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Our Incredible Team

Meet our Staff at Ozark Trails Academy:

Richard Jones

Executive Director
M.S. – Social Work, Mental Health
B.S. – Exercise and Wellness

Richard Jones holds a Bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness and a Master’s in social work with an emphasis in mental health.

He loves the outdoors, music, and sports, and played sports all through high school and college. He even had the opportunity to play rugby after college for a few years. Richard grew up on a horse ranch, taking on many responsibilities, including caring for and feeding the horses. He also gained an appreciation and love for the outdoors through hunting and fishing with his dad. As the 6th of 10 kids, Richard feels very blessed to have grown up in a home that valued family, relationships, and the opportunity to learn from experiences and mistakes.

Catherine Newton

Clinical Director
LCSW – EMDR Certified

Catherine Newton is a distinguished Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a profound commitment to guiding individuals toward lasting transformation and healing. With over three decades of experience as a clinician, including 17 years as an EMDR practitioner, Catherine brings a wealth of expertise and insight to her practice.

Education and Expertise: Armed with a solid foundation in psychology, Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. These academic achievements, combined with her extensive clinical experience, have equipped her with a profound understanding of the human psyche and the complexities of mental health.

Championing Trauma Recovery: For over three decades, Catherine has been a champion for individuals who are resolute in their journey of recovery. Her empathetic approach and deep-seated commitment to helping others have driven her to specialize in assisting trauma victims. Catherine’s work is characterized by her passion for unearthing the roots of pain that often hinder individuals from realizing their full potential in life and relationships.

EMDR Expertise: With a remarkable 17 years of experience as an EMDR practitioner, Catherine has honed her skills in providing transformative therapy for trauma survivors. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been a cornerstone of her practice, empowering individuals to reprocess traumatic memories and break free from their hold. Catherine’s proficiency in EMDR is a testament to her dedication to staying at the forefront of effective therapeutic approaches.

Empowering Lasting Change: Catherine’s expertise extends beyond traditional symptom management. She has a profound belief in the power of addressing underlying causes and helping clients overcome cycles of reenactment that often stem from unresolved trauma. With warmth and authenticity, Catherine fosters an environment where clients can embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing.

Advocate and Educator: Beyond her clinical role, Catherine is an outspoken advocate for trauma awareness and destigmatization. She actively engages in educational initiatives to raise awareness about the far-reaching effects of trauma and the potential for recovery. Catherine’s commitment to empowering both individuals and communities underscores her steadfast belief in human resilience.

Balanced Approach: In her personal life, Catherine finds inspiration in a variety of activities. She enjoys walking her dogs, cherishing quality time with her husband and children, and engaging in volunteer work at her church. Catherine’s dedication to lifelong learning is evident as she seeks to continually expand her knowledge and skills.

Jaymie Rodriguez

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
DNP – PMHNP-BC – University of Missouri

Jaymie assesses the mental and emotional well-being of clients and develops a treatment plan that will improve his or her quality of life. The treatment plan that they create together as a team may include non-pharmacological and pharmacological methods. In her practice, she is conservative with pharmacological treatments, and prescribes based on FDA recommendations and evidence-based practice. As a team, they will work together to find what works best for the client, which may take more than one medication trial. She continues to keep an open mind to different treatment options. Everyone today is different in aspects of genetic make-up and how medications work; what works for one may not work for others.

Jaymie’s philosophy is to meet adolescents where they are and to provide care that is patient-centered. Looking at the whole picture and gathering all the pieces of one’s life is essential in their treatment. Her approach is relaxing and judgment-free as they work together to build a trusting rapport to be able to discuss personal information that may be challenging to discuss. In addition, the patient will be heard, and decisions will be made jointly between Jaymie and the treatment team to obtain the best positive outcome. People in the world today have struggles in one form or another, and some cover it up better than others. We all try to hide our differences from one another and being able to feel good about who you are is a blessing, and everyone deserves to feel good about themselves.

Jaymie was born and raised in Kansas and was planted in Missouri through the military. In her spare time, she has 4 children and one grandchild that she gets to watch achieve all their goals as they continue to grow and become adults. She has 4 dogs, 3 cats, and 4 goats to entertain, love, and take care of. Jaymie enjoys traveling and experiencing new things. She has worked in behavioral health for the past 15 years and has enjoyed all aspects of helping others live their best lives.

