The Sequoyah Scribe

Lisa King moves into counseling

Meredith Mooney, Staff Writer

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Lisa King has moved from being a 6th grade science teacher for seven years, to becoming Sevier Middle School’s newest face in the counseling department.

“Along with my interest in science, I have always been interested in how the brain works and the study of psychology,” King said. “I love listening to people. I was happy in the classroom but noticed that I wasn’t able to spend as much time helping and advocating for students social, emotional and academic needs as I desired because of the pressure of teaching science standards.”

Replacing King in science is Rachel Hayes, who taught language arts at Sevier before transferring to the science position.

King is married to a science teacher at Science Hill High School, and they are expecting their first child, a girl, soon.

“My husband and I love to go on adventures together,” King said. “We like visiting state and national parks to go hiking, kayaking, and camping. I also enjoy working in my flower garden, yoga, exercise and a good long nap.”

King attended a small school in Iowa, but she didn’t particularly enjoy academics because she had dyslexia. Dyslexia is a reading disorder; many people who have it see letters and words move when they read. People with dyslexia have difficulty processing words and letters, which results in frustration and eye strain.

“Academics were frustrating to me, especially language arts,” she said. “I did enjoy science and math though.”

As a very social student, she was involved in a lot of activities.

“I was a part of the yearbook team and played basketball, volleyball, tennis and ran,” King said.

When graduating from high school, King decided to become an educator.

“I decided to become an educator because I love connecting and encouraging students,” King said. “I had some very special teachers and mentors throughout my years in school and I desire to be that encouraging person to students today.”

King went to UT Knoxville for two years, then transferred to ETSU to get a degree in education. She got her Master’s degree in counseling from Milligan College.

King decided to be a science teacher because she “has always had a passion for science.”

“It developed as a child because I spent so much time outdoors camping with my family,” she said. “When I was in middle school, I lived in Iowa and I wanted to be a meteorologist because we had tornadoes all the time.”

The weather still fascinates her, and she loves trying to understand systems, processes and how things work and interact.

Some might wonder why she left the classroom.

“I wanted to be a counselor at Sevier because I love Sevier and the students here,” she said.

Counselors have a lot of different duties.

“During the 4 weeks of school in August, Sevier counselors had individual sessions regarding student issues with over 200 students,” King said. “This does not include students stopping by with questions, schedule changes or new enrollments. We talk to students about all kinds of things like academic struggles and goals, bullying, death or sickness in the family, anxiety, peer conflicts, issues at home with parents, safety, behavior issues, parents’ divorce, parents in jail, being homeless, making sure basic needs are met, etc. We also work together and are in constant communication with teachers, families and community members to make sure that students are supported in the best way possible.”

As a counselor, she also helps change schedules, keeps student records and information up to date, enrolls students, and helps with all sorts of testing.

King was excited to get the counseling job, and when the lengthy process was complete, she was overjoyed to receive the news.

“I hope to help, support and advocate for as many students as possible,” King said. “I also hope to be a positive support to the staff and overall school culture of Sevier.”

King has some advice for middle school students.

“Be who you are,” King said. “You are unique and the world needs you to be you. You are capable even when it doesn’t feel like it. Always try your best even when you don’t feel like it or are frustrated. You are strong and brave. It is within you to do great things.”

King believes that a bad day shouldn’t get a student down.

“Life is not going to be a smooth ride; it is like a rollercoaster with many ups and downs,” King said. “Try to enjoy the ride and find joy in the journey. Always celebrate even the littlest successes. Always remember I am in your corner and I believe in you.”

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Lisa King moves into counseling