New school psychologist arrives at WA

Sara Zukowsky, Staff Writer

Hanna Thieme is the new intern for the school psychologist. This year, she will help with counseling, and learn how to help high schoolers.

Q: How long are you interning for?

A: I’ll be here for the entire year.

Q: Are you interning for a college program?

A: Yes, I am in a graduate program at Northeastern University, so I’ve earned my masters, and now I’m earning my certificate of advanced graduate study in school psychology. So, I’m doing my third-year internship.

Q: Have you ever been a teacher at a school?

A: No, I’ve done some student teaching in undergrad, but I did a practicum, which is where I went into an elementary school two days a week. So this is my first full time [position]. 

Q: Have you interned at other schools before? 

A: No, so for the school psychology programs, they have two years of classes, the second year is a practicum, and the third year an internship. So, there’s usually just one internship.

Q: What’s it like being an intern, versus being a TA, or a practicum student?

A: I would say just being here more frequently, and feeling more a part of the school community. So I’m able to be here every day and get to know the other professionals here and the students. 

Q: Do you want to be a school psychologist?

A: I do, yes.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a school psychologist?

A: I think I wanted to be a school psychologist since high school so I got really lucky because not everybody knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives. So in undergrad, I studied psychology and I minored in education because I wanted to work in the school. So then I applied to grad school psychology.

Q: What are your duties here? 

A: Here, I’ll be doing counseling, assessment, report writing, going to meetings, I’m also going to have a role in the bridge program during B blocks and I’ll be doing some consultations with staff. 

Q: Why did you choose Westford Academy?

A: So I was looking for a place in this general area, and Westford really stood out to me because I liked that there was the Bridge Program. And in the interview, I learned more about the responsibilities here, and how their’s a focus on mental health. And that it offered a lot of nice opportunities to explore different interests.

Q: How’s your experience been here so far?

A: It’s been really great. It’s very welcoming here. For example on the first day, people were introducing themselves and when a staff member sees me and they don’t really know who I am they come over and introduce themselves. It’s really nice.

Q: What is your favorite part of Westford Academy?

A: I’d just say how welcoming everyone has been because it can definitely be intimidating going into a completely new work environment, but the first day I was here I was immediately put at ease by how friendly everybody was. 

Q: Where do you do most of your work?

A: Usually in the office, and then I might do testing in another room if need be.

Q: What was your experience like here, versus at other schools?

A: I’d say the biggest difference is that its high schoolers, instead of elementary schoolers. I wanted to get a totally new experience with a new population. The age difference has been the biggest thing. There is differences between what your role is and what you’re able to do depending on the age level, so I was really excited to do counseling with high schoolers and explore that demographic.

Q: Which do you think you like better?

A: I can’t say yet, because I’ve done childcare, and nursery schools and all of that. But I’m really liking it here so far.