The Greenbrier

Staff

MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND GREENBRIER ACADEMY

Leadership Team

Rachel Call

Executive Director/CEO

As Greenbrier’s Executive Director, Rachel Call truly drives our program to be the best it can be. She provides the focus, passion and direction necessary to move a program as unique as ours forward; and the experience and training to ensure our girls achieve genuinely transformative experiences.

Rachel began working in the transformation field 30 years ago as a wilderness instructor for SUWS and continued her work with youth and adults by developing programs for nonprofit organizations internationally. In 2009, she joined Greenbrier as our first Residential Director and developed our residential program as an integral part of our therapeutic process. Over the last 11 years, she has played a significant role in developing and implementing several Greenbrier programs such as our: Integration Coaching, Food Services, Equine Therapy and School of Horsemanship, Animal Fostering, Humanitarian Service, Marketing and Aspirational Program Structure. Perhaps dearest to her heart was the design and creation of our Healing Village Retreat, which she still lovingly facilitates to this day.

Rachel is a certified Life Coach who has trained with Tony Robbins Strategic Intervention Program and Robbins Madanes Training, Kendall Summerhawk’s Courageous Coaching program, Rhonda Britten’s Fearless Living Institute and L. Jay Mitchell’s Strong Relationality Model.

Her experience and training, coupled with her tenacity to surmount the status quo, provides the unique and diverse approach to leadership which drives Greenbrier Academy to greatness.

Rachel has three children with her husband of thirty years. She enjoys riding horses, traveling, reading, music and is ALMOST as passionate about cooking food as she is about mentoring young women. 

Dr. Michelle Bush, EdD/Cl.

Academic Director

Prior to joining Greenbrier Academy, Dr. Bush dedicated 22 years in the English secondary education classroom and continues her dedication to the field of education, her passion for inspiring student success, and love of lifelong learning here at Greenbrier.

Dr. Bush exhibited superior leadership skills in the educational community, demonstrated knowledge within her content area, and honed in on her ability to create diverse and innovative lesson plans that reached the needs of all learners.

It is Dr. Bush's personal belief that all students have the ability to learn by providing the following: the proper guidance; establishing an appropriate rapport; building a positive support system; fostering a safe and warm learning environment that is conducive to higher-level learning; implementing a consistent but fair discipline policy for all students.

Dr. Bush holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Phoenix, a Doctoral Degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Her dissertation research and oral defense focused on the "Efficacy of Mentorship Programs within the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Impact on Teacher Retention."

Dr. Bush is an endorsed educator and holds a Post Collegiate Professional License for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Dr. Bush holds the following training and awareness certifications: Child Safety & Wellness, Mandt Relational Skills, CPR/AED/First Aid, Teaching Students with Dyslexia, Diabetes Awareness, Teaching Students with Disabilities, Google Tools Digital Citizenship and Safety, FERPA/HIPPA Compliance, National Society of High School Scholars (awarded 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), National Youth Leadership Forum Collegiate Success (awarded 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018), Nobel Educator of Distinction (awarded 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018), Recipient of the Ronald McDonald Mentor Award for the Future Leaders Writing Scholarship: “A Teacher that Made the Most Impact on a Student’s Life" acknowledgement ceremony and banquet (Kennedy Center, 2014), Member of the SCPS Leadership Cohort.

In her free time, Dr. B. loves reading, writing, photography, graphic design, road-trips and spending time with family.

"Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire." 

-- William Butler Yeats

Alicia Dennison - Greenbrier Academy StaffAlicia Dennison

Residential Director

Alicia has been with Greenbrier Academy for 8 years and become very appreciative of the relationality approach used here. She says “I fully agree that our relationships help shape us into who we are and that forming positive bonds is essential to our emotional health. I also appreciate the different virtues that we try to instill into the students and staff alike. I have seen some incredible outcomes due to the overall vision of our program.”

“One of the greatest parts of this position is getting to see firsthand the changes made in the girls that pass through our doors” says Alicia. “It is a wonderful experience getting to mentor and help in the transformation process that these young women make when here. My hope is that I can have a lasting impact, no matter how small, on each student I get the privilege to work with.”

Outside of Greenbrier, she enjoys spending time with her husband, twin boys and two daughters while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Special Education.

Jacob W. Robinson

Human Resources Director

Bio coming soon. 

