School Social Worker Appreciation Week
Posted on 03/05/2024
School Social Worker Appreciation WeekChattanooga, Tenn.- Hamilton County Schools (HCS) is proud to recognize the exceptional work of School Social Workers during School Social Work Appreciation Week. School Social Workers are dedicated to providing support for our students, families, staff, and school communities. Adrian Boyd at Hardy Elementary and Sarah Long at East Hamilton High are two HCS school social workers making a difference every day.

Adrian Boyd, with a rich background in social work, has dedicated the past five years to making a profound impact in Hamilton County Schools. Boyd's commitment to restorative practices, community connections, and conflict resolution has helped students feel supported and empowered families to stay strong together. Boyd has shown a unique ability to connect with students on a deeper level through small groups and initiatives such as hosting a Fashion Club.

The Fashion Eagles Club at Hardy Elementary is a place where students- specifically girls, can find empowerment and form friendships. She teaches students that clothing can help them feel better and how to dress for success. Recently, Boyd was out for a day and came back to student messages on her whiteboard expressing their gratitude for Boyd and her support. Boyd reflected on the reminder of why she chooses to work in schools and support our children, saying, "People are my everything. We can't save the world but can change one child's world."

In her first year at East Hamilton High, Sarah Long has already made a significant difference in the lives of students and families. With a background in counseling and a passion for helping others, Long has created a safe space for high school students to navigate challenges and develop healthy relationships. Her dedication to providing crisis intervention, staff support, and mental health services has been invaluable in ensuring the well-being of the school community. Long's commitment to supporting students and families through initiatives like the Canes Care Closet and food assistance programs exemplifies her unwavering dedication to making a positive impact.

This year, Long launched a small group focused on grief. She recognized that many students had recently lost people close to them and wanted a place to show students they were not alone. She invited students to the group privately and created a space for students who were interested in the group or felt more comfortable in individualized settings. The students expressed their appreciation for the group and felt connected to other students experiencing similar struggles.

Long stated one of her happiest moments of the year was when a teacher told her she had made a visible difference for a student. The teacher told Long, “She’s smiling- and I’ve never seen her smile before. Thank you for helping her.”

Hamilton County Schools applauds the exceptional work of Adrian Boyd and Sarah Long, along with all School Social Workers, for their tireless efforts in creating a nurturing and supportive environment where every student can thrive and succeed. Their dedication to the well-being of students, families, staff, and school communities is truly commendable, and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of those they serve.