Meet the BES Psychologist, Social Worker, and Prevention Coordinator/Homeless Liaison
This quarter, we’d like to introduce to you our school psychologist, social worker, and prevention coordinator / homeless liaison, and the vital work they do. School social workers and psychologists provide services that strengthen staff, student, and home partnerships. They are professionally trained to address barriers to learning and overall social/emotional well-being and create strategies to help students manage issues such as anger, stress, anxiety, and to foster self-esteem and optimism. Our prevention coordinator/homeless liaison provides social work services to homeless and at-risk youth District-wide, and ensures delivery of mandated services to facilitate homeless students’ attendance and access to appropriate education.
Sabrina Carter, Ed.M., NCSP - School Psychologist
Sabrina Carter joined our District in September 2012. In her nine years of employment, she has worked in every one of our schools.
Originally hailing from the Sunshine State, she graduated from Fort Walton Beach High School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida in 2005. She then earned her under-graduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida in 2008 - making the Dean’s list each of the four years she attended. Heading north, Sabrina earned her graduate degree from Columbia University Teachers College in New York City in 2012.
About her work, she says she loves working one-to-one with students as it allows her students’ personalities to really shine through and lets her see what they’re capable of. “Being able to have that insight into our students really helps the team develop plans to support them here at school, which helps them grow towards their true potential,” she adds.
The challenge of her work is the time it takes to properly ensure that all federal and state mandates are followed and that all the required paperwork is completed in the designated time allowed. “Of course, the time it takes for these duties takes time away from working directly with students,” she says.
On her own time, she says she’s very into musical theater. “I love going to see shows, and just singing in my office if you ask those who work around me and can hear me sometimes!” She also likes napping and watching Netflix on the weekends as it’s her “me time.”
Fun fact: Sabrina loves any and everything Disney! She has been to Disney World over 40 times and Disneyland at least 10 times. “Actually, maybe more times than those, I’ve lost count honestly!”
Denise Klemm, LCSW, MSW - School Social Worker
Denise Klemm was hired by the Ball-Chatham School District in April 2020. She completed her school social work internship at Rochester Elementary School in the 2019-20 school year. Prior to that, she was a Behavioral Health Consultant at Memorial Medical Center, and a counselor at SHG.
Denise is a 2006 Williamsville High School graduate, and a 2010 Illinois College graduate where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2012, and in 2020 earned her PEL certification with the School Social Work endorsement from Loyola University. While at Loyola, she received the Dee Yeck Scholarship. Additionally, Denise has earned her LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) certification.
She says she absolutely loves kids and getting to work with them and help them in any way is extremely rewarding to her. “I also enjoy working with and being part of a team within the school system. We all work together to try and help these students be successful,” she says. “I think the only challenge in doing what I do, for me personally, is that I get attached to these kids!” Denise adds.
“The thought of only working with them for a few years and then having them go to another school is hard for me. I want to be with them and support them every step of the way! The other struggle is only seeing them for social work services. I would love to just hang out with them more often than my schedule allows.”
Denise is married to Kevin, and is expecting a baby girl in April.
On her own time, she loves spending time with my Aussie mix pup, Charlie. She also enjoys being outside, staying active, being with friends and family, and eating all kinds of food!
Fun fact: Denise was a winner in Wheel of Fortune in December of 2015! She made it to the final bonus puzzle. The title was “Thing,” and the puzzle was, “Basic Qualifications.” Though she didn’t win that round, she did walk away with a trip and cash, which totaled about $16,500!
Trish Link, BSW - Prevention Coordinator/Homeless Liaison
Trish Link has served the Ball-Chatham School District since February 20, 1993. Previous to coming to BCSD, she held numerous social service positions working in the field of crisis intervention including teaching parenting classes for those involved in the foster care system. Trish graduated from Southeast High School in 1974 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from SIU Carbondale in 1978. She is a certified Liaison for McKinney-Vento, which protects the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations.
About her position, she says her work is engaging, and she loves encouraging parents, grandparents, and guardians in the challenges facing parents and students today. Working with parents to help problem-solve issues that are getting in their way at home or school is one of her favorite parts of the job. “What I like most about my profession can also be the most challenging part,” she says. “Today’s demands on families make it difficult at times to make those connections to help implement change.”
She was married to my husband Dave for 38 years before his passing in 2017. Together they have two sons, Ryan and Tyler, both graduates of Glenwood High School. Ryan went on to earn his Bachelor's degree from UIS, and Tyler from SIUe. She also has three grandchildren: Helena an 8th grader at GMS, and Jaxon a 5th grader at GIS. Her youngest grandchild is Bryson who is 2 years old.
Her favorite pastime besides spending time with her grandkids/family is meeting up with her old high school friends for coffee or a meal. “I also like reading and doing projects around the house.”
Fun fact: Trish admits to watching, and really enjoying, Hallmark movies!