The Charter News
Mrs. Alicia Heinsoo, ACA’s new counselor has been meeting with the students of ACA since the beginning of this school year. Mrs. Heinsoo states that she has “striven to provide a safe space for all students to feel respected and comfortable.” Although many students already have regular meetings with her there are also some slots in Mrs. Heinsoos schedule for drop-in meetings.
Mrs. Heinsoo said she is planning more meetings and is “pleased with the turnout of the meetings already under way. Currently I am providing a 7-8th grade girls meeting and I am the staff sponsor for the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) here which has been really cool. I think it is good to give students as much time as possible for them to form a community. So I am definitely thinking about more group ideas but I want other people’s input as well.” she went on to say that she wants to know what the highschoolers and others want to do in the group meetings and any other ideas that anyone might have about the group outings.
Mrs. Heinsoo’s job before ACA was to help young people with trauma who had missed a lot of coping and social skills when they were young and still hadn’t developed them. She helped them learn the consequences of their decisions and how to deal with life responsibly.
“That job is probably why I got this job here because it taught me how to help kids with those kinds of struggles.,” she said. “I love this job a lot more. It’s definitely more my speed because I get to have my own space to meet with the kids.”
Students at ACA had a variety of reasons they like Mrs. Heinsoo“I love the strange stress reliever she is,” said Natasha Fedosov an eleventh grader. “I have been in to see the new counselor, but not for any counseling related reasons however. Just to hang in there with her and talk. So far I enjoy her relatability. I think she has a good sense of humor and she is kind. I’m looking forward to actually meeting with her sometime.”
Some students like Fedosov and Riley Young have spent time with previous ACA counselors Maryann Remsburg and Mark Silverman. One thing that Young a young sophomore liked about Mrs. Heinsoo “…I’m excited that she’s closer in age to her students which makes her feel more relatable and easy to talk to”
If students want to meet with Mrs. Heinsoo and don’t know how to find her office, it’s just past the library. She’ll give you a form with her schedule so you can find the best time to meet. Mrs Heinsoo strives to make her office a safe space where you can come to and have a peaceful place to talk to someone about hard things or whatever you feel like talking about. Mrs. Heinsoo said “As someone who has struggled with mental health myself, I understand how overwhelming and overstimulating a school setting can be. I want to be a resource for students and parents to help them understand how to cope with daily anxieties and long term struggles. I am so excited to bring new ideas and exercises to students and parents to support both in their ACA adventure.”
Heinsoo, Alicia. Personal interview. 9 Wednesday 2019.
Fedosov, Natasha. Personal email interview. 20 October 2019.
Young, Riley. Personal email interview. 20 October 2019.