Our Staff

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Diane Lasher-Penti

Youth Services Director, LMFT


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Diane is the director of Ellington Youth Services and licensed marriage and family therapist.  Diane specialize in anxiety, depression and trauma, she has extensive training in CBT, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, play therapy, adventure based therapies, suicide assessments and interventions, substance use assessments and interventions including smoking/vaping cessations programs. Diane also is trained in Psychological first aid/post-traumatic stress management.

Diane is a trainer in Mental Health First Aid, SBIRT, QPR, Talk Saves Lives, SOS, and MBSR for Teens.  Diane has done presentations on 5 Principles of Psychological First Aid, Creating HOPE, Grounding and Self-Care and Social Emotional Learning basics and how to make it part of your life and work, Stress to Courage, Anxiety Talks, What is Trauma Informed and Truancy Issues. 

Diane has worked with youth from pre-school to 12th grade as an instructor classrooms and other school settings like small groups on conflict resolutions skills, social skills, emotional regulations, grief and divorce. 

Diane has a passion and commitment to improve the lives of the children and to create a safe place for youth and their families can work on their mental health, relationships and connection to the community. 

Kristen Harp

Assistant Youth Service Director

EYS Alliance Advisor


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Kristen Harp is the Assistant Youth Services Director for the Town of Ellington. Kristen has a Bachelors in Sociology: Family and Gender Studies and a Masters in Elementary Education. She has worked in education in both urban and suburban settings for ten years before joining the Town of Ellington’s Youth Services Department.

Kristen has also completed certifications and trainings in Mental Health First Aid, QPR Gatekeeper, Psychological First Aid Responder, SOS, SBIRT, and Talk Saves Lives.

Kristen utilizes her education background to serve the community of Ellington while developing and promoting programs that focus on growth through creativity, diversity, equality, and leadership.

Kayla Condron

Prevention Coordinator


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Kayla Condron has worked at EYS in various roles for the past 10 years, with the current role as Prevention Coordinator. She aims to provide community awareness & outreach while fostering emotional & physical safety for Ellington’s youth and families.

Kayla has worked with preschool aged children up to young adults. Kayla has vast amounts of training in this field including: state certified sexual assault counselor, tobacco treatment specialist, psychological first aid, mental health first aid, QPR gatekeeper, SOS, and a certified SMART Recovery Facilitator. Kayla also has a passion for the arts which is shown through designing and illustrating or many publications, logos, and marketing materials. She is also currently expanding her education by being in school pursuing her goal of becoming an LMFT.

Jessica Maitland

Program Coordinator


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Jessica Maitland has been a part of the EYS team since 2020. As program coordinator, Jessica works with preschool aged children up to young adults. She has taken on the role of incorporating mindfulness into many of Youth Services’ programs. She has completed a teacher training in yoga and mindfulness which focuses on the complete physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of students offered through Little Flower Yoga. Her other certificates include that in mental health first aid, psychological first aid, and Signs of Suicide trainer. Her most notable projects so far have been researching and creating mental health publications, leading elementary- aged emotional awareness classes, mentoring high school students, and offering conversations around managing anxiety.