Our Schools

Student Support Services

The Student Support Services Department is made up of school nurses, school counselors, school social workers, and the staff in the Exceptional Children Program. The goal of this department is to provide prevention, intervention, transition, and follow-up services for students and families. The professionals in the Student Support Services Department help to remove barriers that prevent students from learning. Direct services to students and families are provided through consultation, education, counseling, and individual assessment.

Exceptional Children

The Exceptional Children Program aims to support students, parents, and staff by developing programs to meet the needs of all learners. Our teachers and staff provide specially designed instruction to ensure that students with disabilities, from age 3 to 21, have access to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. The EC Program offers academic and related services for students found eligible through a problem solving model.

Project Child Find

District Staff:

Kelly Doppke, Director

Melissa True, Support Specialist

Kelli Rhoads, Program Specialist

Cindy Phipps, School Psychologist

Frances Deitz, Occupational Therapist

Shannon Lominac, Physical Therapist

Dana Tucker, Behavior Specialist

Petra Giles, Preschool Coordinator

Erica Waldrop, Preschool Speech Language Pathologist

School Counselors

School counselors provide a comprehensive developmental school counseling program that improves student achievement and enhances the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. The comprehensive school counseling program is delivered through individual and group planning sessions. Professional school counselors provide services to students, parents, school staff and the community in the following areas:

  • School Guidance Curriculum
  • Individual Student Planning
  • Responsive Services, and System Support

School counselors collaborate with parents, teachers, administrators, and other school staff to promote student success. They also provide leadership and advocacy to promote equity and access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students.

School Counselors

Amy Fahey, Blue Ridge/Blue Ridge Early College

Heather Bullock, Cullowhee Valley School

Ashley Miller, Fairview School

Ciera Wiggins, Fairview School

Natalie Roth, Scotts Creek

Nancy Harmon, School of Alternatives

Kaye Anderson, Smoky Mountain High School

Paige Brooks, Smoky Mountain High School

Stacy Macke, Smoky Mountain High School

School Nurses

The school nurse serves in a pivotal role to provide expertise and oversight for the provision of school health services and the promotion of health education. Using clinical knowledge and judgment, the school nurse provides health care to students and staff, performs health screenings, and coordinates referrals to the medical home or private healthcare provider. The school nurse serves as a liaison between school personnel, family, community, and healthcare providers to advocate for health care and a healthy school environment (American Nurses Association & National Association of School Nurses [ANA & NASN], 2011).

School Social Workers

School social workers promote and enhance the overall academic mission of the schools by providing services that strengthen home, school and community partnerships and address barriers to learning and achievement. School social workers contribute significantly to building and maintaining a healthy, safe and caring environment in the schools. School social workers help build an understanding of the emotional and social development of children and the influences of family, community and cultural differences on student success. Student success is ensured through the development and implementation of effective intervention strategies.

The school social worker’s main task is to empower students, families and school personnel to access available opportunities and resources to develop each student’s potential. Responsibilities of the social worker include bringing together home, school and community; promoting diversity and cultural competence; dropout prevention and graduation awareness. School social workers adhere to federal and state statutes, School Social Work Standards and the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.

Social workers provide case management and support in the following areas:

  • Homelessness
  • Food Backpack Program
  • Mental Health Referrals
  • Attendance
  • School Needs (supplies, fees, field trip expenses)
  • 504 Plans
  • Accessing Community Resources
  • Christmas Connection
  • Homebound Services
  • Transportation

Attendance Policy

Early Intervention Team


In order to address chronic absenteeism and to help families avoid court involvement, Jackson County Public Schools formed the Early Intervention Team which is made up of representatives from Department of Juvenile Justice, Jackson County Public Schools, Jackson County Department of Social Services, local mental health agencies, and Tribal Agencies. A meeting will be scheduled and representatives from the agencies listed above will work with parents and students to identify issues contributing to chronic absenteeism and immediately connect families with local agencies capable of offering assistance.



Kelly Doppke

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1928

Ashley Taylor

Administrative Assistant
(828) 586-2311 ext. 1922

Exceptional Children Resources