Travis Scheele

Director of Client Services
MA – Educational Leadership and Policy Studies – University of Northern Colorado
BS – Anthropology – Missouri State University

Travis Scheele is a dedicated program leadership professional with well over a decade of experience working with at-risk youth. He has spent his career working with staff and clients to assist them in their own personal and professional growth. His focus centers around capacity building, communication, support, and guidance. He has a penchant for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of company systems – from onboarding and training to logistics and operations.

Travis graduated with a B.S. in Anthropology from Missouri State University in 2009. His academic studies took him to places like Salalah, Oman, Antigua, Guatemala. He was thrilled by the things he learned in his undergraduate program and his experiences from that time still influence his thinking today. He eventually went on to get a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. There, he studied things like instructional leadership and supervision, how to shape organizations, and the relationship between administration and the law.

Travis began his career working as a field instructor at a wilderness therapy program in Utah. He went on to work in a transitional living program in Colorado before getting his first program leadership position at an organization that provides social-emotional and experiential programming to underserved inner-city youth. After a few years of doing that, he was offered a position as the program director for a large wilderness therapy program in Idaho. He worked there for four years before he and his wife decided to move back to the Ozarks so they could be closer to family.

Travis identifies as a lifelong learner and delights in being a part of the learning process for others. In his personal life, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. He is an avid reader and an outdoor enthusiast. He tries to go adventuring whenever he can, but also enjoys the quiet comfort of a reading nook and a good cup of coffee. He tries his best not to take himself too seriously and to enjoy life and the beauty it has to offer.

Micah Jones

Assistant Program Director

Micah Jones comes to us with 11 years experience working with struggling teens in residential treatment settings.  He came to Ozark Trails from Stillwater Academy in Utah.  Micah is a favorite with the students.  His gentle soft spoken way brings a calm to the group. He is also great one on one providing support where needed. He is trained in the Arbinger Institute Anatomy of Peace and lives the principles  with our students as well as his personal life.

He is currently seeking a degree in Marriage and Family Relationships with Brigham Young University. He plans to continue his education and become a licensed clinical therapist. 

He and his wife Dez moved their family to Missouri from Utah to become an essential part of the Ozark Team.  Dez is a primary coach for the girls.

When he is not at work, he is busy playing with his twin girls.  He loves to play and watch sports.  He also loves to play his ukulele and sing.  He gives freely of his  many talents to enrich the lives of the students at Ozark Trails and he’s a great asset to our leadership team.

Allie Newman

Individual Therapist
PLPC – EMDR Trained
MS – Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Evangel University, Springfield, MO

Allie believes in the healing power of building relationships with others and using her empathy and positive regard as a foundation for change in the adolescents she works with. She enjoys helping individuals who are struggling with trauma from past relationships because she loves helping them create healthier relationships with the people around them. She also has a heart for individuals who are struggling to find meaning in their current life circumstances.

Allie is currently Provisionally Licensed through the state of Missouri while working towards her LPC. Allie is married and has five sisters and one brother who have been her support throughout the process of becoming a counselor. She has experience working with young adults and adolescents. She was born and raised in the Ozarks where she enjoyed fishing with her dad, swimming, running a farm, and hiking. She enjoys spending time with her students at Ozark Trails by participating in outdoor activities with them. In her free time she runs a small family farm with her husband and parents. She likes nature, raising sheep and goats, and spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs. She decided to become a therapist because of her own experience with therapy which helped her change her life.

Sonya Swope

Individual Therapist
PLPC – EMDR Trained
MS – Counseling, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
BS – Communications, minor in Psychology –  Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

Sonya is a Missouri native who grew up in the southwest corner of the state. With a gentle nudge from her husband, Sonya went back to college to pursue a degree in Business Administration. She quickly discovered her passion after being placed in a Psychology class and changed her major. Sonya received her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a minor in Psychology, Conflict and Dispute Resolution Certificate, and Master of Science in Counseling from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Sonya’s desire was to work with adolescents or young adults because she remembers how difficult those years can be. In 2021, Sonya and her husband, Scott, moved to Scott’s hometown of West Plains to be closer to his family, and was introduced to Ozark Trails through a mutual friend of Richard Jones. Sonya feels that working at Ozark Trails is a true blessing because she has a passion for helping teens overcome their struggles and make changes that will have positive impacts on the rest of their lives.

