The Team

Our team sees you.

Our team has a lived addiction experience and a desire to help teens break the debilitating habits that derail futures through education and recovery. Walking the road of recovery is something no one should walk alone. So, we will walk alongside you.


COO, Wellspring Academy
“As a person in long-term recovery, I achieved sobriety at the age of 16. Each day, I live through what it takes to maintain a recovering lifestyle. Treatment and sobriety did not come easy. Despite having some successes, in retrospect, I now realize how fortunate and fragile early recovery was for me — especially when it came to being reintegrated into society once the treatment experience was over. I am vividly aware to this day just how stressful and unprepared I was to deal with a society that on a day-to-day basis was not adequately equipped to deal with some of the emotional and developmental challenges I brought back into the academic environment. At the time when I got sober, there was no support system that existed for a young person in my situation.”


Recovery Coach

“I always say I have two recovery stories — the reason being that I have been in recovery as an adult and an adolescent. Because of this, I bring a very unique experience to the table as a person in long-term recovery. In my adolescent years, it took a village to help me maintain my sobriety. This was the very experience that helped plant the seeds needed to one day become a successful adult in recovery. For this reason, I am very passionate about supporting students as they navigate the process of being a young person in recovery. When I became a professional in this field, I was very disheartened to find that the supports that were in place during high school — the ones that actually enabled me to succeed and graduate on time —no longer existed. This village I mentioned above was imperative to my ability to remain sober until the completion of high school and entrance into college. I know what it takes to be successful as a young person in recovery; and I intend to recreate that village of support within Wellspring Academy so our students are supported in the best way possible on their recovery journey.”

Faculty & Staff

Making sure we select the right people to work with our students is critical to the success of the students and the school.
If you have a lived addiction experience and a heart for working to help teens walk in recovery, consider joining the Wellspring Academy family. Please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Support Organizations

Developing a school of this nature is not done alone. Wellspring would like to thank the following for their time, input and support:

  • City of Farmington Hills
  • Wayne County Substance Use Disorder Provider Network
  • Tri-County PIHP’s
  • Key Michigan legislative officials
  • Wayne County Intermediate School District
  • Oakland County Intermediate School District
  • Michigan International Preparatory Schools
  • Jamie Daniels Foundation
  • Detroit Recovery Project
  • St. Mary Mercy Hospital
  • Greater Detroit Area Health Council
  • Rivers Bend Adolescent Outpatient Programs
  • Michigan Association of Treatment Courts

Alternative Peer Groups

In addition to academic support and development, Wellspring Academy is forming an Alternative Peer Group (APG) for the Academy. The APG serves as a vital component of support for students while at Wellspring Academy. The APG is a group of recovering young people who are actively seeking recovery supports, fellowship, and social and recreational supports — while engaged in an abstinence-based lifestyle.

The APG will include structured activities such as: support meetings, community service activities, recovery-oriented educational opportunities, and less structured events to promote fellowship that may include involvement in young people’s events both onsite and in the community.

Advisory Board

Wellspring Academy is guided by a board of experts that is responsible for defining the school’s mission, ensuring the school remains fiscally sound, providing leadership and representing Wellspring in the greater community.

Brian Spitsbergen, Ph.D, LPC, CAADC*

COO, Wellspring Academy

Division Director, Substance Use Disorder & Recovery Support Services, Wellspring Lutheran Services

Ghada Abdallah

Pharmacist, Beaumont Health System

Steve Archibald

Superintendent, South Lyon Public Schools

Michele Baldori, LLMSW

Recovery Coach, Wellspring Academy

Karen Bonanno

Executive Director, Livonia Save Our Youth Coalition

Karen Braxton

Juvenile Division Judge, 3rd Circuit Court

Scott L. Crabill, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor of Communication, Oakland University

Lisa Daniels

Parent & Co Founder, Jamie Daniels Foundation

Sean de Four, LMSW

President & CEO, Southwest Solutions

Nicki Gabel

Director of Special Events, GDAHC

David M. Gehm

President & CEO, Wellspring Lutheran Services

Jill Haiser

VP of Mission Advancement & Foundation Executive Director
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Andy Hopson

Parent & FAN Board Member, Northwest Wayne County

Andre Johnson

President & CEO, Detroit Recovery Project

Tim Kalbfleisch

Senior VP & Chief Financial Officer
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Albert D. Kaul, LMSW, NHA

VP of Human Resources & CPO
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Dawn Kepler

Community Coordinator, Collegiate Recovery

Kris T. Kirby, Ed.S., L.L.P.C

Director of Innovation, Michigan International Prep School

Kevin Lane

Principal, Starkweather Academy

Randy Leipa

Superintendent, Wayne County RESA

Andrea Logan

President, All Med Medical
Board of Directors, Wellspring Lutheran Services

Cara Ludlow

Michigan State University
Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Coordinator

Mona Makki

Director, ACCESS Community Health and Research Center

Todd Mutchler

City Manager & Director of Public Safety
Northville Township

Megan Noland

Director of Governmental Affairs and Senior Advisor
Oakland County Sheriff

Brian Oakley

Judge, 34th District Court

Darlene Owens

Vice President, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries

Kadi Prout, LMSW

Associate Executive Director
Michigan Federation for Children and Families

Tom Rea

Maintenance Supervisor of New Directions Campus
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Jason Schwartz

Director of Behavioral Medicine
St. Mary Mercy Hospital

Jason Sroufe, MA

Division Director, Family Services
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Suzie Staley

Associate Director, Neutral Zone

Scott Steenbergh

Clinician, Rivers Bend PC

Karen Storck

Board of Directors, Wellspring Lutheran Services

Regan Thorp

Coordinator of SUD Recovery Supports
Wayne State University

Marie Tolen, LMSW

Campus Director, New Directions
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Tom Willis

Co-Founder & Partner
Phoenix Partners

Paul Wolanin

Supervisor of Substance Abuse Disorder Support Program, Wellspring Lutheran Services

Steve Zwart, LMSW

VP of Program Development
Wellspring Lutheran Services
* Advisory Board Chair

The mission of Wellspring Academy is to provide a safe, sober and supportive academic environment where students can achieve their highest level of educational success and personal recovery. Wellspring Academy does not discriminate against any student because of race, gender, creed, religion or sexual orientation.

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