Kim Morgan

Financial Manager

Kim aspires to make Greenbrier Academy for Girls the perfect home away from home that is safe, comfortable and inspiring for your daughter.

As Director of Facilities and Environment, Kim puts her passion for interior and exterior design to work, creating functional and visually appealing surroundings. From dorm rooms to grounds keeping and everything in between, she strongly believes that crafting well-designed spaces for studying, entertaining and relaxation are key to your daughter’s growth. Her additional responsibilities include overseeing IT and overall campus maintenance.

Kim first joined Greenbrier Academy for Girls in August 2010 as the Admissions Assistant and Receptionist. Prior to this, she was the Sales Office Administrator for The Greenbrier Sporting Club, the luxury real estate development at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Her experience at The Greenbrier included updating content for multiple websites, coordinating on and off-site events, photography and brochure creation for multimillion-dollar luxury homes as well as directly supervising the sales office administrative staff.

When she’s not working, you can usually find her enjoying a good book, gardening, antiquing, discovering inspiration on Pinterest and decorating. But above all else, she enjoys spending time with her family at home in Hinton, West Virginia. Together with her husband, they have two dogs, three adult sons and now three grandsons, whom she adores!

Brent D. Slife, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist/ Co-Founder

Dr. Slife is a clinical psychologist who is currently Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University. He has been honored recently with several awards for his scholarship and teaching, including the Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for his contribution to psychology, the Eliza R. Snow Award for research on the interface of science and religion, the Karl G. Maeser Award for top researcher at BYU, the Circle of Honor Award from the Student Honor Association, and both “Teacher of the Year” by the university and “Most Outstanding Professor” by the psychology student honorary, Psi Chi.

Professor Slife moved from Baylor University where he served as Director of Clinical Training for many years and was honored there as “Outstanding Research Professor” as well as the “Circle of Achievement” award for his teaching. As a Fellow of several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, he recently served as the President of the Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, on the Council of the American Psychological Association, and on the editorial boards of eight journals: Journal of Mind and Behavior, Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Humanistic Psychologist, Journal of Qualitative Research in Psychology, International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, Qualitative Psychology, and Terrorism Research.

He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles and 7 books, including Human Frailty, Vice, and Suffering: Flourishing in the Context of Limits and Dependency (in press, APA Books), Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues (2013, McGraw-Hill), Critical Thinking About Psychology: Hidden Assumptions and Plausible Alternatives (2005, APA Books), Critical Issues in Psychotherapy: Translating New Ideas into Practice (2001, Sage Publications), What’s Behind the Research? Hidden Assumptions in the Behavioral Sciences (1995, Sage Publications), and Time and Psychological Explanation (1993, SUNY Press).

Dr. Slife is a co-owner, executive board member, therapist/counselor trainer, family program facilitator, and consulting clinical psychologist at Greenbrier Academy. For more information please check his website at http://www.brentslife.com.

Sheila Buoni

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Sheila was drawn to Greenbrier Academy for Girls because of her personal connection to the mission and purpose of GBA. Sheila states, “I have seen first-hand the transformation and healing that occurs when a child is in the care of a best-in-class therapeutic boarding school and I wanted to be a part of that change.” Prior to accepting her position at Greenbrier, she worked in the Washington, D.C. Metro area in the
non-profit arena for the last 25+ years, the last eight serving the military community.

Sheila has an affinity for children and youth, and because of her passion for helping those in need, she founded the Russian Orphanage Project, a non-profit that aided Russian orphans both in the Moscow and Siberian regions of Russia. From 2000 until
2013, she traveled to Russia several times a year with a team of 12 young adults to provide supplies, aid and most importantly love to the institutionalized children. It was there that she met her daughter Katya who is her youngest child of three.

Sheila lives to travel and was fortunate to live in Europe as well as visit most of its countries many times. She is thrilled to be back in West Virginia where her roots are and is most excited to be a part of the Greenbrier family.

Marketing & Admissions Team

Tom Condon Greenbrier AcademyTom Condon

Marketing Director

As Greenbrier Academy’s Marketing Director, Tom is responsible for our marketing program and operations. He also works closely with our Admissions Team to usher families through the admissions process and communicate effectively with referral sources within the industry.

