Kassidy Lindholm loves to travel. In fact, she lived in Ecuador for two years after college. “I love to go to places that are very different from mine to see beyond my own life. It helps me understand others better,” said Kassidy. Among her favorite places are India, Turkey and most of South and Central America. Seeing beyond her own community has helped her immensely in her job as a social worker at London Middle School, where she’s currently working. Prior to London, Kassidy helped students at Holmes Middle School (for 10 years), Tarkington Elementary School and Cooper Middle School. She has worked as a school social worker for 21 years, and has been in the field of social work since 1997. She earned a Spanish and psychology degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her master’s in social work from University of Illinois-Chicago. She is one of the district’s many Licensed Clinical Social Workers.
In her job, she has many roles. These include (but are not limited to!) providing services and completing evaluations for students with IEPs, providing direct weekly counseling services for students individually or in groups, responding to student social/emotional/behavioral crises, facilitating prevention-focused lessons for the building, consulting with teachers, being a liaison between the school and community-based service providers, and supporting families with serious financial needs. Social workers are available to all students in the buildings; this year Kassidy works primarily with 7th and 8th graders, and students in the district’s ELSP (Educational Life Skills Program). Her goal is to help students maximize their learning potential by providing the social or emotional support they need to access that education. “The last two years have been the hardest because of the pandemic. Student’s social and emotional well-being was significantly impacted,” said Kassidy.
Over the years she has worked with some students who had very intense needs. When asked about a particularly challenging student, Kassidy talked about someone who recently finished high school. “I tried some group sessions with the student, but realized quickly that he benefited from 1:1 sessions instead.” In fact, the student needed crisis support several times a week. “He was a smart student who needed someone who believed in him. I built a relationship with him and worked with him from 6th through 8th grade. He stayed in touch after middle school and told me he joined the soccer team in high school, then was excited to invite me to his graduation. He’s now working and back in the community as a successful individual,” said Kassidy. “My goal is to help students function better… to be more successful.. to be heard and recognized.”
Outside of work, Kassidy loves photography and spending time with long-time friends whom she calls her “sister friends.” She also spends lots of time with her three children who accompany her on road trips, mostly to national parks. “Some day, I’ll take them on international trips. I’d like them to experience other cultures and customs as well. It helps them build empathy and compassion for others.”