MEET YOUR COUNSELORS!
Rachel Reed - Director of Counseling, AVID CounselorI started working at Rock Bridge in 2005 after completing my Master's in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Career Counseling and Secondary School Counseling. My time outside of Rock Bridge is usually spent with friends and family (my husband, Austin, also works at Rock Bridge and we have three little boys, Max (8 years old), Charlie (5 years old), and Drew (5 months old)), baking (especially chocolate chip cookies), reading, or binge watching Hallmark movies. I also love traveling, both within the U.S. and internationally. I have taken several trips to Europe on my own, and Austin and I have led several EF Tours with students. I am looking forward to seeing all of our students in person - hopefully, soon (fingers crossed!) :)
Carrie McKee - Counselor for students with last names A, T-Z
I am very excited to be part of the RBHS family! Although 2019 was my first year as a school counselor, I am not new to the education world. Prior to being a school counselor, I taught 3rd grade for three years as well as being a College Admissions Counselor for three years. I am originally from Illinois but moved to Missouri for college and never left. I received my Bachelors from Culver-Stockton College while playing collegiate Volleyball and my Masters from Stephens College. My husband is a teacher and coach within the district. I also coach club volleyball here in Columbia. We have three fur babies: Bruce, Dale, and Nash. Exploring all that Columbia has to offer is always fun, especially all the restaurant choices. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your student this school year!Dr. Jordan Alexander - Counselor for students with last names B-C and A+ CoordinatorI have been a school counselor at RBHS since 2012. My career in Columbia Public Schools started in 2002, when I started as an Outreach Counselor (personal and mental health focused) at Jefferson Junior High School. I became the director of guidance there before moving to Rock Bridge one year before we became a 9-12 building. Before entering the school system, I worked at various agencies as a licensed psychologist, mostly doing outpatient counseling with teenagers and their families. I love helping students! Whether it’s academic, personal, or career/college related, I find this work very satisfying. Outside school my wife and I are raising our energetic daughter, walking our dog, biking with friends, or following MU sports. I feel very fortunate to be at Rock Bridge High School and hope that you find your experience here to be equally rewarding.
Dr. Douglas Stansberry - Counselor for students with last names D-F, H
Columbia has been home to me through three different times in my life and I’ve seen its growth and progress over the decades. I earned bachelors and master’s degrees from Mizzou and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. While I bring 22 years of experience as an educator, I learn new things every day about my students and in my career. I’m feel very fortunate to learn and grow with Rock Bridge High School.
I have many interests and hobbies but one of my favorite activities is to train for and compete in Scottish Highland Games in which competitors wear traditional Scottish clothing and throw heavy things…a great stress release!
Gretchen Cleppe - Counselor for students with last names G, I-L
I have had the privilege of working with the fantastic people in counseling at Rock Bridge High School since 2015. Prior to that position, I was a social studies teacher for twenty years. I am thrilled to work in such a positive and energetic department!
My husband, Mike is a teacher and coach. Our two children keep us quite busy moving from one activity to another. When I have a few moments to myself, I enjoy reading, walking, and fumbling around on the piano.
I am extremely excited to welcome the freshman class this year!
Amelia Howser - Counselor for students with last names M-P
I am an alumni of Rock Bridge High School and also worked as a counselor here prior to the opening of Battle High School. I have experience at the Columbia Area Career Center, and West Middle School as well. This is my 10th year serving families as a school counselor and I’m thrilled to get back to my roots! I am passionate about advocating for and supporting ALL students. Please contact me directly if I can be of support to you or your family!Leslie Kersha - Counselor for students with last names Q-SI started my career in education in 2001 here at Rock Bridge as a US Studies/English teacher. After teaching 3 years, I decided I wanted to be able to work with students to help them with personal development, academic development, and post-secondary planning and career goals, so I returned to school to get my Master’s degree in Educational Counseling Psychology. I moved into the R.B.H.S. Counseling office in 2005, and I’ve been here ever since. When I’m not at Rock Bridge, I’m usually spending time with my husband, animals, and family, teaching yoga classes at Yoga Sol in downtown Columbia, attending yoga trainings in Kansas City and St. Louis, or reading books at coffee shops. My mission in life is to educate, help, and inspire those I come into contact with to live full, yet balanced lives. I am looking forward to working with students and colleagues this academic school year. I feel blessed to work at R.B.H.S., and that is largely due to our positive school culture and awesome students and families!Lesley Thalhuber - Outreach Counselor
I have lived in Columbia, MO since 1996 and have been working in the mental health field since 1998. I graduated from Mizzou in 2000 and began working full time as a Certified Recreation Therapy Specialist at Mid-MO Mental Health Center. I went back to school to complete my Masters in Education- Counseling and have been working as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) since 2009. I have been with Columbia Public Schools as an Outreach Counselor since Fall of 2012 and am proud to work with such dedicated staff and amazing students. I provide individual, crisis, and group counseling in the school setting in addition to family consultation and mediation between students when needed. Contact me anytime about community resources, referrals, and mental health issues.
My favorite way to spend my time is with my family and friends. My daughter is 8 and she is AMAZING. We love to stay busy going to the park or the pool, singing, dancing, cooking, reading, watching movies, fairy-gardening, biking, party planning, crafting, and in general being silly. When I get a chance to relax, I love some quiet reading time on the deck or listening to music with my husband.
I look forward to working with the Rock Bridge students, staff, and families this year! Come by and say, “Hi!”
Melissa Coil - Counselor for Student Support
HI! I have been a counselor at Rock Bridge since the fall of 2003, coming just down Providence from Mizzou. I thoroughly enjoy being at Rock Bridge, which is a totally different place than any other high school I have seen. I hope the students take part of all the opportunities they have here for academics and for fun (I’ve enjoyed some myself –just check out this link for my fun at the Golden Cow competition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7mjsPppI14) Along with my position as a counselor, I have been the Head Girl’s Golf Coach since the fall of 2005.
Outside of Rock Bridge, here are a few details about me:
- Married to David and mother of the most awesome little girl Chloe (born December 2013)
- Love to shop, play golf and knit….check out my socks every now and then
- Gotta have caffeine (Starbucks, Diet Coke and Mt. Dew keep me going)
- Enjoy time outside as much as I possibly can-gardening, walking the trails, boating, running
- Even after being in Columbia since 1998, I love exploring and learning more about this awesome city and what it has to offer.
I am a bit different than most other counselors, in that I have a classroom, along with an office—so stop by to say hi (Room 334).
OTHER KEY RESOURCESGifted Education:Jim Meyer - Gifted EducatorGifted Office (214-3138)
Home School Communicator:
Mike Woods - Home School Communicator
HSC Office (573-214-3116)
Nurses Office:Tammy Adkins - School NurseNurse's Office (214-3117)Danielle Lamm - School Nurse
Sharon McDaniel - Nurse's Secretary
Safety and Security:Kevin Keith - Safety and SecuritySafety and Security Office (214-3128)