Sonya and her husband have four grown children and three grandchildren. They enjoy outdoor activities such as riding four-wheelers, camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking.

Dr. Tracy Dockler

Family Therapist
DSW, LCSW, BCD – EMDR Certified

Tracy Dockler is a certified and licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience in the clinical treatment of adolescents and their families. She is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD), which demonstrates an advanced-practice status with a high level of clinical competency. Tracy holds certifications in social work and as a behavioral health consultant. Currently,   she is also receiving training in NMT to complete brain mapping and increased knowledge of developmental trauma and the impact on the brain. Academically, Tracy has a Bachelor and a Masters in Social Work, and she is in the research portion of her doctorate in social work with a research interest in wilderness therapy and a specialization in Clinical Expertise.

Tracy’s career has focused on trauma in children and youth with a strong emphasis on behavioral disorders, inclusive of attachment struggles, and mental health issues. She has a specialization in family therapy with a focus on troubled teens and their families, including a history of working with violent abusive families encompassing sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and the death of a child. Tracy has had a diverse career history with schools, shelters, residential treatment centers, private practice, clinic settings, and psychiatry hospitals. These settings have resulted in Tracy developing policies, consulting, training, advocating, developing new operating standards, group treatment, and individual and family therapy. Her passion is youth and their families and making a change in their personal growth and wellness.

Karee Stosich

Family Therapist
LMFT – EMDR Trained

Karee was motivated to become a therapist through her own experiences with mental illness and her curiosity about family dynamics and structure. Before becoming a therapist, Karee received a Bachelor of Science degree at Utah State University in Family Life Studies and became a Certified Family Life Educator. She worked for a time teaching parenting skills to underprivileged families. Karee decided to continue her education and received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has worked in various agencies including residential, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and in-home therapy.

Karee utilizes a strength-based systemic approach in working with families. She has training in EMDR, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, somatic body therapies, and grief counseling. She considers humor and play part of the healing process. Karee believes every family is capable of success and is gifted at helping people overcome maladaptive patterns and learn to believe in themselves. She loves her work and is a very dedicated therapist.

Karee has been married for over 25 years to her husband, David. They have three adult sons and one daughter-in-law. Karee recently moved to Missouri but has lived in Oregon, California, Idaho, and Utah. She has one dog, a cat, and some chickens. She likes to travel, go on adventures, read, and has an obsession with growing plants. She is really happy to be here at Ozark Trails and is looking forward to working with our families.

Jon Bishop

Family Therapist
MS – University of Phoenix – Clinical Mental Health Counseling
BS – University of Utah – Psychology, minor in Sociology

Jon began his career working in the corrections system with adolescents and their families. He had the privilege of working at Discovery Ranch for Boys, where he was able to use and develop both clinical skills, and his passion to use data to inform the treatment process as a Research Director and primary therapist. He continued to work with clients in the community as well. Jon‘s experience has ranged from working with severely and persistently mentally ill clients to those struggling with compulsion, addiction as well as trauma.

Throughout his career, Jon has worked with adolescents and families. The experience of being part of helping remove barriers to healthy relationships within a family system and witnessing a family become whole again is an awe-inspiring event for him. His passion is the family, the first step is helping youth return to a state of peace from which they can launch back into a sense of belonging with their family. He believes that one of the most effective and powerful ways to accomplish calming a youth’s nervous system and emotional state is to use the power of nature and perfecting primitive skills. The resulting mind-body connection opens the door to healing.

Amy Reynolds


Amy is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in non-restrictive nutrition, intuitive eating, and eating disorder treatment and prevention. She has significant nutrition and counseling experience, including general nutrition education and counseling, oncology and chronic disease medical nutrition therapy, adolescent culinary education, and menu development, and has worked in and developed programming for all levels of eating disorder treatment. 

Amy is working with Ozark Trails Academy to enhance our menus, consult with families/participants as needed, and develop nutrition programming to ensure our participants receive excellent nutrition care for optimal health and wellness. 

Amy owns a virtual private practice Nutrition Therapy & Wellness Co. through which she works with clients and families all over the country.

