Spaulding Academy & Family Services Announces Three Spirit Award Winners

February 03, 2022
Donnelle Combs, Teaching Associate

Northfield, NH – Spaulding Academy & Family Services is pleased to announce the winners of its monthly Spaulding Spirit awards for the fourth quarter of 2021: Donnelle Combs – October, Kristin Cain – November, and Nichole Brizer – December. Nominated by their fellow employees, these staff members are recognized for modeling the spirit of the organization and inspiring their peers with their energy and dedication.

Combs has been employed with Spaulding Academy & Family Services for 18 years since he graduated from Plymouth State University with a degree in Psychology and Law. Originally a member of the Residential team, he now serves as a teaching associate at Spaulding Academy where he teaches math and English. He is a founding and current member of the staff-led Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that is working to strengthen the organization’s culture and raise awareness.

Kristin Cain, Residential Shift Leader

Cain is a shift leader and residential counselor and has been with the organization for nearly 17 years as part of the Residential team. Prior to her work at Spaulding Academy & Family Services, she worked with children with medical and physical challenges in Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Art with a minor in Coaching from Elms College.

Brizer is also a shift leader and residential counselor who has been employed at Spaulding Academy & Family Services for three years. She previously held various positions in the veterinary and customer service fields.

“The individuals who choose to share their talents with Spaulding Academy & Family Services are special people,” said Lys Miller-Drake, SHRM-SCP, Human Relations & Employee Engagement Director. “They make positive impacts on the daily lives—and futures—of the children we serve, and we are grateful for their contributions. The Spaulding Spirit Award is a way for their fellow team members and our leadership to recognize their exceptional service.”

Nichole Brizer, Residential Shift Leader

For more information about Spaulding Academy & Family Services and its current employment opportunities, visit

Check out this news on the front page of the Winnisquam Echo, in the Laconia Daily Sun, in the NH Union Leader’s Business Newsmakers column, and in the Concord Monitor’s Hometown People section! For print-ready pdfs, click on the publication name for: the Winnisquam Echo, the Laconia Daily Sun, the NH Union Leader, and the Concord Monitor.

About Spaulding Academy & Family Services

Spaulding Academy & Family Services is a leading provider of educational, residential, therapeutic and community-based programs and services for families, and children and youth with neurological, emotional, behavioral, learning or developmental challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and those who have experienced significant trauma, abuse or neglect. Established in 1871, Spaulding Academy & Family Services is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was formerly known as Spaulding Youth Center since 1958. Its scenic hilltop campus is located on over 500 acres in Northfield, NH and welcomes boys and girls from ages 4 to 21 from around the state of New Hampshire and beyond. In addition to programs provided on the Northfield campus, Spaulding Academy & Family Services’ community-based programs include foster family licensing, Individual Service Option (ISO) foster care, ISO in-home services, child health support services, and more for children ages 0 to 20 and their family. For information about Spaulding Academy & Family Services, visit

Click here to download the official press release.


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