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Meet the GES Psychologist, Social Worker, and Prevention Coordinator/Homeless Liaison

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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.

Mary Button, Ed.S., NCSP - School Psychologist

Mary Button has been with the Ball-Chatham School District for six years as a School Psychologist. She previously worked with students receiving services under Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, as well as in the Evans County School District in Claxton, GA; and Richmond Hill School district in Richmond Hill, GA. Mary was also enlisted with the US Army, stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and in Korea. Mary graduated high school from Warrensburg-Latham High School and completed her Bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Kentucky. She later earned her Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology and Master’s degree in School Psychology at the Georgia Southern University in Statesboro Georgia.

While she enjoys working with and encouraging students to learn, she said she often feels there is not enough time in the day to do all that she wishes she could.

Mary has three children: Shelby, Chelsea, and Darcy. On her own time, she enjoys bike riding, piano, and a variety of music genres, hiking, traveling, football, soccer, scuba diving, repelling, and, of course, Yorkshire Terriers and Miniature Long-Haired Dachshunds.

Fun fact: Mary enjoys the great outdoors, and has spent years repelling in the more mountainous areas she has lived. She’ll soon take her adventurous spirit to the ocean, as she is currently learning to scuba dive!

Jenna Griffith

Jenna Griffith, BSW, MSW - School Social Worker

Jenna Griffith came to Ball-Chatham as a School Social Worker in March 2019. She previously served as a School Social Worker in the Waverly and Franklin School Districts, and also with Mid-State Special Education Cooperative.

Originally a Dixon, Illinois native, Jenna graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling, Illinois, and in 2016, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University. In 2017, she earned her Master’s degree in School Social Work from Aurora University. She has lived in the Springfield/Chatham area since graduating from grad school.

About her position at Ball-Chatham, she says that she enjoys working with students, and finds it always rewarding to see how their growth and progress in their social-emotional learning has a positive impact on their overall education.

Jenna is engaged to be married to Matt - their wedding date is October 23, 2021! Together they have a 2.5-year-old Golden Retriever, Maddux. She says both she and Matt are equally obsessed with their fur baby, Maddux!

On her own time, she enjoys watching sports (Bear Down!), playing tennis, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Fun fact: Jenna met her future husband while at WIU. She had lost her wallet and he was the one who returned it!

Trish Link

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!