IC IMAGINE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
What exactly do Mental Health Providers do to support our students’ personal, social, emotional, and career development?
School Counselors provide short-term supportive counseling for students. Students may meet individually or in small groups to meet a variety of needs that may influence success at school. This support is provided on a short-term basis though students will continue to be involved in school wide programs. If there is a need for more long-term or intensive therapy, referrals can be facilitated with family support to a community provider or one of our school-based therapists. We are fortunate to have three therapists between our two campuses.
IC Imagine students in Kindergarten through 8th grade have the opportunity to participate in classroom visits and lessons tied to social, emotional, academic, and school success skills as detailed in the North Carolina Guidance Standards. Class visits may also be responsive in nature and focus on needs in our school community or in specific classes. Some of the themes of classroom lessons are related to conflict resolution, friendship needs, communication skills, personal responsibility, goal setting, career exploration, self care and respect. Our Upper School students receive lessons geared toward career and college transition.
SCHOOL-WIDE SUPPORT AND PROGRAMMING:
Across our school, we have initiatives that support the overall success and well being of our students, although they vary among grade levels. These initiatives encourage positive social interactions and nurture our students’ growth. In addition, coordination with community resources to share valuable information with our students provides opportunities for student growth and development. Examples include 7 Habits, Second Step Curriculum and Bullying Prevention, and Zones of Regulation, among others.
We offer a school-based therapy option for students that have need. We now have three school-based therapists. Please contact your school counselor for more information. We also have school-based therapy options through Blue Ridge Health.
What makes our school unique is that our foundation to discipline and skill-building uses a restorative approach. What this means is that our primary focus is ensuring that we have a positive school climate by teaching character-building and life skills through practical means and allowing collaboration between home and school. Discipline at ICI is restorative by utilizing less punitive consequences and aligning more skill-based learning for behavior and address harm within the community. In addition, restorative discipline at ICI allows students to get more involved in peer mediations, restorative conferences, and strengthening relationships between both peers and adults.
MEET OUR MENTAL HEALTH TEAM
My name is Amanda Bell and I am honored to be the School Psychologist here at IC Imagine. I obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychological Sciences from Purdue University (Go Boilers!) and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology with a graduate minor in Counseling from Indiana University. I have worked within public schools throughout my 12 year long professional career beginning in Chicago, IL then Indiana, and for the past 7 years, right here in Asheville. I was raised in Southern Indiana in an exceptionally diverse family of 10! My upbringing laid the groundwork and ignited my passion for supporting students, families, and staff in meeting the various emotional, behavioral, and academic needs within communities. I strive to take a heart centered approach in all that I do here at ICI and know that I’m in the best of company in aiming to do so!
It is my goal to help school communities in providing equitable supports and equal opportunities for every child so that they can realize their own unique gifts they have to contribute to the world. When I am not at work, I’m enjoying my two young children and husband, often outdoor adventuring. I enjoy hiking, trail running, mountain biking, reading (at least 7 books at once), hanging out with my amazing “mama tribe” and relying on a steady yoga practice to reset.
ABBEY GELINEAU, UPPER SCHOOL (9-12)
My name is Abbey Gelineau and I am the Upper School Counselor at IC Imagine. I was born and raised in New England, but moved down to Asheville in July of 2013 to take the Freshman Counselor position at Enka High School. Prior to my three years at Enka, I spent four years at Pioneer Charter School of Science, located in Boston, MA, counseling students in grades 7-12. Before that, my first counseling job was as a 7th grade counselor in San Francisco at Marina Middle School. I graduated from Skidmore College in 2004, where I majored in Sociology and minored in Early Childhood Education and Women’s Studies. I received my Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco in 2008.
Advising adolescents is my true calling, and I am fortunate enough to both teach and learn from my students on a daily basis. When I am not at school, I enjoy cooking, practicing yoga, spending time with friends, and hitting the trails of WNC with my rescue pup, Birdy.
CHELSEA LAFFERTY, UPPER SCHOOL (9-12)
School Counselor/College and Career Counselor
(828) 633-6491 ext. 4109
My name is Chelsea Lafferty and I am an upper school counselor at IC Imagine. I grew up in Charlotte, NC and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in mathematics. I decided to move over to the mountains and started with IC Imagine in 2015 as an upper school math teacher. Though I loved being in the classroom, I found myself gravitating towards deeper one-on-one conversations with my students and this led me into the world of counseling. I completed my master’s degree in school counseling at Lenoir-Rhyne University and spent one year working as a middle school counselor at another local charter school.
I am very excited to be back with the IC Imagine community in this new counseling role. I will be primarily working with upper school students and their families on identifying students’ college and career goals and helping support them through the college application and financial aid process. I live in the heart of West Asheville with my three dogs and in my free time, I enjoy trying new restaurants, attending live music events and exploring all that this city has to offer.
JESSE MITCHELL, MIDDLE SCHOOL (6-8)
I grew up here in Western North Carolina and happy to continue to call it home. I have a lovely wife and three amazing children, all of which are part of the IC Imagine family. Before working here, I was the School Counselor at Oakley Elementary School. I have a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Old Dominion University – 2007 and a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling from ODU – 2010. I have worked with all developmental levels at IC Imagine but have found my place in middle school. I love working in this educational environment. I love being at this school and I believe in the educational impact our school has on its students. ICI is a family and I am proud to be part of it. It is my mission to aid in the socio-emotional, academic and career development for all of our students while advocating for student well-being through collaboration with students, parents, teachers, administration and stakeholders. Go Kingfishers!!!
ASHLEE KINNAIRD, LOWER SCHOOL (K-5)
My name is Ashlee Kinnaird and I am one of the Lower School Counselors here at IC Imagine. I was born and raised in Blackshear, Georgia. After some traveling out west, I settled in Asheville in 2004. I graduated from UNC Asheville with a Bachelor’s in Spanish and received my Master’s in Counseling from Western Carolina University. Prior to joining ICI’s counseling team, I taught Spanish at a variety of levels. I feel honored to be a part of the ICI family and work with these kids everyday. It is my goal to aid students in their social, emotional, academic, and career development during their time at IC Imagine.
My husband and I live in Swannanoa and have two children, Landen and Avery, and two pups, Cooper and Ellie. We love spending time together and with friends, traveling, cooking, camping, and hiking.
MICHAEL HOLM, LOWER SCHOOL (K-5)
My name is Michael Holm and I am excited to be a Lower School Counselor at IC Imagine. Originally from Connecticut, I earned my bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Western Connecticut State University, which led me into the world of education. I taught middle school language arts at Broadview Middle School in Danbury, CT for four years before my wife and I moved to southern Utah to explore the desert and national parks for several years. After moving to Asheville two years ago, I worked as a language arts teacher at the Franklin School of Innovation before pursuing my master’s degree in school counseling at Western Carolina University, where I am still enrolled. Besides working with my students to achieve their academic goals, my favorite part of teaching has always been helping students grow socially and emotionally, and I look forward to supporting students further in these areas as a school counselor. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing, writing, exploring, and learning all kinds of new, exciting things.