Meet Our Experienced Team

Our talented, master’s-level learning therapists work with our students by using research-supported approaches to provide world-class treatment for the individuals that we serve. They practice CBT, DBT, AAT (animal-assited therapy), Equine, sand, play, Trauma-informed, attachment, and adventure therapy. Our experienced team brings the needed learning tools to the young men and families with whom we work. We develop the educational scaffolding essential to produce thoughtful, prepared, and confident young people.

Andy Sapp, PhD

Founder, President, Owner

Bio

Dr. Andrew Sapp is the Founder of 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. He also served as the the lead therapist on the adolescent unit of an inpatient psychiatric hospital, and then worked as 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 jeopardizing 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 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 Gem 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 has worked very hard to overcome his own undiagnosed learning disabilities. He is deeply passionate about helping boys who struggle academically because of his own personal challenges throughout his academic career. He believes that these challenges have helped him become more determined to reach his goals. By far his greatest professional accomplishment has been starting two successful programs and serving the many students and families that have benefited from these life-changing programs. His greatest joy and is spending time with his three precious little girls and his wonderful wife, Christina.

Katie Rienstra, LCSW

Executive Director

Bio

Katie is a licensed clinician with a 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 and family in the outdoors. She actively enjoys hiking, softball, fishing and hunting.

Kahn Borge, LMSW

Licensed Therapist, Director of Operations

Bio

Kahn first joined the Cherry Gulch team in 2009, and has filled many different roles throughout the years. He received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boise State University and is a big Broncos fan! His decision to pursue a career serving youth came early on in college and he has never looked back. He has experience in multiple youth residential settings, but has settled at Cherry Gulch due to the effectiveness of the program and the awesome team that we have here. One of Kahn’s favorite parts of being at Cherry Gulch is keeping in touch with Alumni students and hearing about all of the incredible things they are accomplishing. When not at work, he loves to take advantage of all that Idaho has to offer with his wife and children. Dirt biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and hunting are regular past times. He lives in a little town of roughly 300 people, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Victor Hernandez

Human Resources Manager

Bio

Victor joined our Cherry Gulch team in 2021. He and his family moved to Idaho from the Bay Area. After graduating with a BA in Education and Child Development from California State University, he went on to earn his credential in Elementary Education and Teaching from San Francisco State University. Victor has built a long list of service, leading a variety of programs for schools and nonprofits. He is an active board memeber of the City of Refuge Ministries.

He was then drawn to Human Resources once he saw how a healthy workplace culture affects organizations and pursed his certification to be a Professional in Human Resources. Supporting leaders and staff as they dream big for our students and our programs is easy for Victor with his contageous positivity. Victor jumped right into programming and serving our students joining them in football, foosball and Just Dance. He is currently trying to keep up with them on their Friday mountain biking outings and truly enjoys spending time with our students.

Away from Cherry Gulch, Victor enjoys spending time with his family and fermenting their own ethically sourced brand of Kombucha.

Krista Zimmerman, LPN

Director of Admissions/Nursing Supervisor

Bio

Krista comes to Cherry Gulch following 18 years in healthcare. She has worked primarily as a nurse in the largest trauma hospital in Idaho on the Neurological and Rehabilitation floors with a specialty in brain and spinal cord injuries. She also spent some time as a physician recruiter and in an assistive living center for seniors. Krista’s priority in life has been raising her three very active sons. She is passionate about boys, their physical and emotional development, and their growth as young men.

Melissa Proctor

Marketing & Admissions

Bio

Melissa joined Cherry Gulch following 17 years of teaching. She started in alternative high school Speech and English. The majority of her teaching career was teaching Language and Reading to struggling readers in 6th grade. She served many students and families as a liason for special education, working with her team to meet IEP goals and implementing interventions and many accommodations. After a decade in 6th grade she moved to Kindergarten to support school readiness with whole-brain, play-based learning. When the oportunity to move to a position to help serve students and families in a full wrap-around program, she joined Novitas, which then led to Cherry Gulch.

Melissa and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of 3 adopted girls. They enjoy Idaho’s amazing outdoors as much as possible with their sweet golden doodle, Willis.

Darren Stout

Residential Director

Bobbi Gieger

Clinical Director

Tara Landis

Therapist

Bio

Tara earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University. She has a passion for working with families and adolescents during their times in crisis. Tara has 20+ years of Social Work experience, including many demographics leading to a well-rounded knowledge of therapeutic tools to assist families. Tara has worked with cancer patients and their families, clients with development/intellectual disabilities and their families, at-risk and homeless youth, and severe community mental health with adolescents. Tara has been a speaker at Autism conferences and has both professional and personal experience working with the Autism Spectrum Disorder community. Tara has an extensive history working with clients who have experienced trauma. She is also an adjunct professor educating master level Social Workers about Clinical Therapy with Families.

Tara is certified in Attachment-Focused Therapy, Complicated Grief, Trauma, and PTSD, Therapeutic Art Interventions, Adventure-Based Counseling, and Gottman Therapy Level 1. Tara continues to increase her knowledge and education in therapeutic interventions.

Tara has four children with her husband and lives in Meridian, Idaho. She has a teenage son with Autism Spectrum Disorder and an adult daughter who has beat cancer twice. She loves to paint and create art. Tara takes any opportunity to hike in the mountains and photograph the beautiful views.

Kylie Langer, LCSW

Clinical Supervisor

Bio

Kylie received her master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health and Addictions from Northwest Nazarene University and her bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Her passion for the outdoors, adventure and working with people led her to her career working with troubled youth over thirteen years ago. Kylie’s passion for working with troubled adolescents led her to many careers in adolescent mental and behavioral health before finding employment at Cherry Gulch including other therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, juvenile correctional facilities, psycho-social rehabilitation services and wilderness therapy. Kylie has enjoyed seven years with Cherry Gulch working as a Direct Care staff, Recreation Therapist, Character Development teacher (with her teaching certification in Psychology), Clinical Liaison and most recently as a licensed therapist.