Chris Mantell

Chief Financial Officer

Chris is the CFO of Ozark Trails. He manages and oversees the financials and operations for the organization. Chris helps to handle the insurance between Client’s and the facility.

Chris played football and lacrosse at Southern Virginia University where he met his now wife, Alison. They moved out to Utah where he continued studies at Utah State University. While in Utah, Chris started his career in medical administration and grew a passion for the industry.

He loves being a part of the Ozark Trails team where teen lives are changed and a greater purpose is being served. He sees the vision for Ozark Trails as innovative and revolutionary for the industry. Chris and Alison have five children. They enjoy family movie nights and being active by playing sports.

Desiree Jones

Primary Coach

Dez and Micah came to Ozark Trails As one of several couples who decided to make Ozark Trails a team effort. For these couples Ozark Trails is not just a job it is a way of life.  

These couples make sacrifices because they love the mission of healing families.

Desiree is the wife of Micah Jones our Assistant program director.  Dez was born In Brooklyn, New York and when she was young her family moved to Long Island. After school she moved to Utah to attend the University. That is where she met Micah her husband. 

Micah says
“Dez Is the right amount of spicy and sweet. That’s what makes her so good with the Ozark students. They really love her.”

She is currently doing online school with Utah Valley University majoring in psychology. She comes to Ozark with various kinds of work experience. Most recently she worked in daycare. She loves kids and teens. Desiree not only knows the principles of relationships taught in the anatomy of peace but she lives them in her daily life. She does a great job of holding boundaries but also has a passion for caring for “the one”.  Building relationships that are meaningful help facilitate change in the students.

When she is not at the facility working for Ozark Trails she can be found reading good books and cooking good food. Her favorite thing is to hang out with Micah and the twins. She and Micah also serve the children and youth in their church.

Kidane Howell

Primary Coach
BS- Missouri State University – Business Administration

As a Primary Life Coach at Ozark Trails, Kidane’s role is to provide guidance and support to individuals on their journey towards personal growth and well-being. He helps clients develop positive coping strategies, set goals, and navigate life’s challenges. He empowers clients to make positive changes, build resilience, and create a fulfilling life.

Kidane’s personal philosophy in approaching his work is to be a supportive and compassionate aid. He believes in creating a safe and trusting space where clients can explore their challenges and strengths. He strives to empower clients to take ownership of their journey and make positive changes. By fostering a collaborative and non-judgmental relationship, he aims to help clients discover their inner resources and build resilience. Kidane is dedicated to providing personalized support and guidance, tailoring his approach to meet each individual’s unique needs. Together with his clients, they can navigate through obstacles and work towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

In his personal life, Kidane loves exploring different cultures and has traveled around the world, living in various countries. Currently, he is in college pursuing his MBA. On the side, he also works as a private basketball skills coach, helping others improve their game. He enjoys the diversity of experiences and opportunities that life brings, and is always excited to learn and grow.

Katherine Bruns

Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist

Certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Spinning Instructor, Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist.

Kathie loves coaching our clients, as well as leading them in Trauma-Informed Yoga Groups, Progressive Muscle Relaxation Groups, Recreational Activities, Exercise Activities, and working individually with clients utilizing Touch Therapy Techniques – non-invasive massage techniques, such as hand massage – to reacquaint clients to touch in a safe environment.

Kathie’s personal philosophy with our clients is recognizing their individual needs emotionally, educationally, and physically – and offering guidance and encouragement to be the best selves they can be.

Kathie has over 25 years of experience guiding clients in the area of health and wellness. She has also raised one child and fostered another, and has personal experience with teens with traumatic life experiences. She has overcome, and continues to work with past trauma, which provides her with a personal understanding, and compassion for the experiences of others.

Joseph Ostergren

Weekend Manager
AS Administration of Justice – Shasta College, Redding, CA

Joe approaches his work with love and kindness. He wants to see kids being kids and learning life lessons that they are able to use as healthy adults.

He loves working with kids and young adults. He has over 25 years of work experience working with at-risk youth. He has also had 58 foster children placed in his home through the years, of which, he has adopted four. Joe also has a photography business, and many of the beautiful pictures parents receive of their students were taken by Joe.

