MEET YOUR COUNSELORS!
Betsy Jones- Director of CounselingHi! I have been a teacher/counselor at RBHS since the fall of 1992. I love to come to this high school every day. Rock Bridge is the best thanks to all the wonderful faculty and students! I am extremely passionate about student success and have been involved with the MAC scholars program since its inception in 2002. I have served in many leadership capacities in the building and currently am not only the director of counseling but am the district coordinator for counseling for grades 6 through 12. My husband, son and I live out in the country and love to fish, swim, hike, garden and travel to whitewater rafting rivers. Another true passion of mine is reading and learning.Jordan Alexander - Counselor for students with last names A & T-Z 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 4 year old 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 B-DAlthough this is my first year at Rock Bridge, I am no stranger to the community. This is the third portion of my life living in Columbia and I am thrilled to be back where it feels like "home." 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 in 19 years of experience as an educator, I realize I have a lot yet to learn. I'm very excited 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 Heavy Athletics in which competitors wear traditional Scottish clothing and throw heavy things. It's a great stress release!
Gretchen Cleppe - Counselor for students with last names E-JThis is my second year as a counselor at Rock Bridge High School. Prior to this position, I was a social studies teacher within Columbia Public Schools. I am thrilled that I am able to work with such a positive and energetic department.
My husband, Mike, is a teacher and coach. Our children (Ella and Wesley) keep us quite busy. We spend much of our free time learning with them and moving from one activity to another.
When I have a few minutes to myself, I enjoy reading, walking, and fumbling around on the piano. My children are becoming much better travelers and I look forward to taking advantage of school breaks for longer trips with them!Rachel Reed - Counselor for students with last names K-OI 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. It's hard to believe that this is the beginning of my 12th year as a counselor at RBHS! Time really does fly when you're doing something that you love, and I definitely love my job. In addition to my job as a counselor, I also teach two online courses: Career Exploration and Career Path Internship and sponsor RB Student Ambassadors and Dumbledore's Army.
My time outside of Rock Bridge is usually spent with friends and family (my husband, Austin, and two little boys, Maxwell (Max) and Charlie), baking (especially chocolate chip cookies), reading, or catching up on some of my favorite TV shows. I also love traveling, both within the U.S. and internationally. I have taken several trips to Europe on my own and with students and Austin and I took our boys to Hong Kong this past summer to visit his brother and sister-in-law! It was amazing and I learned that 15 hours on an airplane with a 4 year old and a 1 year old isn't as scary as you'd think ;)As the new school year starts I'm looking forward to meeting my new 9th graders and continuing to get to know my 10th-12th graders!Leslie Kersha - Counselor for students with last names P-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 5 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 baby 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 RESOURCESGwen Struchtemeyer - Gifted EducatorGifted Office (214-3138)Tammy Adkins - School NurseNurse's Office (214-3117)
Sharon McDaniel - Nurse's SecretaryKeisha Edwards - School Resource OfficerSafety and Security Office (214-3128)
Joe Collier - Home School Communicator
Home-School Communications: 573-214-3116