This is a  staff list for La Europa Academy in Salt Lake City, UT

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)


We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at La Europa Academy.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at La Europa Academy, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by La Europa Academy, please contact if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.


HEAL is currently investigating La Europa Academy.



Additional Information
Melissa Negrete Human Resources  
Courtney Merrill Director  
David Mayeski Admissions Director Formerly worked for New Haven RTC.
Nora Urbanelli Clinical Director  
Kristin Lambert Residential Director  
Kori Mayeski Educational Director Formerly worked for New Haven RTC.
Sydel Morris-Greco Special Ed Director  
Aimee Halley Nursing Director  
Kelli Hansen Teacher  
Jill Buckmiller Teacher  
Eric Whittaker Teacher  
Adrienne Noakes Teacher  
Christine Anderson Teacher  
Betsy Miller Teacher  
Rachel Gardner Teacher  
Marianne Wilson Teacher  
Amy Pilkington Teacher  
Mandy Woodhouse Teacher  
Ashley Ord Therapist  
Karen McElligott Therapist Formerly worked for New Haven RTC.
Michael Lambert Therapist  
Melissa Stephens Therapist  
Sandra Priedeman Therapist  
Meg Ellingson Residential  
Richard Long Program Director  
Robbi O'Kelley Executive Director Formerly worked at New Leaf Academy in Bend, OR.
(La Europa Academy, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)
HEAL has reviewed the application for La Europa.  However, the admissions application does not include the contract, waivers, or program details (i.e. parent/student handbooks).  In order to provide a complete review of this program, we require those items to be submitted. 

HEAL Review: La Europa Academy Admissions Application (as downloaded from on November 1st, 2010):

Concerns that arise with page 1, "Admissions Instructions":

"Overnight a $650.00 non-refundable application fee to PO Box 57580, Murray, UT, 84157 (made payable to CERTS)."

It is a serious concern that La Europa Academy demands an outrageous application fee before delivering the contract or program details to the family.  Since the fee is non-refundable, this appears to be unethical and profit-driven as opposed to focused on healing families.

"Once your daughter has been accepted into La Europa Academy program, upon admission you must bring a Certified Cashier's Check for $11,450.00, which includes one month's tuition in the amount of $9,950.00 and $1,500 for your daughter's trust account."

It is a serious concern that this program costs nearly triple what the costs are for a year at Harvard University, including room and board.  This suggests that La Europa Academy over-charges for its services and is a serious concern.  "Harvard University will increase tuition next school year by 3.8 percent, the school announced yesterday, bringing the annual cost of a Harvard education, including room and board, to $50,724." (Source:, March 19th, 2010)

"You will receive a pre-admission packet with the Treatment Contract, and a multitude of forms to be signed and brought with you to admission."

It is a serious concern that families are expected to spend $650 without having seen the "Treatment Contract" and "multitude of forms" required by the program.  Again, this suggests a profit-driven motive and a scam/rip-off.  Families should demand to see all paperwork before making any investment in this program.

"If your daughter is to be brought to the facility by a transport company, our Director of Operations can provide you with the names of several transport companies."

It is a serious concern that La Europa Academy allows for and suggests families use transport companies (hired kidnappers).  Such practices traumatize children and are arguable illegal according to various law enforcement agencies.  Such suggests that La Europa does not make the child's well-being a priority and is a serious concern.

On pages 2 through 4, La Europa asks for the date of birth, social security number, annual income, occupation, and employment information for all immediate adult family members including biological parents, adoptive parents, and step-parents.  This is a serious concern as such information gives the program access to your private financial information and the information can be misused for harassment and/or identity theft.  Even if La Europa Academy is above board, this information request is excessive and even the best program seems unable to avoid hiring those who would misuse such information.

On page 5, La Europa asks for the referral/educational consultant information.  Parents should ask if La Europa Academy ever compensates referrers as this would also suggest unethical practices/kickbacks and be a serious concern given the proclivity of this industry to use false advertising and deceptive marketing to sell their programs.  See the congressional hearings for more information.

On pages 9 through 12, La Europa asks for a number of psychologically evaluative-type responses, which, the parent is unlikely able to provide or provide accurately.  This is a serious concern given the fact that many parents are not aware or not being given local and less expensive therapeutic alternatives.  Community-based treatment is recommended and the residential "treatment" industry is changing/closing as a result of these trends, except in Utah where scientific evidence and proper treatment lag behind modern scientifically proven therapeutic techniques.

On page 14, La Europa Academy (a reportedly all girl program), requests the sexual history, menstruation schedule, and private medical information (including whether or not a girl has had any abortions and if so, how many) in the application.  This is excessive and disrespectful of the needs of the young woman to have control of such information and with whom it is shared.  Since La Europa Academy is not a medical facility, the requesting of such information to determine application status is a concern.

Overall, we have many concerns about La Europa Academy and would recommend against any program in Utah that uses the Positive Control Systems' method.  See below for more information and links.

La Europa Academy uses the same Positive Control Systems' methods as Eagle Ranch Academy and WWASPS.
The HEAL Report: Episode 50: La Europa Academy Exposed! 
This episode features a survivor of La Europa Academy who asked that we include the following clarifications:

"Also, I realized I said a couple things that weren't totally accurate (and I want to make sure I'm being completely honest!). 1. A couple of them [fellow residents] had heard of Hurricane Katrina, but didn't know the details, or anything else that was happening. 2. They didn't fire the staff I had a sexual relationship with, he quit (they said they would have fired him if he hadn't quit, but still)."


 Last Updated: February 14th, 2018

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