Larry Williams

Academic Director

Larry has worked in the education field for over 20 plus years. He received his master’s in education in 2008. Larry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with education as he has worked in the education department as a teacher, administrator, and director. Larry also brings experience working with adolescents in a treatment setting. He and his wife have experience as family teachers and a house parent with boys’ town. He was a director at a local children’s crisis center for five years. Larry worked as a teacher and administrator for an alternative school doing this for three years.

Larry brings rounded and extensive experience to our academics with an obvious passion for helping adolescents. We are thrilled to have Larry on our team, assisting and creating academic success.

Scott Salvesen

Quality Assurance and Compliance Coordinator, Data and Outcomes Coordinator
MS Tourism and Recreation Management – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
BS Outdoor Recreation Management – Utah Valley University, Orem, UT

Scott comes to us with a strong business background, and has worked in many different settings, including multi-million dollar start-ups. He grew up in South Africa, and moved to the USA as a teenager. Scott’s passion for the outdoors started as a child, where he frequently visited the African veld with his family. These experiences would shape his love of the outdoors and travel. Scott has worked in outdoor settings for over 8 years, and has worked with youth or in educational settings for 4 of those years. In his role, he ensures that our program is following all industry standards, and is determined to have our program be counted among the best in the world.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching movies, reading books, and doing anything involving water.

Sadie Young

Admissions Director

Sadie was born and raised in Utah and has been around the treatment program industry her whole life. She developed a passion for psychology and working with teenagers when she was practically a teenager herself.

Sadie started her first job in treatment in 2010 in pursuit of her passion. She has a natural talent and insight for working with struggling teenagers.  She started working as support staff and later designed training protocols for that department. She knew early on that this was her career path of choice, so she went to school to earn a degree in psychology.

Sadie started working in program admissions in 2015. “I love answering the phone or responding to an email of a parent searching for help and hope and being able to tell them they’ve called the right place!” She has been with Ozark since the ground break in 2020.

“When I visited the facility just before the opening, I was blown away by the healing power the surrounding nature and environment could provide. I knew it was going to change lives and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. There is something magical about the Ozark Mountains.”  

When Sadie is not working at Ozark Trails she enjoys, baking fancy desserts, health, and fitness, and having fun with her husband, kids, and two yellow labs.

Chelsie Rodeback

Admissions Specialist

Chelsie Skye Rodeback has been working in treatment since 2019. She has three spirited children and a loving husband. She grew up in Salt Lake City and loves to escape to rural Southern Utah as often as she can to visit family. When she isn’t working you can find her anywhere there is live music and sunshine.

Chelsie’s passion for working with adolescents comes from her own struggles being a rebellious teenager and having low confidence in the classroom. Chelsie believes that it is a gift to receive treatment at a young age and brings that message to the teens with whom she works.  “If I had received help in school at that age, it would have helped my self-esteem immensely.”

Chelsie’s past experience has been working as “front line staff” in positions of Support Staff and Case Management.  These are positions where she interacted daily with the students as a leader and mentor.

She enjoyed watching students grow from their first days in the program, all the way to graduation. On graduation days, she was usually misty-eyed “this is why I do this job!”  Chelsie also co-facilitated several groups including addictions 12-step program, Stages of Change, and Why Try curriculum. As a certified teacher in AEGIS (safety and crisis intervention) she led training for staff to better handle high-stress situations and skills to properly de-escalate clients.

She believes in change, and that the students CAN recover from trauma. Chelsie has a passion for the skills taught at Ozark Trails and uses those principles in her own personal life.

Chelsie has always connected with the parents of the students with whom she worked and enjoyed helping them acclimate to the program. It was always a goal to move into an admissions position to better help parents with struggling teens. Chelsie joined the Ozark Admissions Team in 2022, where she brings a new perspective with her knowledge from working on “the front line” with the students face to face each day.  

Chelsie loves the opportunity that comes with treatment in the beautiful Ozark mountains. “Some of my favorite experiences are kayaking the river and watching the fireflies at dusk.”

Paula Simandl

Registered Nurse
ASDN – Missouri State University – West Plains
ASD HIT – Missouri State University – West Plains

Paula is our school nurse, and tries to treat everyone like her family. She respects each person for who they are.

Paula has been a nurse since the 70s, but has held many other positions in her life. She has three adult children and one granddaughter, and is very close with her family.