Interim Superintendent Anna Shepherd announces 5 school counselor positions. These positions will enable every school to have a counselor.
Interim Superintendent Shepherd comments, “We are happy to announce that we will have school counselors in every school beginning this school year. We’ve created five new positions and in some schools, we have new people in place. John M. Stumbo Elementary and Prestonsburg Elementary are still in the process of filling their vacancies and the following people are in place at our other schools:
Allen Elementary (new position) Sandy Hackett
Adams Middle (new position) Kayla McKinney
May Valley Elementary (new position) Kim Reed
Betsy Layne Elementary Mallory Roberts
Betsy Layne High School Justin Akers
Duff-Allen Central Elementary Amanda Kidd
Floyd Central High Nikki Queen-Gillam
Prestonsburg High Amy Hughes
South Floyd ES Susan Damron
Sandy Hackett says, “I want the students and parents of Allen Elementary to know that my office door will always be open. I want my office to be a safe place for students to come if they need encouragement, support, or just someone to listen. “If I can make a difference in a child’s life then I feel like I have done my job as a counselor. Our children need guidance and praise so they can be happy and successful in adulthood.”
Sandy was a science and social studies teacher for 8 years and a counselor for 12 years. She has worked at Allen Central Middle, Allen Central High, Renaissance Learning Center and the Floyd County Early College Academy (FCECA). She has served as coordinator for FCECA and for our district cadre for counselors. Sandy received the Outstanding High School Counselor Award in 2017 for Professional Excellence and Distinguished Service by the Kentucky Counseling Association.
Sandy is returning to Floyd County Schools after a recurrence with cancer. She lives in Prestonsburg and with her husband Greg. Sandy has one daughter, Lauren Jarrell, who is the Regional Director of Retail Pharmacies for ARH and one granddaughter, Caroline Everly Jarrell. Sandy enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, traveling with her husband and preparing desserts for her family and friends.
Kayla McKinney has been in the field of education for 11 years. She began her career teaching English at Prestonsburg High School and has taught at Allen Central High and most recently, Floyd Central High. From academic team coach to yearbook coordinator, Kayla has learned more about students as she served in each new role. She was a member of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative where she earned a Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership and became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). Kayla says, “I’m excited to be at Adams Middle School and look forward to helping students. Being the school counselor allows me to work with our staff and community and help students to be their best. What a fantastic way to spend your career!”
Kayla says she feels blessed in her journey in education because she has had those who have been mentors, those who have been her support and those who have cheered her on. Kayla and her husband Josh live in Allen with their sons Cash, age 3 and Carter, age 1. Being in the backyard with her sons building castles in the sandbox, playing baseball, or racing around is one of her favorite places to be.
Amanda Kidd says, “Over the last 7 years, DACE (Duff-Allen Central Elementary) has become my home. I love my Bulldog family and this community, and I am excited for the opportunity to get to serve all of the students at DACE as their new school counselor.” She has spent 2 years teaching computers and 5 years teaching math at DACE while also serving on the District Math Curriculum Mapping Team and on DACE’s Leadership Team. Amanda comments, “Being in the classroom and building relationships with my students has been my favorite part of my experience as a teacher. I’ve always wanted to be a positive role model for my students, so I’m excited that this new role will allow me to reach even more kids in our school, not just the ones in my classroom. Coming out of this global pandemic, the mental health of our students and staff members is more important than ever. There’s an increased emphasis in meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students and I’m looking forward to being involved in every aspect of that.”
Amanda and her husband Brandon live in Prestonsburg with their children Kylie, age 9, and Brayden, age 7. She is an avid sports fan, loves traveling and spending time with her family. Amanda likes listening to a wide variety of music and is a huge fan of Taylor Swift.
Kim Reed has spent the past 29 years with her May Valley family serving as a classroom teacher, primary coordinator and as a member of several councils and committees. Serving as school counselor seems her logical next step. Kim says, “Our students deserve to know we value and believe in them. They need all of us working together to set common goals that truly make a difference in their academic and social/emotional development. This unified approach can assist students in reaching their full potential.” Kim continues saying, “I’ve been very blessed to have many positive role models throughout my life to emulate, two of them being my parents. They instilled in me a desire to demonstrate compassion, empathy, and respect for others, to make a positive difference and to try my best and that’s what I am going to do in this role. I am honored for this opportunity to serve as school counselor. We are committed to encouraging, supporting, and empowering our students to set goals and to reach their full potential regarding academic, social/emotional, and career development success."
Kim says her husband Stuart encourages her, supports all her endeavors and continues to be an inspiration for me to challenge herself. They live in Drift.
Amy Hughes, in her 21st year, has divided her time between the classroom and being a school counselor. Besides a one year break in at Floyd Central High, Amy has served 20 of her years at Prestonsburg High School. She has sponsored clubs such as the National Honor Society and coached Dance and Cheer.
Amy has divided her time between the classroom and being a school counselor. Besides a one year
break in at Floyd Central High, Amy has served 20 of her years at Prestonsburg High School. She has sponsored clubs such as the National Honor Society and coached Dance and Cheer.
Amy says, “I love our kids and helping them find solutions to their problems. Being the school counselor allows me to be able to offer kids the opportunity to express themselves openly in a safe environment that is free of judgement. They can share their problems and we can work together on a solution. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a kid grow academically, socially, emotionally.”
Amy and her husband Rick live in Prestonsburg and have children Dalton, Annabelle, Rikki (and Marty), Jason (and Taylor), and Crystal. They enjoy being grandparents to Jolie, Gunner, Taytum, Madison, Felix, and Claire. Amy is a 1991 Graduate of Prestonsburg High School.
Susan Damron has just begun her 24th year in education. She taught at Ohio County before coming to Floyd County Schools to become the counselor at South Floyd High School. Susan has also served as the counselor and Student Support at Renaissance Learning Center. She has been an instructor with the Southeast Community College Upward Bound Program and one for Big Sandy Community College. Susan has coached multiple sports, served as the Advanced Placement Coordinator, Tech Prep Coordinator, Career and Technical Education department chair and is a licensed professional clinical counselor.
Susan says, “I know from past experience and from living in the area that there are great students in the Left Beaver area and I look forward to the challenge of working with elementary and middle school students at the most critical stages of development. We will have a comprehensive guidance program to meet the academic, career, and social emotional needs of our students at South Floyd.” Susan enjoys trips to the ocean and being outdoors kayaking, walking, and bike riding.
Interim Superintendent Shepherd says, “The state is putting more emphasis on social/emotional learning and rightly so. Prior to the pandemic, this area is one where we needed to grow. That growth is exponentially more important post pandemic as we understand more than ever that the whole student is important. SEL competencies are crucial for the long term success of all students. This development influences a child’s empathy, self-confidence, a sense of value and the ability to develop long lasting friendships. SEL goes hand in hand with academics and we are happy to be focusing more in that area.”