Meet Our Team

Our talented masters-level learning therapists work with our students, using research-supported approaches to provide world class treatment for the individuals that we serve.  We develop the educational scaffolding that is essential to produce thoughtful, prepared, and confident young men.

Andy Sapp, PhD

Founder, President, Owner

Bio

Dr. Andrew Sapp is the Founder & CEO of both Cherry Gulch Academy and Cherry Gulch. He has extensive experience working with children and adolescents in the fields of mental health and psychology. Dr. Sapp earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. He also graduated with honors from Oregon State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

In the early stages of his career, Dr. Sapp was a Field Supervisor and Therapist at a therapeutic wilderness program, the lead therapist on the adolescent unit of a locked inpatient psychiatric hospital, a therapist at a group home for foster boys where he did family preservation work. He also worked as a therapist at two community mental health clinics, a community college, an elementary school, and a youth correctional facility. Andrew is a veteran and honorably served as a Naval Lieutenant stationed at a Naval Medical Center where he worked as a therapist.

Dr. Sapp has served on the Government Relations Committee for the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and a committee that wrote best practice guidelines for small therapeutic programs, much of which was later incorporated into NATSAP’s best practice guidelines for members. He has also been honored to present at a number of national and regional conferences.

Dr. Sapp has worked with patients ranging from 4 to 80 years of age and truly understands psychology and human development. He believes that therapeutic intervention can prevent a child from throwing away their future. He truly believes that to reach adolescents, one’s therapeutic interventions must be supportive, creative, and engaging. He is an expert in working with adolescent boys and at using the natural environment and everyday activities to create positive change in a child’s life. He is a firm believer in the power of outdoor experiential activities, adventures, and animals to aid in the healing process. He also believes that to effect lasting change in an adolescent, a holistic (mind, body, and spirit) approach is necessary.

Cherry Gulch is arguably the best therapeutic boarding school in the world for the population of middle school boys that they specialize in. Dr. Sapp and his team started the school from nothing but dirt and sage brush and Cherry Gulch is now the largest private employer in the County. Cherry Gulch has been honored by the Idaho Psychological Association as the “Overall most psychologically healthy workplace” in the State and by the Idaho Business Review as “One of the best places to work” in the State. Cherry Gulch has also been selected numerous times for National recognition for “Excellence in Education”. In 2011, the Idaho Business Review selected Dr. Sapp as one of the top 40 “Accomplished Under 40” professionals in the State.

Dr. Sapp is deeply passionate about helping boys who struggle academically because learning differences run in his family and he too has undiagnosed learning disabilities that he has spent much of his life trying to overcome. Andrew believes that these challenges have helped him become more determined to reach his goals. By far his greatest accomplishment has been starting two successful programs and serving the many students and families that have benefited from this award winning and life changing programs. His greatest joy is spending time with his three precious little girls and his wonderful wife.

Si Steinberg, MD

Consulting Psychiatrist

Bio

Dr. Si Steinberg was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and obtained an undergraduate Bachelors of Science degree in Anthropology-Zoology. Dr. Steinberg’s primary undergraduate focus was on Medical Anthropology. He graduated Honors with High Distinction.

Dr. Steinberg attended the University of Michigan Medical School where he was admitted to Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary medical society for top students. Following his graduation from medical school in 1986, he attended UCLA where he spent the first two years of his psychiatry residency. The latter three years of his residency training, including his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, were at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. In addition to his Child and Adolescent Fellowship, Dr. Steinberg also obtained subspecialty training in Family Therapy through an externship at The Brattleboro Family Institute. He also obtained additional independent training and supervision for the treatment of victims of child abuse and adult survivors of trauma. Dr. Steinberg then went on to serve as the Clinical Director at a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho. He simultaneously became the primary consulting psychiatrist at a regional residential child and adolescent treatment center as well as consulting with rural community mental health clinics in the Lewiston-Clarkston area.

He has consulted with various school districts in the Lewiston/Clarkston/Boise/Nampa/Ontario areas. Dr. Steinberg is currently the primary consulting psychiatrist for the State of Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, Ada County detention center, and several group homes for adults and children with developmental disabilities. In addition, he is the Medical Director and treating psychiatrist for numerous community mental health clinics in the Treasure Valley. Dr. Steinberg regularly conducts trainings for physicians, other mental health professionals and the general public in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders with particular emphasis on differential diagnosis, child trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and medication management.

