Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Central Academy

First Presenter’s Email Address

First Presenter's Brief Biography

Lindsay Thompson is the current Principal at Central Academy and has been in education for 20 years. She earned her Bachelor’s of Biology and Chemistry at Ball State University, and her Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from University of Southern Indiana.

Second Presenter's Institution

Central Academy

Second Presenter’s Email Address

Second Presenter's Brief Biography

Ryan Maher is the current Assistant Principal at Central Academy and has been in education for 15 years. He earned his Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at Pittsburg State University and his Master’s of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton.

Third Presenter's Institution

Central Academy

Third Presenter’s Email Address

Third Presenter's Brief Biography

Cassie Crowder is one of the current school counselors at Central Academy and she has been in education for 14 years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School Education from the University of Kentucky and her Master’s Degree in school counseling from Western Kentucky University.

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Central Academy

Fourth Presenter’s Email Address

Fourth Presenter's Brief Biography

Sherida McFarland is one of the current school counselors at Central Academy. She has been in education for 21 years. She earned her Bachelor’s of Education in Elementary Education from Murray State University. She earned her Master’s of Education in School Counseling (K-8), along with her Rank I in School Counseling (9-12) from Western Kentucky University.

Fifth Presenter's Institution

Central Academy

Fifth Presenter’s Email Address

Fifth Presenter's Brief Biography

Beth Hazelwood is the current School Administrative Manager at Central Academy. She has been in the educational system for 6 years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in School Psychology with a minor in Human Services from the University of the Cumberlands.


Session Nine Breakouts

Strand #1

Health: Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills


At Central Academy, we work with multiple community partners to break barriers and allow access to practitioners that help our students with mental and physical health. We have a licensed psychiatrist available to our students and families one day a week. We have licensed mental health clinicians on call every day that students are in the building. Throughout our school day, we incorporate mindfulness, yoga, and other calming strategies to benefit their mental and physical health. Looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 3 tiered system, we have to understand the different levels within the pyramid. The top of the pyramid, self-fulfillment needs, is where most of the focus tends to be. At Central Academy, we have to focus primarily on the bottom level, basic needs, as well as the middle level, psychological needs, as this is where the majority of our population of students are needing assistance.

It is our mission to remove these barriers so that students can go back to their home school more successfully. We remove the barriers of parents transporting students to appointments, missing school, and the ability to pay for care.

Brief Program Description

It is our goal to change the perceptions of alternative schools as a placement for “bad kids”, to a place where students gain the support needed to become successful in their home schools by looking through the lens of the effects of trauma and its impact on students.


Our proposal to the committee is to explain the processes used in becoming a trauma-informed school. We will inform the audience of the steps taken once a student has been removed from their home school and placed in an alternative setting. We will also discuss the many partnerships within our building; including psychologists, LCSW, medical doctor, counselors, school counselors, mental health counselors, Department of Juvenile Justice workers, court designated workers, and the director for the Center of Youth, Justice, and Services. With all these resources being available in our building, it is important for our staff to understand the importance of trauma.

All staff within our building have been trained by the University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and Children to become more knowledgeable about the effects and outcomes of childhood traumas. This not only benefits our staff, but it also helps our students who may have a better rapport with certain teachers feel more comfortable about opening up and sharing their problems.

Students have the opportunity to engage in yoga, mindfulness, and counseling services while enrolled in our program. A licensed mental health clinician is available on-site daily during school hours. They offer individual, group, and family counseling services. Along with a mental health clinician, a licensed psychiatrist with office hours is also made available to our students and their families weekly.

The culture of our classrooms are unique because we offer smaller class sizes, individualized attention to students, with counselors, teachers, and clinicians who work together to create an environment conducive to student growth.

Our hope while presenting this information, is that other professionals take away ideas, the progression, and hopefully a drive to implement their own trauma-informed programs to better help our youth.


As a district, we visited Pulaski County School District and met with Lori Price, Coordinator of Support Services. We looked at the model that they follow within their schools. In Pulaski County, there are 12 clinics within the school system, which house licensed mental health clinicians, who are contracted through the district to be available to work with students during the school day. Central Academy has decided to become a pilot school, through the AWARE grant, for this type of program as a first within the Henderson County School District.

According to CDC statistics on abuse and violence in the United States, one in four children experiences some sort of maltreatment (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse). One in four women has experienced domestic violence. In addition, one in five women and one in 71 men have experienced rape at some point in their lives — 12% of these women and 30% of these men were younger than 10 years old when they were raped. This means a very large number of people have experienced serious trauma at some point in their lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now implicate toxic childhood stress as a significant risk factor for a long list of cognitive, behavioral, psychological, and medical disorders — as well as for early death. To prevent and mitigate these effects, the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a “new pediatric paradigm to promote health and prevent disease,” one built around a foundation of trauma-informed care.

By definition, care that is trauma informed involves prevention, recognition, and response to trauma-related difficulties. Experts agree that incorporating an awareness of trauma into medical care requires a systems-wide approach.

From CTAC-

Trauma Informed Practices for Educators and School Personnel

This training provides an overview of the impact of trauma exposure on youth and their functioning in school environments. Participants will learn: the types of trauma school-aged children may be exposed to; the impact of trauma exposure on the developing brain and the subsequent impact on cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning; and signs and symptoms of traumatic stress and how it may manifest in the school setting. Participants have the opportunity to practice application of an array of trauma informed approaches to build resilience in children and reduce traumatic stress symptoms. Strategies for use at universal, targeted and intensive levels of student intervention are provided. Effects of secondary exposure to trauma on professionals is discussed and participants learn to recognize the signs of secondary traumatic stress. Participants are guided to identify trauma informed practices they can utilize in their workplaces.

Learning Objective 1

Participants will be able to gain insight to the resources and clientele used to help ensure that students are being supported both mentally and physically.

Learning Objective 2

Participants will gain a better understanding of trauma-informed practices with a high percentage of at-risk students.

Learning Objective 3

Participants will learn about the processes involved in becoming a trauma-informed school.

Keyword Descriptors

trauma-informed, partnerships, community partners, counseling

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-9-2022 11:15 AM

End Date

3-9-2022 12:30 PM

Mar 9th, 11:15 AM Mar 9th, 12:30 PM

Our Vision through the Trauma Lens

Session Nine Breakouts

It is our goal to change the perceptions of alternative schools as a placement for “bad kids”, to a place where students gain the support needed to become successful in their home schools by looking through the lens of the effects of trauma and its impact on students.