Prior to joining Greenbrier, Tom ran a marketing consulting group that helped small and mid-sized businesses with everything from overall strategy development and branding to one-off campaigns. With well over a decade of experience working in various industries as a marketer, he was excited to find a home at Greenbrier. “The transformative work the staff do and their level of commitment makes my job easy,” Tom says. “It’s just a matter of telling the story of how they do it.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton and a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University’s Samuel Johnson Graduate School of Management.

In another life, Tom was a working musician and music producer that toured within the US throughout his 20s. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two small boys and two not-so-small pit bulls where he enjoys reading strange Victorian fiction and occasionally picking up an instrument.

John Grago - Greenbrier Academy StaffJohn Grago, MA

Admissions Director/Outreach

John’s role at Greenbrier Academy involves leading a team of passionate directors in the effective implementation of therapeutic, residential and academic objectives. He ensures each department operates within the framework of our “Aspirational” system and targets individual student and family needs.

John joined Greenbrier Academy in 2009 as an admissions counselor. Prior to working at Greenbrier Academy, he spent eight years working in a wilderness program where he served six of those years as a therapist and two years in the role of an admissions director. He holds a BA in Psychology from West Virginia University, a MA in Counseling from Marshall University and has over 18 years working with youth in the private sector.

As a father of two daughters, John knows how delicate daughters can appear; yet how powerful, driven and inspiring they truly are. “It takes a lot of resiliency to navigate the social, academic and technological challenges our daughters face, but they can overcome it!” says John. “We see them do it on a daily basis and it’s always rewarding to hear from that Alumni student who says, ‘I made it!’.”

Amber Reed - Greenbrier Academy StaffAmber Reed

Admissions Counselor

When parents tour Greenbrier Academy, they often ask about the program’s model and how it works. Meeting Amber may be the best answer to their questions, as she credits working at Greenbrier Academy as being a turning point in her own life direction.

Starting as a mentor to the girls, she absorbed the lessons and philosophy offered at Greenbrier Academy and made changes in her life that resulted in her quickly becoming a source of inspiration to the students.

Amber lives by the motto “we will love you until you can love yourself,” and everyone that meets her - be it student, staff or visitor - immediately feels embraced by her warmth, compassion and ability to empathically connect.

CLINICAL TEAM

Brooke_Hecht_GReenbrierAcademyforGirlsBrooke Modlin, MSW

Counselor

As one of Greenbrier’s therapists, Brooke provides expertise in areas such as: grief and loss, anxiety, attachment disorders, PTSD, sexual abuse and suicide prevention.

Brooke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications and English as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis on youth and families from the University of Denver.  Her experience includes working as a Social Worker in the Denver public school system where she focused on at-risk teens as well as private practice where she worked with troubled teens and their families.

Brooke is the mother of two boys currently attending college. She comes to the Greenbrier Valley via her hometown of Denver, CO to pursue her passion of helping adolescent girls heal.

Emily_Landseidel_GreenbrierAcademyforGirlsEmily Landseidel, MSW, MBA

Counselor

Before joining Greenbrier, Emily worked with adolescents recovering from trauma through one-on-one therapy and peer-group sessions in therapeutic residential and school-based settings. In her therapeutic practice, attachment, mindfulness and neurobiological perspectives inform her work; however, she often pulls from a variety of approaches to meet the needs of each girl and their families that collaborates in their healing process.

“Throughout my life, I have been struck by how influential and impactful our relationships with others can be on the trajectory of our lives. Our relationships with others have the capacity to transform the beliefs we have about ourselves, others and our community as well as shape our identity. Adolescent girls often experience trials during this phase of development. These trials and the desire to explore offer a unique window of opportunity to work therapeutically with girls and their families,” Emily says.

In addition to a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons University, she holds a BA in History and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and a Master of Business Administration from Antioch University.

Ashley Hawkins, MSW, LGSW

Counselor

Prior to joining Greenbrier, Ashley worked with families & adolescents in multiple settings including the public school system, individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. Her therapeutic specialties include substance use disorder, trauma-informed therapy, adverse childhood experiences, mindfulness practices, attachment disorders, suicide prevention, growth mindset, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systemic therapy and crisis interventions.

“I believe that everyone is braver than they believe and there is power in having and fostering a growth mindset,” Ashley says. “It is important that our adolescents are empowered to believe that they are in control and get to define their success and build a life they are proud to live. I believe it is also important to work with the whole family while enabling all members to be able to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, and build on the family’s strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.” 