Katie Rienstra, LCSW

Executive Director

Bio

Katie is a licensed clinician with an M.A. from Boise State University. She is the Executive Director of Cherry Gulch. She has been with CG since 2015 and has served as a therapist and Clinical Director. Previously she has worked with children, adolescents and their families in multiple settings including hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics and schools. She is a registered supervisor with the state of Idaho and enjoys providing supervision for master’s level clinicians seeking clinical licensure as well as interns working on their LSW or LMSW degrees. Her therapeutic focus is in Trauma-Informed Care, Social Thinking, and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).

Katie is an Idaho native but lived in Minnesota for 4 years to complete her undergraduate studies and participate in collegiate softball. In 2008 she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Health Care from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Boise State University in 2009, during which time she completed an internship with Cherry Gulch. In Katie’s time away from work she enjoys activities with her husband, new baby boy and family in the outdoors. She actively enjoys hiking, softball, fishing and hunting.

Melissa Proctor

Admissions

Bio

Melissa joined Cherry Gulch Academy after teaching for 15 years in the classroom. During those years, she taught special education classes, high school alternative school classes, middle school, and kindergarten. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from William Penn University in Iowa, with endorsements in Special Education and Reading. Much of her time has been focused on childhood development and helping to provide interventions and accommodations within school teams for students with learning differences. She was a teacher mentor and served on the leadership committee for several years. She and her husband, Chris adopted three beautiful daughters, and they spend time together outdoors camping, hiking, and playing!

Contact Info: [email protected]; Ph (208) 817-3128

Doug Green

Operations Director

Bio

Doug Green has his master’s degree in educational administration and he successfully taught middle-school mathematics for 6 years, serving at risk youth in the Las Vegas area. He earned his undergraduate degrees in construction management and business management, has been the Human Resources Director for a large, Las Vegas construction company and the Legal Administrator for a Las Vegas law firm. Doug is also a military veteran, having served in various positions in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

Doug feels that one of his life’s purposes is to help younger kids see how important and amazing they already are and to help them grow and develop into the best and happiest people they can be. With that belief and goal, he has volunteered extensively in the Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, and now finds great satisfaction and purpose with us at Cherry Gulch Academy.

As the Director of Operations, Doug’s mission is to facilitate the success of students at Cherry Gulch Academy by ensuring that the campus, facilities, food, vehicles and more are perfectly situated. His attention to detail coupled with his affinity for working with youth make him a natural fit here at Cherry Gulch Academy.

Bobbi Geiger, MNA, M.Ed, LSW

Clinical Director

Bio

Bobbi Geiger has over 25 years of experience in child welfare and human services as a practitioner and a senior manager. Bobbi began in a Therapeutic Foster Care program in North Dakota in 1992. She served as a case manager for seven years before moving into progressive managerial positions. In the fall of 2009, Bobbi relocated to Idaho to develop a statewide therapeutic foster care program as an Executive Director. Under her leadership, the program grew to five locations throughout the state. In addition to her work in therapeutic foster care Bobbi has worked in various roles in community-based treatment programs including a youth detention center, group home, and day treatment programs.
She holds degrees in Social Work and Criminal Justice from Minnesota State University, a Master of Education in Counseling from North Dakota State University, and a Masters of Nonprofit Administration from North Park University, Chicago. She is a Licensed Social Worker in Idaho. She was the 1998 Child Welfare League of America’s Western Region Child Welfare Worker and the recipient of the PATH Don Crompton Award of Excellence in Social Work in 2001.
Bobbi was drawn to Cherry Gulch Academy because of their approach to treatment, their focus on collaborative relationships, and their commitment to helping adolescents move towards a healthy start to adulthood. Bobbi believes wholeheartedly in using a relational approach as the foundation to join with others to help them address the obstacles that life brings to us all in different ways.
Bobbi strives to create a nurturing and safe atmosphere in which individuals are respected and can be supported in their efforts to change and grow as well as become connected to their strengths. She is genuine and passionate about helping adolescents and families. Adolescents and parents appreciate her nonjudgmental approach and her compassionate, calm and sincere style.
Bobbi is dedicated to equipping young people with the tools and techniques for embracing their growth and supporting their transformation during adolescence. Her areas of interest include transitions, conflict resolution, depression, self-injurious behaviors, anxiety, trauma, grief, parenting skills, social skills, and independent living skills. Bobbi integrates techniques from a variety of approaches in her practice that include family systems, cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, experiential, mindfulness, systemic and structural therapy. She believes helping is an honor, therapy is a collaborative adventure and that we all do well when we can.
Outside of Cherry Gulch Academy, Bobbi enjoys time with her husband and adult children, gardening, caring for her pets, reading and relaxing in the sun.

