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Ray of Light

About Us

2021-2022 Educational Foundation Board of Directors

President - Julie B. Wolter, Psy.D. 

Treasurer - David Smith, M.Ed., NCSP

Secretary - Celene Barnes, Psy.D.

Board Member - Valerie Leyton, LCMHC

Board Member- Peter Whelley, MS, NCSP

Board Member and NHPA Executive Director -Ms. Jena Mottola

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Dr. Julie Wolter is originally from the suburbs of Chicago Illinois and resided in New Hampshire for sixteen years until moving to Rhode Island in May of 2019 to be with her husband.  She worked at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord, New Hampshire until she began full time private practice in 2007.  In addition to private practice and maintaining the position of President of the New Hampshire Psychological Association Education Foundation, Julie is a passionate advocate for mental health and substance use treatment for New Hampshire, continuing to serve as Chair of New Hampshire Psychological Association’s Behavioral Healthcare Advocacy Committee.  Julie’s interests include leather-making, her guinea pigs, and learning about investing.  She hopes to build NHPAEF as a conduit of education for legislators on the importance of access to mental health care for all NH residents as well as to support the students of psychology on their journey from training to career.

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Treasurer David "Dave" Smith grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire and graduated from Derryfield. He earned his Master of Education in school psychology and guidance counseling from Bucknell and then worked for thirty years in New Hampshire public schools in the Lakes region, Seacoast, and Upper Valley. Following retirement a few years ago he covered a maternity leave for the district psychologist in Springfield, Vermont. He also worked twenty summers as a camp counselor on Lake Winnipesaukee. Dave was involved with the New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists for many years, serving as newsletter editor, president, and multiple terms as treasurer. In 2019, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the association. His interests include hiking in the White Mountains and sitting on the shores of Lake Winnisquam. Dave hopes to help New Hampshire Psychological Association Educational Foundation shine a spotlight on the profession of psychology for New Hampshire residents. 



Dr. Celene Barnes joined the Education Foundation Board in 2020. Raised in Massachusetts, she spent over a decade in California where she completed both her undergrad and graduate degrees. Celene studied at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego and graduated in 2002. Inspired by her work as a peer counselor while an undergraduate student at UC Davis, Celene focused her training and clinical experiences at CSPP in the areas of college mental health and sport psychology. She returned to New England in 2003 to complete her post-doctoral fellowship at Salem State University Counseling and Health Services and then joined the MIT Mental Health Services department as a full-time staff psychologist. Celene opened her private practice in Nashua in 2011 and has equally enjoyed her clinical work and being a small business owner. Celene joins the Education Foundation Board with a passion for advocating for access to mental health care for all New Hampshire residents.

Valerie M. Leyton joined the Educational Foundation Board in 2020.  She has been in clinical practice for eighteen years and licensed since 2005. She graduated with her MA in Clinical Counseling and a certificate in Multicultural Counseling from Rivier College in 2002. She has experience in working with both adults and youth. In her earlier years she worked with youth involved with substance abuse, mental health issues and fire setting. Currently her primary clinical focus includes working with individuals with behavioral issues, family communication problems, mood disorders, relationships, adjustment issues, self-esteem issues, chronic pain and cultural issues.


She currently works for Spidaliere Psychological Associates in Nashua, NH and her primary focus is working with individuals with anxiety, depression, communication issues, chronic pain, cultural issues, trauma and adjustment issues. She is also a yoga instructor at a local Nashua Yoga studio and enjoys spending time with family and friends and being on the Cape.

Peter Whelley joined the NHPAEF in 2021. He spent much of his childhood in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, before coming to New England to earn a BA in Psychology from Boston University. He has a Masters in School Psychology from the University of Dayton and worked in the public school systems in Ohio and West Virginia.  In 1988 he relocated to New Hampshire to work with public and private schools here, for over 30 years. Peter has a strong interest in promoting the practice of psychology, and has been an adjunct faculty member at Shepherd University in West Virginia, and Rivier University and Plymouth State University here in New Hampshire.  He has been actively involved in the leadership of State, National and International School Psychology Associations advocating for the Education and Mental Health for all children. In retirement he and his wife enjoy their children and grandchildren, kayaking, and whenever possible travel. Peter comes to NHPAEF with the mission to increase awareness of, and access to Mental Health Services here in New Hampshire.


Jena Mottola's joined the New Hampshire Psychological Association Educational Foundation in 2018. She brings with her over twenty-five years in the nonprofit arena. When Jena first started her career her focus was on family  and immigrant literacy, education and outreach. Her years working in Cambridge, Massachusetts gave her the  foundation and experience to understand a broad range of social and economic issues that communities continue to  face today. Her role specifically as Executive Director of a Historical Society & Museum in Oklahoma is where she gained her additional experience in educational programming, fundraising and strategic organization.  Jena is passionate about nonprofit work and has a personal and lifelong respect for mental health. In her spare time she immerses herself in all things health and nutrition. She loves hiking and hanging out with her husband, two kiddos and the family dog. Jena holds a dual master’s degree in nonprofit management as well as negotiation and conflict resolution.

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