Ashley holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work with a Minor in Pre-Law & Legal Studies from Concord University and a Master’s of Social Work from Concord University. She is a member of Phi Alpha National Honor Society of Social Work and a Licensed Graduate Social Worker with specialized trainings in trauma-informed therapy, substance use disorders and systemic family therapy.

Ashley enjoys spending her free time with her family, friends and pets, crafting, cooking, reading, going on drives and listening to music. 

Ashley S. Thompson, LCPC (Maryland)

Life Coach (West Virginia)

Ashley has offered a safe therapeutic space for youth and families in Community Mental Health and school settings for over 7 years. Her treatment modalities include TF-CBT, Play and Adlerian therapies. She specializes in PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Ashley understands that the therapeutic process requires commitment, vulnerability and patience. She meets clients where they are with empathy, compassion and skill. She believes that every client deserves the best quality of life and strives to care for every client and their experience while providing tools to improve their quality of life.

Ashley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Rowan University as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University. Ashley is a member of American Psychology Association. She enjoys practicing yoga, cooking and trying new things. 

Carol Lewis, MA, LPC, LSW

Equine Assisted Therapist

When someone has experienced the trauma of adversity in their past relationships with others, it may be easier for them to develop a relationship with a horse who relates to them in the present moment. Experiential activities with horses help the individual to move beyond the limiting belief system that they may have about themselves and their place in the world.  Equine therapy naturally supports the relationality model that is embraced by GBA.

At the beginning of her career, Carol spent 12 years as a social worker working with individuals with developmental disabilities. During that time, she developed and directed a therapeutic riding program as a certified PATH Instructor.  Prior to her position at GBA, she was employed for 12 years as a licensed professional counselor for a rural residential treatment facility in WV for adolescents who were in temporary custody of the state. During that time, she developed and directed an Equine Therapy program. 

Carol’s educational background includes a BA in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Marshall University Graduate College in WV. 

Her passion is in being able to combine her avocation (her love of horses) with her vocation of being of service to others.  She believes that the very principles which guide true horsemanship skills are also the premise of virtuous life skills. As Buck Brannaman, a renowned horseman/clinician has said; “Horses and life: it’s all the same to me.”

Paul_Fowler_GreenbrierAcademyforGirlsPaul Fowler

Coach

Paul Fowler has over 18 years of experience working with adolescents in a therapeutic environment; six of which were spent facilitating Greenbrier's Healing Village Retreat. 

Paul is a U.S. Army veteran and former police officer. In his free time, he is an avid fly fisherman and licensed falconer. He has been married for 25 years and has four children.

Dr. Todd Woodward

Director of Neurofeedback Program

Dr. Todd Woodward oversees our entire neurofeedback program at Greenbrier. He specializes in the treatment of ADHD and Autism and his program has 40+ years of research to prove its efficacy. Dr. Todd has successfully removed harmful medications from kids’ daily routines, while reducing or eliminating their associated symptoms.

Dr. Todd has a passion for treating ADHD and Autism, which stems from his own struggles with ADHD. He has helped so many children and adults, but he says it’s his mission/desire to help at least 250,000 people in his lifetime. A lofty goal!

Dr. Todd graduated from the Western States Chiropractic College and received his Neurological Dysregulation Certification from the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is also Advanced Certified in QEEG (brain mapping), and a certified Interactive Metronome Trainer.

Misty Meadows

Neurofeedback Technician

Misty joined Greenbrier Academy as a Residential Advisor in 2017. She believes that she has gained a better understanding of empathy, forgiveness and connection that she has been able to apply in her own daily life since beginning work here. Her life’s passion has always been to reach out and help those who are less fortunate.

In her spare time, she enjoys the adventures of the outdoors with her family and friends; horseback riding through the beautiful WV countryside, kayaking the Greenbrier River and camping.

She has been certified as a Neurofeedback technician, and her goal is to be the best role model possible for the girls and help them reach their full potential for life experiences.

Jessica Persinger

Neurofeedback Technician/Assistant Medical Coordinator

Jessica joined the Greenbrier team in 2012 as a Residential advisor. She enjoyed being a role model to the girls so much that, after leaving in 2014 to care for her daughter, she returned to her position in 2017. It was then that she was offered her current position of Assistant Medical Coordinator.

