LATHAM — Unlike ever before has student mental health and wellness been at the forefront of public education. And North Colonie Central School District is showing students, families, and staff they are taking that need seriously.
At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, a Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services position was added.
“The mental health professionals, social workers, and student assistance counselors working in our eight schools advocated strongly for someone who could supervise and lead them. Someone who had been in their shoes,” said Superintendent Kathleen Skeals, who recognized National School Counselor Week by signing the 2023 proclamation.
“As the Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services for North Colonie, Mrs. Doyle is leading the district’s K-12 team of counselors and social workers,” Skeals added, “as she aligns the district’s mental health efforts to create a comprehensive, articulated, and tiered system of supports available to all students and families.”
Tricia Doyle’s professional life is fully invested in the work of school counseling. So when a rare position opened up where she could stay in the field, yet have a systemic impact she jumped at the opportunity to apply. She had worked as a school counselor for 12 years in Albany’s KIPP: Tech Valley Middle School before joining NCCSD.
“There was never a time in my career where I ever questioned if being a school counselor was what I was meant for,” Doyle said.
While an undergraduate student at the University at Albany, Tricia Doyle volunteered for a program that was to shape her future career choice and eventually lead her to North Colonie Central School District.
Working the phone lines at Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program beginning her sophomore year at UAlbany, Doyle found her passion in helping fellow students who were adjusting to college life, having academic struggles, relationship issues, or just needing to talk.
She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters from the department of counseling psychology from UAlbany. At George Washington University she earned a masters from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Educational Leadership & Administration. Doyle is also pursuing her doctorate from GWU.
Mrs. Doyle, like the staff she supports through her role as director, are passionate about mental health. “It’s a privilege to work with adolescents at a time where it is so pivotal,” she said. “Helping them learn the skills for whatever life throws at them.”