Pool dives into retirement

Director of counseling services retires after 17 years

By Kaitlin Trujillo
On January 25, 2018

Photo by Brit Raley

The Director of counseling services is retiring after 17 years of serving ASU.

"I truly believe that the quality and character of ASU’s student population is above reproach," Cleave Pool said. "I consider myself truly blessed to have had the pleasure of looking forward to meeting and working with new students every year. This job has been one of the highlights of my life."

Pool became the head of the counseling center in the summer of 2000 after working in a psychiatric hospital for 16 years.

"I started working in the St. John’s Behavioral Health Center (now Shannon Behavioral Health) in 1984," Pool said. "In that setting, I conducted daily group therapy sessions with patients in the psychiatric unit and the chemical dependency unit. Other duties there included individual psychotherapy and patient mental health education sessions."

Pool has always had an interest in counseling.

"I remember even in my adolescent years being very interested in human behavior and wanting to help people who were struggling with mental health issues," Pool said.

In 1978, Pool graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and then received his Master’s degree in counseling psychology in 1992.

"Initially, I came to ASU because San Angelo is my hometown, and I love it here," Pool said. "I decided to remain at ASU for my Master’s degree because of the quality of the education available here and the individual attention and mentoring that I was receiving from the professors in whose courses I was enrolled. I believe that ASU has just started receiving the attention and accolades in recent years that it has deserved for a long time."

When Pool started at ASU, he was the only member of counseling services.

"Over the years that I’ve worked here, with the help of administrative staff that have supported our programs, we’ve been able to build a Counseling Services program of 5 counselors as well as great support staff," Pool said. "The counseling staff members that I’ve been able to hire are all excellent therapists who have a heart for our students."

Pool admires the faculty and staff at ASU has.

"I have continued to be impressed with the level of dedication that these staff and faculty members have demonstrated regarding the students that they serve," Pool said. "I can’t tell you how many times staff and faculty members have actually walked students to our offices because they were worried and concerned about them. At times like that, one can see that ASU can truly function as a family."

For now, Pool’s retirement plans include spending time with family, especially his grandkids, and friends.

Pool said he enjoys gardening and target shooting and is active in his church and other community functions.

"I do, however, love counseling and am not ready to completely give it up. It looks like I will probably work a couple of days a week at West Texas Counseling and Guidance after I’ve rested up a bit."

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