“As the assistant to the medical coordinator I am passionate about the girls being comfortable and safe,” says Jessica. “I feel the girls enjoy spending time with me when I am transporting them to appointments as they are very open and honest with me. I feel that this is more than a job, it is building relationships and connections just like a family. This has also helped me in having patience and guidance with my own daughter.”

Jessica has completed an Associate’s degree from University of Phoenix in Health Care Administration and Medical Records. She has obtained certification in medical terminology and been trained in Therapeutic Crisis intervention.

In her spare time, she enjoys various outdoor activities and going to the beach as much as possible with her family. She loves to watch her daughter play sports and is always the loudest parent cheering her on.

She says, “My life has been changed in so many positive ways working here at GBA that I have truly been blessed.”

Katie Walker, RN

Medical Coordinator

Katie Walker has spent her entire life in beautiful Pence Springs, WV. She began her career as an LPN and recently obtained her RN through the University of Charleston. After 9 years of nursing experience in long-term care settings, she looks forward to obtaining her BSN in May of 2023. She is a certified Wound Nurse as well as ACLS and PALS certified.

She is mother to two small boys, ages 7 and 3, and enjoys the outdoors, reading, hunting, fishing and spending time with family. She wants the girls she works with to know that they can overcome anything they put their minds too if they want it, and that want begins with themselves.

ACADEMIC TEAM

Dr. Michelle Bush, EdD/Cl.

Academic Director

Prior to joining Greenbrier Academy, Dr. Bush dedicated 22 years in the English secondary education classroom and continues her dedication to the field of education, her passion for inspiring student success, and love of lifelong learning here at Greenbrier.

Dr. Bush exhibited superior leadership skills in the educational community, demonstrated knowledge within her content area, and honed in on her ability to create diverse and innovative lesson plans that reached the needs of all learners. 

It is Dr. Bush's personal belief that all students have the ability to learn by providing the following: the proper guidance; establishing an appropriate rapport; building a positive support system; fostering a safe and warm learning environment that is conducive to higher-level learning; implementing a consistent but fair discipline policy for all students.

Dr. Bush holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Phoenix, a Doctoral Degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Her dissertation research and oral defense focused on the "Efficacy of Mentorship Programs within the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Impact on Teacher Retention."

Dr. Bush is an endorsed educator and holds a Post Collegiate Professional License for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Dr. Bush holds the following training and awareness certifications: Child Safety & Wellness, Mandt Relational Skills, CPR/AED/First Aid, Teaching Students with Dyslexia, Diabetes Awareness, Teaching Students with Disabilities, Google Tools Digital Citizenship and Safety, FERPA/HIPPA Compliance, National Society of High School Scholars (awarded 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), National Youth Leadership Forum Collegiate Success (awarded 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018), Nobel Educator of Distinction (awarded 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018), Recipient of the Ronald McDonald Mentor Award for the Future Leaders Writing Scholarship: “A Teacher that Made the Most Impact on a Student’s Life" acknowledgement ceremony and banquet (Kennedy Center, 2014), Member of the SCPS Leadership Cohort. 

In her free time, Dr. B. loves reading, writing, photography, graphic design, road-trips and spending time with family. 

"Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire." 

-- William Butler Yeats

Anne Hunter

Art Teacher & Drumming Coordinator

Anne has worked in the field of arts education since 2009. She joined Greenbrier Academy in 2012, bringing with her a love of art and creative expression. Before her start at GBA, Anne worked as a guide with the True North Wilderness Program in Vermont in 2008. While in Vermont, she also served as an aid and behavior interventionist for an 8th grade student. Anne graduated from Alfred University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Education. Motivated by her love of travel, she studied abroad for some time at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy.

Anne’s creativity and drive to help children led her to Greenbrier Academy. Serving as both our art teacher and drumming coordinator, her inventiveness is put to good use at our school. “I love engaging in the process and experience of healing teens through art and rhythm,” says Anne. She finds it tremendously rewarding to witness her students’ journeys as they find strength and self-worth through honoring their unique creative expression, whether it be through visual art or through the power of drumming. “I love watching students reach for new goals as they develop the discipline and passion to meet them.” Anne enjoys working with teens in particular because of the vibrancy and spirit that they bring to the classroom. She strives to encourage her students to discover their inner beauty and confidence by helping to guide them technically and emotionally as they push their creative boundaries. “I love helping students understand the significance of their voice and the integral part they play in our school and community.” She feels lucky to teach in such an amiable environment alongside her devoted and compassionate coworkers.

