Student Services Week! February 5–9, 2018

Special note: Images provided by Thinkstock and Getty Images.

Welcome to Student Services Week 2018!

February 5-9, 2018, is Student Services Week in the state of Florida. This is our opportunity to share the support services provided to students by school counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and school psychologists.

Please join us as we celebrate the work of student services personnel across the state and the hard work and success of our Florida students! We begin this week with Stories from the Field from the Levy and Pasco County School Districts.

Story From the Field...

The School Board of Levy County highlights one of many success stories...

As educators, we encounter students from all walks of life. No one student is ever the same. Not only are they timeless, their impact on us is as well. For all of us at Williston Middle High School (WMHS), that student is Linda Williams.

Linda Williams

Linda's self-determination, along with her strong and sassy spirit, drives her to become as independent as possible. From her infectious smile, catching laugh, and outbursts of sing-alongs, Linda is contagious. Linda's story at WMHS began in 2015 when her family relocated from New York to Florida. While in the New York school system, Linda attended school in a self-contained class and received some job training through the Sam's Club bakery.

As a student at WMHS, Linda earned credits through access points and was mainstreamed in art, journalism, agriculture, and physical education. Linda participated in numerous co-curricular activities that included pep rallies, various sporting events, and attending both her Junior and Senior proms. Linda gained work experience through the Methodist Church store, a local pizzeria, and she assisted in a school-based enterprise during her final year of high school.

Faculty, staff, and students throughout Linda’s tenure as a student helped to make her transition and student experience as dynamic and memorable as she is. This was all made possible through the extensive support of Linda’s family; specifically, her older sister.

Linda's outgoing personality is evident as she walks through the hallways at WMHS. In fact, she is on a first-name basis with many of her peers and the school staff. Students have described Linda as sweet, kind, funny, spunky, and persistent. During Linda’s last months as a student at WMHS, she sported a short blonde wig. Her sassy spirit shone through as she pretended to be Marilyn Monroe, Lady Gaga, and Dolly Parton. Her infectious personality flooded the hallways and classrooms during a typically stressful time of year.

During high school graduation, Linda's peers lead a standing ovation when her name was called to walk across the stage and receive her diploma. This is a testament to the impression she has made on her peers and community.

Graduation Day!

After graduation, it was without a doubt that a void had been left at WMHS with Linda’s absence. However, an opportunity presented itself and Linda quickly became a volunteer member of our student support staff! In her role, Linda is continuing to develop her soft employment skills and building her resume. She works in the media center, guidance office, and several classrooms providing support to our students, staff, and school. Linda's job responsibilities include disinfecting tables, breaking down boxes for disposal, and refilling the condiment cart for the lunchroom. She is also assisting our school with keeping pencils sharpened and ear buds disinfected so students have the necessary supplies readily available for state evaluations. No matter the role that Linda takes within WMHS, she is a critical member of our school and community.

Story from the Field...

Pasco County School District: The Harmony Project

Both Kelly Davey, Certified High School Counselor, and Wendy Belfield, School Social Worker, are leading the efforts to pilot The Harmony Project, a trauma-informed approach to education. The Project's mission is to build compassionate schools that allow adults and students to perform at their highest potential through raising awareness of the impact of trauma. The focus is on creating harmony between the pursuit of academic excellence and the desire to improve the overall well-being of school communities. The goal of The Harmony Project is to positively impact student and teacher engagement as measured on the Gallup, student and teacher attendance, and student discipline culminating in increased student academic performance.

The Harmony Project is currently implementing its pilot with five schools this year, with plans to expand to additional schools next year.

Kelly and Wendy working with Schrader Elementary’s TIC Champions team.

Stories from the Field continued...

Pasco County School District

From the spouse of an employee:

“I would like to report an outstanding job done by your school nurse, Mark Clairmont, River Ridge High School. My husband is a plumber and works in the maintenance department for Pasco. He was doing a job at River Ridge and a bottle of sulfuric acid splattered all over his face, arms, legs, and shoulder. With the quick thinking of Mr. Clairmont, my husband will fully recover. My husband said Mark did an awesome job caring for him until the ambulance got to the school. The doctor at Tampa General said with the quick thinking of Mr. Clairmont flushing the eyes out right away, and putting the baking soda and water mixture on his burns really helped. People like him make a big difference. Thank you for having such great nurses to care for our students and employees.

In Recognition

Kathy J. Browning, school nurse for many years in Pasco County, was sworn in as President-elect of the Florida Association of School Nurses (FASN) on February 3, 2018. We are very proud of Kathy’s leadership, commitment and passion for school nursing in our state.

Congratulations to Margaret Polk, who was FASN’s school nurse of the year in 2017, and received the 2017 Distinguished Graduate Award in the Practitioner Category, from the FSU College of Nursing. Margaret was recognized during Homecoming at the Alumni and Faculty Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Friday, November 17, 2017.

In recognition of Amanda Runyon, school nurse at Hudson Middle and High schools. The Superintendent honored her and another alum of Pasco County Schools during a district Veterans Day ceremony on Friday, November 10, 2017. We are so proud of Amanda for her service to our country and her service as a school nurse! Captured on Facebook.

Jenny Morsey, school nurse, was featured in Staff in Spotlight on Facebook for her dedication to the students of Pasco County. https://www.facebook.com/pascostudentservices/posts/1030819267060727

Contact Us


In case you missed it...download the most recent Student Support Services Newsletter!

Please join us in celebration as we share your Stories From the Field each day of Student Services Week. Stay tuned!


Special note: Images provided by Thinkstock, and Getty Images.

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