Treva Leslie, LPC

Therapist

Bio

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Idaho, holding a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Capella University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I returned back to school after raising my two children and owning and operating a floral business for 26 years. After selling my business I accepted a full time position as a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist and I pursued my Masters Degree maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I have experience working with military individuals suffering from PTSD and MST. The last two years, I have worked as a crisis clinician working in the emergency room, in the community, and in the juvenile detention center in Newport, Oregon. During that time, I encountered a wide diversity of situations, which involved a high level of complexity due to the nature of behavioral health problems and mental health treatment needs of adults and children. I have a passion for helping individuals explore, understand, and overcome personal, social and/or behavioral problems to promote optimum mental and emotional health. I am dedicated to creating and implementing innovative ways to strengthen and empower families and individuals.

My philosophy is all persons are treated with honor and respect. My mission is to offer a holistic, genuine, supportive, non-judgmental approach to therapy with an understanding that human beings experience individual life challenges. Life is a journey and events may happen that are overwhelming and challenging. I have experience in treating various issues, including depression, anxiety, sexual trauma, childhood trauma, emotional abuse, mood disorders, grief/loss, co-dependency and PTSD. I integrate techniques from a variety of therapeutic approaches including, but not limited to Cognitive-Behavioral, Person-centered, Experiential, Gestalt, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused. I am client focused with strengths in communication, active listening, flexibility, and individual therapeutic techniques. There is a special reward in helping an adolescent discover their strengths to overcome the barriers life may bring. The reward is being present to witness the “Awe” moment when an adolescent gains personal insight of their potential of overcoming their limitations to achieve success as they transition into adulthood.

Activities I enjoy include sewing, knitting, gardening, writing, walking, and spending time with my family. I have a passion for learning and gaining knowledge not only through reading, but also through life experiences. I have been involved in Search and Rescue dog training over the last ten years as a trail layer.

Cole Sewall

Residential Director

Bio

My name is Cole Sewall, I’m married to my wife Lori and I’m a father of two amazing kids, my seven year old boy Kalen and two year old girl Christen. I’ve lived in Idaho my entire life. My interests include hiking, snowboarding, camping, hunting, wake-boarding, and anything to do with the outdoors.

I am a Residential Manager at Cherry Gulch Academy. Prior to Cherry Gulch Academy I worked for thirteen years at Cherry Gulch Therapeutic Boarding School. I had many roles and my last role at Cherry Gulch was the Residential Director. Over the years I have developed many skills in the residential field. I have completed several facilitator trainings and certifications which are as follows. Licensed by Satori S.A.M.A certified facilitator, Licensed Facilitator In The Arbinger Institute Model, CPI Certification, Certified Youth Care Practitioner and C.R.M Trauma Informed Care certification. I’m proficient or familiar with a vast array of intervention programs. These include de-escalation techniques, physical management programs, leadership strategies and residential treatment best practices. I love working with struggling youth and creating program systems to get our boys engaged in treatment and residential life.

Laura Pegram

Residential Manager

Bio

Laura Pegram is a Residential Manager here at Cherry Gulch Academy. She is excited about providing a safe and supportive environment for students to learn and grow.

Laura graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in Boise. She received her Bachelors in Public Administration from Cedarville University and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Social Work at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa.

Laura’s work history includes serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA and working as a Resident Manager at a Ronald McDonald House in Boise. Laura also worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Dayton, Ohio, and was a Victim Advocate for survivors of domestic violence.