A strong proponent of humanitarian work, Anne has participated in service trips to Kenya and the Dominican Republic as well as a GBA service trip to Nicaragua. She gives back on a local level by painting murals in her community here at home. Anne enjoys getting students involved in such projects as well. She enters students into art contests at the local Carnegie Hall and promotes their involvement in the charity event “Empty Bowls.” She also accompanies her drumming performance group to local schools, churches, festivals and private events in the area. In her time away from GBA, Anne participates in making and selling many kinds of art, including the ceramics that she creates in her own, personal ceramics studio at home.

Kristen_Richmond_GreenbrierAcademyforGirlsKristen Richmond

History Teacher 

As Greenbrier Academy’s History teacher, Kristen educates our girls on the lessons the past can teach us, the events of today and how to use history to grow into our future.

Her passion for European and Colonial history began at a young age and was fostered by years of study. This passion fuels her enthusiasm in the classroom where she encourages her students to find creativity and knowledge while studying the material. Kristen views each topic as both an echo of the past and a whisper to our future; as such, she encourages students to apply the larger lesson into thinking of what it may mean to them as they move forward.

Kristen holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and history from Concord University. Her previous experience includes working with high school students in programs that provide disadvantaged students mentorship in applying for post-secondary school, teaching in the West Virginia public school system and mentoring in the residential department of GBA. “My prior work with this age group has allowed me to work with a variety of young minds and grow as a teacher,” Kristen says.

Martha Lehman

Spanish Teacher

As Greenbrier Academy's Spanish teacher, Martha's goal is to help students increase their understanding of and appreciation for the differences in foreign languages and cultures while gaining a better understanding of their own. She strives to meet each student's unique educational needs and learning styles while challenging them to grow in their abilities to communicate in Spanish through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Culture and language are intermingled throughout class activities. 

Martha has been intrigued by languages and cultures since childhood. Traveling the world was a dream she hoped to make reality. She chose to take Spanish classes four years in high school. Work experience during her first two years of college brought her in contact with native Spanish speakers from Mexico. During this time Martha was able to increase her conversational Spanish while she learned more Spanish from her coworkers, and they learned more English from her. A study abroad experience in Costa Rica helped Martha come to a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture while being immersed in the Spanish language. Several years later she was able to share a touch of Costa Rica with her own students during an educational travel program. She taught Spanish for six years in Ohio where she also had earned a BA in Spanish with a history minor and a MA in education. 

Martha enjoys traveling and outdoor adventure.  She has visited the Philippines, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Peru, and hopes to explore more countries. Horseback riding, hiking and gardening are activities that she enjoys. Martha believes that learning goes far beyond the classroom and that each experience a person faces can be used to help prepare the individual to lead a more meaningful life in the future. 

James Erdman

Math Teacher

Born in Pennsylvania, James has been working as an educator since obtaining his bachelor’s degree in secondary education in physics in 2020 from the University of Idaho. Before becoming a teacher, he was a corporal in the United States Marine Corps and deployed twice between 2011 and 2015. His experience in the Marines led him to seek out a career where he could make a lasting and meaningful impact in the lives of his fellow Americans.

James is a big proponent for S.T.E.M. education which is the idea that all subject areas overlap with hard science. This drives his lesson planning to incorporate the problem-solving process and authentic life-based assignments, even in math. He believes that math should be more than instruction and worksheets; his students should know how the math they learn can fit into their lives.

Brent Murrill

English Teacher

Bio coming soon. 

Shay Kaminski

Science Teacher

Bio coming soon. 

Kelly Arfsten

Equine Director

Kelly enjoys nothing more than seeing people and horses connect and build a relationship. “I believe in the benefits of equine assisted therapy and feel fortunate to be able to provide the girls at GBA the opportunity to develop a deeper sense of what horsemanship can teach us,” Kelly says.

She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to work under great trainers while growing up in Germany. It was there that she developed the interest and dedication to the equine species while working with a variety of breeds and disciplines. Her specialty is in dressage as she is passionate about the light feel of communication between a human and horse.

Kelly came to the US many years ago to study Equine Science at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating, she was thrilled to continue working with horses and people, fostering that magical connection. Kelly has worked with a variety of horses and people throughout the country before settling in West Virginia.

