Geneseo High School Counseling

Our current plan at GHS is to administer the School Day SAT to all juniors (Class of 2022) on Tuesday, April 13th. We are waiting for further guidance from ISBE & College Board for details and requirements. Please tentatively plan to take the SAT on Tuesday, April 13th. This date is subject to change due to potential changes at the state & federal levels.

Welcome to the Geneseo High School Counseling Website. Please use these pages and links to assist you with locating scholarships, tools for career and college planning, high school course planning and sequencing, social/emotional resources, and other links that are available for your use and are full of helpful information.

Please come and visit the counseling office or make an appointment as your school counselors are available for assistance.  The Geneseo High School counselors are:

Counselor Students Served Office Phone Number  
Linda VanDerLeest A-G 945-0308 Email
Alexandria Ator H-P 945-0307 Email
Kathy Buysse Q-Z 945-0306 Email
Melanie Rice Social Worker 945-0322 Email
Alicia Barnett Secretary 945-0313 Email

About GHS Counselors

Miss Kathy Buysse

Ms. Buysse earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University in 1992. She began her teaching career in 3rd grade in Lincoln, IL. She then spent the next 5 years teaching 2nd grade in the Hartsburg-Emden School District.  During that time, she attended Illinois State University earning her Masters of Science in Education degree in 1998.

Ms. Buysse spent 17 years in the Sherrard school district as a counselor in the junior high and high schools before coming to Geneseo. She is the Black Hawk College and Illinois Virtual High School liaison. As the liaison, she assists students pursue dual credit and dual enrollment courses either through Black Hawk College or Illinois Virtual High School.  

Ms Buysse is the counselor for students last name Q-Z. Ms Buysse is also the counselor for students with an IEP.

Mrs. Alexandria Ator

Mrs. Ator earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa in 2013. She recently earned a Master of Science in Education in school counseling from Western Illinois University in May of 2017. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she worked towards improving graduation rates and supporting at-risk populations of students within the Quad City area through positions with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois as well as the City of Davenport AmeriCorps program. She also volunteered as a grief group counselor supporting students experiencing grief, loss, and trauma at Rick House of Hope from 2012-2016. While earning her Master degree, Mrs. Ator also worked as a substitute teacher, high school volleyball coach, and coordinated the PACERS program within the counseling department at Rock Island High School.

At Geneseo High School, Mrs. Ator serves as the test coordinator for all standardized testing (SAT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement).

Mrs. Ator is the counselor for students last name H-P.

Miss Linda VanDerLeest

Ms. Van Der Leest received her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin Platteville.  She began her career teaching physical education, health, and psychology at Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling, Illinois.  She was also an IHSA volleyball and track & field state finals official.  After earning her Masters in Education degree in school counseling from Western Illinois University in 1991, Ms Van Der Leest made the move to Geneseo High School.

During the past 29 years, Ms. Van Der Leest has been a part of establishing the Jr. Firefighter Program and assists HHH with their Student Volunteer Program and the Geneseo Rotary with their STRIVE program. She has also been the Community Service Class co-cordinator, high school liaison to Black Hawk Community College, high school curriculum planning team member, department chair, GEA President, assists in establishing local scholarships, and helped establish mentoring program for new teachers. Ms. Van Der Leest has also coached softball, basketball and golf at Geneseo High School. In 2015 and 2016, she served on the A3 HS leadership team.  

Mrs. Melanie Rice

Mrs. Rice received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University in 1989.  In 1991, she received her Masters Degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Schools and her Type 73 Certificate.  She began work in the Geneseo School District in the fall of 1991.   She has been a Field Supervisor for social work interns since 1994 for the University of Illinois, University of Iowa and St. Ambrose University Graduate Programs in School Social Work. During the first 27 years of her school career in the Geneseo School District, she had spent her professional time in the Geneseo elementary schools and began working at Geneseo High School during the 2006-2007 school year.

Meet the GHS Counseling Staff

From left to right:

  • Miss VanDerLeest – students last name A-G
  • Ms. Buysse – students last name Q-Z and all students with IEP’s
  • Mrs. Ator – students last name H-P
  • Mrs. Barnett- administrative secretary