In her free time, Laura enjoys hanging out with her husband, Russell, hiking, going to museums, and watching Gilmore Girls. She has a dog, two cats, and a menagerie of house plants.

Sydel Morris

Academic Director

Bio

PROFESSIONAL

Sydel joined the CG team in 2018. She has worked in education since 2000 and her prior experience includes teaching, Special Education Coordinator, Education Director, Special Education Compliance/Mentor Teacher. Sydel also started the academic program as the Principal of a non-profit day school/treatment center for students in foster care. Sydel’s strong background in program development and special education helps her guide Cherry Gulch’s curriculum to meet the unique academic needs of each student.

PERSONAL

A native of Northern New Jersey, Sydel loves watching the N.Y. Giants lose, Sabrett hot dogs and really good bagels. With nearly enough dogs to create her own sled team, she can be found cuddling any of her five fur-babies. Several of them have been certified therapy dogs with Intermountain Therapy Animals. She has trained them herself and enjoys seeing them interact and help students through their therapeutic process. Sydel loves spending every minute away from CG snuggling her infant son!

Todd McPeak

Teacher

Bio

Todd McPeak is an Education Technology specialist who joins Cherry Gulch Academy with over 20 years experience teaching math at all levels, arithmetic through AP Calculus and AP Statistics. Todd has also served as a mentor-teacher and instructional coach (Courses4Teachers, University of the Pacific), and as a district-wide math director (Leadership Public Schools), supporting public and charter schools throughout California, Washington State, and in Washington DC. Todd holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (University of Washington, 1998), post-graduate Teaching Credentials in Math and Economics (Chapman University, 2004), and a Master’s Degree in Education Technology (California State University, 2010).

As a software engineer, Todd served as lead developer for the FlexMath project (CK12 Foundation, Palo Alto, CA), creating interactive lessons and technology-integrated textbooks deployed through computers in a series of pilot intervention programs that ultimately achieved the largest recorded student proficiency gains in the NCLB era. With a focus on strong classroom management and Inductive Pedagogy, this repeatedly successful approach accelerated severely disenfranchised learners, 3 – 6 years below grade level, to a state of proficiency within a single academic year.

This year at Cherry Gulch Academy Todd is supporting the launch of our project-based School of Computer Science, offering industry-recognized certification and mini-degrees (Zenva Academy) in Programming, Mobile Web Applications, Digital Media, 3D Modeling, and Game Development. Students will experience non-linear pathways to build a professional portfolio of coding, art, and gaming projects, as well as earn accreditation with high-demand skills including: Visual Studio Code, C++, JavaScript, HTML, MySQL, Database Development, Photoshop, Premiere, AfterEffects, Adobe Animate, Blender, Unity, and Unreal.

Mikela Baciu

Educational Assistant/Registrar

Bio

Mikela moved back to Idaho from Colorado Springs in 2016. Since being back she has earned her associate degree in Liberal Arts and is currently a full-time Boise State University student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She has four semesters left and will continue and pursue medical school.

Mikela has over 10 years of experience working with children ranging from toddlers to high schoolers. Her time over the past seven years has been spent in Special Education In Kansas, she had the opportunity to give back by creating relationships with fellow military families while helping their children to learn how to be confident in themselves and their schoolwork. She later moved back to Colorado Springs where she was employed with the Air Academy district where she taught in both elementary and middle school special education. In 2017, Mikela had the opportunity of a lifetime to work with a group of boys in a residential facility, which has been (up until this point) her most rewarding and proudest time of her career. Mikela was both a paraprofessional for that school and the registrar/ admin assistant. Not only was she constantly at the teachers’ side, helping in every subject, she also managed cumulative files, collected information from schools around the United States, helping build transcripts and other secretarial duties. These combined perspectives gave her a better understanding of what students need and what they were trying to accomplish. Through her experiences, Mikela is passionate about meeting kids where they are to move them toward their dreams!

As a boy mom, Mikela’s life consists of Legos, gaming, finding and identifying bugs, scouts, karate… the list goes on! Her favorite activities include traveling, napping, researching, shopping, crafting and most importantly, spending time with family.

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