Can you believe it is August already?
Neither can we! You may be asking "who is "we?" Our entire Robinson Counseling team is the "we" and if you are a returning Robinson parent, welcome back! If your family is new to our Robinson community, we are glad you are here! Please allow us to introduce ourselves.
Our counseling team consists of:
Tonya Ampey-Elong, Kirkwood School District Social Worker
Mrs. Ampey-Elong is a vital part of our counseling team. This is Tonya's 14th year in Kirkwood and she is a big part of our Robinson community. She has nurtured and grown many relationships with our students and families. Tonya has helped connect families at Robinson with utility assistance, food assistance, housing, transportation, and healthcare. In addition, Tonya is a trained and licensed professional counselor. She often assists the team by seeing students in small groups, 1-1, and she facilitates whole classroom circles as well. When Tonya is not working, she is typically "working out!" Tonya loves to exercise and be with her husband and larger, extended family.
Julie Cohen, Robinson School Counselor, 3rd-5th grades
Mrs. Cohen has been an active member of Robinson's community since 2004, when her oldest child began kindergarten. With a non-profit background, Julie did not come to her role in a traditional way. She began as a parent volunteer turned teaching assistant in 2006, followed by a shorter stint in the office as a secretary. That job allowed her to see where she "best fit" at Robinson and to attend graduate school. Julie felt like she won the lottery when she was hired as the School Counselor in 2016. She has a unique perspective of "all things Robinson" from her journey and many roles. Julie has grown our programming in many ways --beginning a Food Pantry for all Robinson families, building a caring culture through fun teaching videos, and developing a leadership program for our oldest students to name a few. When not working, Julie's happy place is anywhere her family of 5 find themselves together.
Indria Harris, Robinson School Counselor, preschool-2nd grade
Ms. Harris came to Robinson in 2019 with an amazing skillset and a passion for what she does. As one of our "newer" team members, Indria brings a fresh lens to all counseling programming and respectfully questions the "why" of things in place. She has been instrumental in program review and creation since her arrival at Robinson from St. Louis Public Schools. Her previous school was, arguably, the one with the most need in the entire city. This nurtured Indria's counseling abilities and skills. She can quickly assess situations and problem solve for best resolution/outcomes. Indria has grown solid student, staff, parent/caregiver relationships in the short time she has been here, despite Covid-19 abruptly ending our in person learning in her second year. When not working, Indria loves being mom to her 3 children. She also enjoys traveling to see family, and to cheer on her oldest son's basketball team.
Ana Shields, BJC Educational Support Counselor (ESC)
Miss Shields joined our Robinson Counseling Team in late 2020, and she began seeing students in January 2021. Before coming to Robinson, Ana worked for 4 years in another school setting for students who were not considered successful in a traditional school. As an ESC, Ana works with students and their families. Ana's main focus is supporting students through intensive 1-1 therapy, but she can also be helpful in a variety of other ways. Ana can give referrals for outside counseling services and help families navigate private/outside care . She will split her time between Robinson and Tillman Elementary again this year. Ana loves to travel with her family and her fiancé when she is not working.