HC sets sights on improving behavioral resources by adding new positions


Rowyn Moore

This year, HC is expanding its available student resources. With three new positions being added to the staff, HC hopes to have more support available for students that need it. As a reference, Fayette County uses a tier system to rank students that may struggle with behavioral expectations. The higher the tier, the more assistance or counseling the student may need.

“I usually get to work with students that might suffer from anxiety, depression, or grief,” District Mental Health Specialist Dontryse Greer said. “I also do small groups that may consist of students who are maybe Tier Two or Tier Three that need coping skills.”

Greer believes that mental health is extremely important for lives in and out of the classroom.

“Mental health is important for everybody,” Greer said. “It helps us balance out our everyday lives. When our mental health is off-balance, it can affect our one-on-one with other people and our work-life balance.”

An academic interventionist position has also been added, and the position was filled by HC’s own Jennifer White, who previously held the position of English teacher.

“I’ve been a reading interventionist in the past,” White said, “and my Master’s degrees are in literacy and reading. Doing this type of work has always been a passion of mine, and I’ve continued to make it a professional goal to work with students in this capacity if the opportunity were to arise.”

White works to help students with behavior through reading and learning. She strives to help students improve in their English classes.

“I will work with students who are struggling readers in a small setting and also reteach skills with which they are struggling,” White said. “I will also work with students who need remediation on skills as well as those who may need help with goal setting and strategies to be successful in the classroom.”

Ashley Harris has been added on as an additional school counselor at HC. Her job includes helping students with college preparation, teaching them how to improve their mental states, and showing them that they have someone to talk to at all times.

“There are a lot of students where we can make a difference in their lives,” Harris said. “A lot of students need someone, a safe outlet, or someone to have as a supporter. It’s really important for students to know that there are people at school that they can go to if they have problems or need help.”

Harris has confidence that students will benefit greatly from having an extra counselor at HC. She believes that having “someone in your corner” can drastically improve high school experiences.

“I’m really excited to be here [at HC],” Harris said. “I hope the students know that I am here if anyone has anything they want to talk to someone about or just to have someone to support them. I can be a cheerleader for them.”

HC’s decision to address student mental health and behavioral needs is a big step forward in the eyes of many. The school hopes that by adding these new positions they can help lessen the stressors of everyday life.