Kylie oversees the service program at Cherry Gulch, co-directs the NATSAP research program and oversees international travel at CG. Kylie has received training in the Anasazi Foundation’s The Seven Paths as well as Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and has co-led a number of Hero’s Journey/The Seven Paths international trips with the students and their families and worked to restructure the phase work here at Cherry Gulch to align with the Hero’s Journey cycle. She is ATTACh certified, a certified Child and Youth Care worker, a Gottman Institute Level one certified therapist, has spoken at both regional and national conferences and has worked to make CG a RULER certified school after receiving extensive training from Yale University.

Kylie is an Idaho native and enjoys spending time with her family skiing, backpacking, mountain biking, camping, dirt biking and traveling.

Trent Gray, LCPC

Therapist

Bio

Trent has experience and passion for working with youth and adults in a variety of community and residential settings. He started his career with individuals in 1999 doing job coaching, day habilitation and group residential home provider teaching functional life-skills. Trent is a graduate of Boise State and Montana State University with a Bachelors’ degree in General Health Studies with a Psychology minor, and Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Sciences. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Trent is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership with Behavioral Health emphasis.

He has over 15 years of clinical experience in mental health in the in-patient therapeutic setting. He has assisted various populations with addictions, traumatic injury, and cognitive and neurological issues. He is well versed in cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotherapy practices and strategies. He has experience working with a theoretical framework and emphasis on structural family and functional solution-based therapies. Trent enjoys helping youth learn better ways to connect and implement healthier modes of thinking in order to help them create better functioning within the family, social, and community context.

Trent is a service-driven and dedicated husband and father with five children ranging from ages 10 to 17. He is a native Idahoan who has a great respect and passion for the outdoors. Trent is an Eagle Scout and has served as a scoutmaster in Idaho for 5 years. He understands the patrol method in developing teamwork and completed a leadership training Wood Badge course at Camp Morrison in McCall Idaho in 2016. He is passionate and progressive in finding new methods for helping people identify and build upon their unique strengths and characteristics. Trent is a continual life-long learner and facilitator of cognitive-behavioral counseling techniques. He uses a servant leadership philosophy that involves encouraging and strengthen peoples’ core values through serving their community, family, and friends.

Kathleen Jawish, LPC

Program Clinician

Bio

Kathleen received her Master’s in Counseling from Boise State University, with a focus in addiction. Kathleen is a licensed therapist and spent a year accumulating her internship hours at Cherry Gulch working as a counseling intern. Prior to her internship, Kathleen gained mental health experience providing supervised counseling to both adults and college students in the community. She has also worked with at-risk youth at a local middle school. Kathleen’s therapeutic approach with clients combines Adlerian and person-centered therapy techniques. She believes each client is on their own unique journey and her role is to support them in that experience.

Kathleen is certified in Gottman Therapy Level 1, Psychological First Aid, and has taken a course in the equine therapy EAGALA model. She is consistently interested in growing her knowledge of the counseling field and various therapeutic modalities to benefit her clients.

Kathleen grew up on the east coast in Annapolis, MD before moving out to Boise for graduate school. Her parents instilled a love of the West in her at a young age, so the transition to living in Idaho was an easy process. In her free time, Kathleen enjoys various outdoor activities, spending time with loved ones, checking out new local spots and traveling!

Jennifer Jordan, PsyD

Program Clinician

Bio

Jennifer received both her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Fresno.  She studied psychology and business during her undergraduate at Santa Clara University.  She has 10+ years of experience working with children and adolescents, and the focus of her dissertation was on animal-assisted therapy.
Jennifer previously worked as the Head Psychologist for a private high school that was designed for students with ASD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and challenges with executive functioning skills.  She has also worked in Intensive Outpatient Programs and outpatient mental health settings.
Jennifer grew up in California and moved to Idaho with her husband and two children.  She loves DIY projects, gardening, and spending time outdoors in the sunshine.

Laura Watson

Program Clinician

Mary Brown

Program Clinician

Sydel Morris, MsEd

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 misses eating good bagels and Italian food. 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 in Utah. She has trained them herself and enjoys seeing them interact and help students through their therapeutic process. Sydel also enjoys cooking and going on adventures with her young son, Philly.

Charla Suppe, MsEd

Academic Team

Bio

After spending the last 9 years at Boulder Creek Academy as Academic Director, SPED Director and Diretor of Business Development, Charla is excited to join Cherry Gulch and spend some time back in the classroom! “Such an amazing group of people that I get to work with! I love this industry, and this age level.”

Charla is a California native.  She graduated from Loma Linda University, attended the Reading Specialist program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, and completed her Masters in SPED in 2016. Charla has taught every grade level in some capacity in the last 33 years she has been in education.  She has served as an Academic/SPED Director, a school Principal, and also served in Business Development.  Her favorite age level to work with is Junior High!

Charla has resided in Idaho for almost 20 years. Charla and her husband have moved from North Idaho to the Boise area and are thrilled to be near their kids again.  This is a new chapter in their lives and are looking forward to all that it has to offer.

Maggie Hodges-Mathews, MsEd

Academic Team

Bio

*Bio Coming Soon*

Shannon Frost-Benecke

Academic Team

Bio

*Bio Coming Soon*

Dan Wilcox

Academic Team

Bio

*Bio Coming Soon*

Rachel Schaefer

Academic Team

Bio

*Bio Coming Soon*

Sarah Mullin

Academic Team

Bio

*Bio Coming Soon*

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