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Getting to know the new SESL team at Lipscomb

Here at Lipscomb Academy, there have been a few important staff changes over the past year that Lipscomb students should be aware of regarding the social emotional and spiritual learning (SESL) team. I was able to sit down with two of the newest faculty members at LA, Ms. Elliot and Mrs. Kiser, who were both hired during the second semester of last year, and got to know both of them a little bit more. I believe that the students should feel comfortable and safe with whomever their resources at school are so that when challenges arise in the classroom or at home, they know where to go. 

Mrs. Kiser is the middle school and high school social and emotional counselor, whose office is located in the middle school library. She has a degree in psychology with a focus in marriage and family therapy. She had a private practice as a therapist, but she says she missed having a strong community. She described Lipscomb as a perfect place for her. Kiser is available to talk to students about whatever they feel necessary to talk about, whether that is more of a casual check in or a conversation about anxiety at home/in school, friend problems, or feelings of depression. She described herself as being, “an emotional support for students.” Kiser wants to create a safe environment for any student to talk about their needs, big or small. 

“They can come talk to me about things that are not a level 10 serious,” Kiser said. 

Ms.Elliot has a very similar job description. She is a part of the spiritual life department and is the social and emotional support for the athletic department. Her job is very similar to Mrs. Kiser except she focuses more on the athletes. Her focus is to help athletes who are struggling at home or on the field with team dynamics and with coaches. 

Elliot said that one of her desires is to help all students build a relationship with God by “planning an experience for kids where they actually get to feel the presence of God.” She also

wants to create a safe space where she can tend to an athlete’s mental health. Elliot wants to address the outside forces going on at home or at school that affect a player’s ability on the court or field. Elliot wants to help athletes “play feeling more free and with more joy” by addressing the root of their problems. She is also passionate about mending to the team’s dynamic and assisting in any problematic areas on the team. Her office is located in Harding hall, room 133.