RESIDENTIAL TEAM

Alicia Dennison

Residential Director

Alicia has been with Greenbrier Academy for 8 years and become very appreciative of the relationality approach used here. She says “I fully agree that our relationships help shape us into who we are and that forming positive bonds is essential to our emotional health. I also appreciate the different virtues that we try to instill into the students and staff alike. I have seen some incredible outcomes due to the overall vision of our program.”

“One of the greatest parts of this position is getting to see firsthand the changes made in the girls that pass through our doors” says Alicia. “It is a wonderful experience getting to mentor and help in the transformation process that these young women make when here. My hope is that I can have a lasting impact, no matter how small, on each student I get the privilege to work with.”

Outside of Greenbrier, she enjoys spending time with her husband, twin boys and two daughters while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Special Education.

Lindsay Funk

Residential Assistant

Lindsay has been a part of the Greenbrier community since 2016. She loves spending time with, getting to know and contributing to the journeys of the amazing ladies at GBA.

As a Residential Advisor, she enjoys seeing girls not only on campus, but off campus as well, whether it be on an adventurous outing white water rafting or volunteering at a local nursing home. “What I love most about my job is seeing the light come back into the eyes of these incredible young women,” Lindsay says.

Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fairmont State University where she was named to the President’s and Dean’s List and had the honor of being selected for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.   

Outside of GBA, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and three dogs.

INTEGRATION COACHING TEAM

Larissa Jaye

Integration Coach

Larissa Jaye began her Life Coach training in 2007 and has been inspired by supporting people to achieve all sorts of lasting growth and transformation ever since. Through her work, Larissa is committed to creating safe spaces for self-expression and empowering others to live their best lives yet.

A former kindergarten teacher and present creative and performing artist, Larissa believes wholeheartedly in the powers of creativity, exploration, play, “messiness”, vulnerability and interpersonal human connection. She works from the theory that risk-taking – i.e., making conscious proactive moves outside of old comfortable (yet often destructive) patterns – is the only pathway to building the muscles of true confidence, self-trust, and self-acceptance.

Larissa is a Master and Mentor Certified Fearless Living Coach (CFLC), as well as a Master Certified Trainer (CFT) who facilitates change-based self-development workshops across the country. Outside of her work with Greenbrier, she proudly serves as the Fearless Living Institute’s Director of Certifications. Alongside coaching, Larissa is a certified Sound and Music Healing Practitioner, as well as a Gottman Leader for couples work. She has likewise completed studies in Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) support, animal communication and women’s eating and body image topics. Larissa has had significant firsthand experience in being a teen-aged girl and brings an abundance of compassion and heart to all of the families that she is so honored to work with at Greenbrier. 

Sheri Peterson

Integration Coach

Sheri has been a Certified Life Coach since 2005. She brings a diverse professional and personal experience to her coaching practice.

Starting her career as a youth worker, providing support and encouragement to young people in a church setting has given Sheri a foundation for future work with individuals and groups of all kinds. She earned her Master of Arts degree and worked for 15 years in the world of non-profit where she managed and trained staff as well as facilitated educational and support groups for individuals with cognitive delays, families, and professionals.

Currently, Sheri is a successful Personal Life Coach and Workshop Facilitator. Her professional and life experience allows her to provide an atmosphere of compassion and support for her clients.

Sheri has been working with GBA graduates and their families since the Fall of 2017. As a Master Certified Fearless Living Coach, Sheri has had extensive training in the areas of combating fear in everyday life. Utilizing the skills, tools, and principles created by Rhonda Britten (Fearless Living Institute) and Greenbrier Academy, Sheri will guide you towards the life you have always wanted, a life based in freedom rather than fear. 

CONSULTING TEAM

Dr. Noel Jewell and Physicians Assistant Theresa Sears of Seneca Health Services serve as Greenbrier’s psychiatric consulting team for medication management. Seneca Health Services is a locally based provider with a holistic approach to mental health treatment and substance abuse. Please click HERE to learn more about them.

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Noel Jewell, MD

Dr. Jewell graduated from the West Virginia University of medicine. He completed his internship and residency at University of Virginia School of Medicine where he doubled in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. He has been with Seneca Health Services since 2006.

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Theresa Sears, PA-C

Theresa is a graduate of Bluefield State College and completed her PA-C at the College of Health and Sciences in Roanoke, VA. She has been with Seneca Health Services since 2015.