from New York University with a Masters of Social Work in May 2000. Ms. Haley has extensive training in the areas of depression, anxiety, trauma, play therapy, and the Nurtured Heart Approach®. Ms. Haley started her social work career working with the homeless, psychiatric population in New York City. Recognizing the need to intervene earlier in consumers’ lives, she began to work with adolescents and children. Ms. Haley joined ESS in 2011 and has had many roles within the organization including clinician, Director of Quality Management & Regional Director.
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Teresa Ely

Regional Vice President of Programming, NJ
Teresa Ely is the Regional Vice President of Programming for New Jersey. Prior to joining ESS 10 years ago, Teresa has an additional 11 years of clinical experience with adolescents in a variety of clinical settings such as psychiatric hospitals, residential settings, traditional outpatient settings, and had her own private practice. Teresa is very passionate about the mission of ESS and creating a therapeutic safe environment for our students so they can learn and grow both academically and personally.
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Lisa Ciappi

Chief Program Officer

Lisa Ciappi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has 19 years of experience working with adolescents and families in various settings. She has provided direct care and supervised clinicians within ESS since 2011. Lisa is passionate about the mission of ESS and is vested in seeing students and families succeed.

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Gerard Barone

Chief Clinical Officer

Since beginning his career in 1981, Jerry has played a critical role in the development of numerous innovative programming initiatives for adolescents with psychiatric and/or substance abuse disorders. Jerry has worked in both residential and outpatient settings. He has held positions at Carrier Clinic, High Focus Centers, and Cornerstone Day School. In 2009, Jerry joined ESS where he led the development of their unique protocols and supervised all staff and programming. In his current role of Chief Clinical Officer, Jerry oversees Quality Management, New Programming Development, Consultation and Professional Learning Services.

Learn more about Funding Sustainable School-Based Mental Health Programs

Complete this form to schedule a free mental health planning session where we will discuss available financial sources you can leverage to fund school-based mental health programs in your district.

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Our Unwavering Focus on Data Collection

At ESS, we have an unrelenting focus on data, measuring results, and communicating to our partners the proven impact our programming has on mental health, school outcomes and financial sustainability.

With every ESS partner, we will:

• Set data driven goals at the beginning of every implementation

• Have regular “Report Card” meetings in which we share the impact of ESS services

• Monitor data along the way to look for potential risk areas so that these can be proactively addressed

Learn more about our Will to Wellness 6 Step Framework

Complete this form to discuss best practices for districts, states, and federal policymakers that will reinvent mental health in schools over the next five years.

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Speak with our experts to learn how your district can improve outcomes and reduce costs

Complete this form to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your needs and challenges and to provide insights on where you may be able to improve mental health support.

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Let’s Discuss Your Student Mental Health Needs

Fill out the form to request a meeting with one of our clinical experts to explore ways we can partner to strengthen your mental health programs.

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