New academic counselor at PCHS
When Jennie Hall was studying business at Brigham Young University, she spent a summer working at a children’s camp. She said she grew to love the children and their stories and decided she wanted to make a career out of helping them. Hall changed her major to psychology and has been working with children ever since.
Hall received her master’s degree in psychology from Utah State University and recently completed the course work to become a certified mental health counselor through the University of Utah.
In August, she will join the Park City School District staff as an academic counselor at the high school, as well as the Park City Learning Center.
"I have worked in so many different environments focused on children and have learned that education is so important," Hall said. "All of the places I have worked have given me insight into the fact that education gives children the potential to create positive things for themselves, so I went into counseling because of that."
Hall previously worked as a counselor in the Alpine School District at a school specifically for children in foster homes. She helped the district develop a character education class that taught basic life values and skills before moving to the district’s middle school, also as a counselor.
She then decided to take a year-and-a-half to perform program evaluation as well as conduct research on the best practices for truancy reduction for the Utah Criminal Justice Center at the University of Utah. She hopes to use the research she compiled over the last year-and-a-half to contribute to the district’s current attempts to reduce problematic behavior.
"My hope is to take what they are doing and add all my experience and research on what works with kids who have a hard time navigating the school system," she said. "I just hope I get to enhance what they are already doing."
While she was eager to conduct research, Hall said she is happy to be working with children again. "I am anxious to be an advocate and pillar of support for every child in the district," she said. "I love it, because it’s what I’ve been doing for so long."
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Compensation is the largest issue left on the table after a contract governing most every other aspect of teachers’ employment was negotiated earlier in June.