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School Counselor

School Counseling

April earned an MS with the School Counseling program in 2012 and currently lives in Knoxville, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

  • Awarded Tenure from Knox County Schools, spring 2018
  • Coalition Member of the Year from the Metro Drug Coalition, 2016
  • On the Leadership Team at Richard Yoakley, since 2012
Current Occupation

School Counselor
Richard Yoakley School
Knox County, Tennessee

Personal Interests

My husband and I have taken up hiking in the last few years. We especially enjoy hiking in the nearby Smoky Mountains. So far, we have just done day hikes, but we plan to start camping in the future.

Another hobby of mine is making jewelry. I enjoy making jewelry from glass, stones, metals, and found objects. It’s a fun, creative outlet.

Future/Vocational Goals

I very much enjoy my role as the school counselor at Richard Yoakley School. I plan to stay in this role for the foreseeable future and continue to improve my school counseling program. One day, I might pursue a leadership position in the school system.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program?

I remember feeling welcomed and informed when starting the program. Our professors did a great job explaining expectations and program goals. I felt very prepared to complete assignments, and I also felt that I was cared about as a person. The school counseling program is rigorous with high standards and expectations, which is a great thing. I know I received a high quality education which prepared me for my current profession.

What is the best tidbit/find about Knoxville?

Two of my favorite things about Knoxville are the Market Square Farmer’s Market and the trails at Ijams Nature Center. The market is a great place to buy local produce as well as crafts, and Ijams Nature Center is a beautiful place to be in nature yet still close to the city.

School Counseling

Amber earned an MS in counseling with a concentration in the School Counseling program in 2010. She is originally from Memphis, TN and currently lives in Knoxville, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

School Counselor
Christenberry Elementary School
Knox County
Knoxville, TN

I am currently working as the school counselor at Christenberry Elementary in Knox County where I provide individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance lessons, and consultation with staff, parents, and other school stakeholders.

Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student
  • Outstanding Student Award, 2009, “for excellent performance in the classroom, development of professional identity as a counselor, and development of helping skills”
  • Outstanding Student Award, 2010, “outstanding role model”
  • Chi Sigma Iota secretary, 2009-2010
Accomplishments since Graduating

For the last several years I have worked as the Family Engagement Committee chairperson at our school. This group is responsible for planning events that offer parents an opportunity to spend quality time with their children and learn ways to enhance academic success at home. When I started working at Christenberry in 2009, these events were not well-attended, typically bringing in less than 100 people (sometimes less than 50). After a few years of disappointing turn-outs, we made some critical changes to these events, and our attendance sky-rocketed. We now see several hundred parents, children, and family members at our events, and our school-wide parental involvement has dramatically increased. It has been such a joy to play a part in strengthening that crucial relationship between the school and home lives of our students.

Personal Interests

My husband and I welcomed our first child, Penelope Rose, into the world last March. Much of our time is spent playing with her and watching in amazement as she grows and changes everyday. I also teach workout classes at Neighborhood Barre, a local fitness studio, where I enjoy exercising and having some “me-time” several times a week.

What do you think was the most rewarding about this program?

The most rewarding part of the school counseling program, for me, was the confidence I had as I entered into my first job. I was hired during the latter part of my internship, and even though I had not yet graduated, I knew I had the tools I needed to start building a comprehensive, developmental program at my school. The support and encouragement I received from my professors as I started my job is something I will always be grateful for.

Did you end up where you thought you would?

When I started the program, I felt certain that I wanted to work in a middle school. I wanted to be a school counselor so that I could help pre-teens navigate the changes and challenges that come with adolescent-hood. After spending just my practicum in an elementary school, however, I realized that I was destined to work with the K-5 population. I’m thankful that we were encouraged to experience a variety of grade levels, because my heart is definitely in the elementary world!

What do you remember most from your time here?

One of the most memorable experiences I had during the program came from an assignment in group. We were asked to attend a real-life, group session somewhere in the community and write about our experience. My plan was to find a group where I could blend in, and simply act as a fly on the wall during the session. After I arrived to the session I chose, I soon realized that only one other person would be joining the facilitator and I that night. What could have been a could have been a very uncomfortable hour turned into an incredibly meaningful experience for me. I had no idea that I would be affected in the way that I was, and I learned an important lesson about the power of group counseling.