The role of a school social worker

When I am asked what it is like to work as a social worker at Marshalltown High School, in one word I would answer “rewarding.” I am fortunate to get to work with students and families with a great diversity in needs; and because of this, every day gets to feel like a new adventure.

This journey began for me at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year when I started at MHS. With nine years of professional experience under my belt up to that point, I jumped in with excitement at being able to provide my time as a support person to help students be successful.

There are a lot of factors that can prove impactful on a student’s life, so my role is to build relationships with students and families and problem solve how to reduce barriers. Together we explore what is causing, and how to remove, the difficulties. Various student relationships can often prove an area of needed support, from peer relationships to inner-family dynamics, as well as continuing to build the necessary social skills that will be a lifelong tool.

In Marshall County, we are fortunate to have a wealth of resources available to our community. If I am able to identify supports that a student or family could benefit from, we work to initiate or resume community resource relationships. Sometimes this is an individualized effort and sometimes it blankets a wider group of students, including needs for school supplies, winter coats, clothing and further. In addition to completing those “other duties as assigned,” I have the immeasurable fortune of being able to partner with excellent school counselors, teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and other support staff. I am proud to work for Marshalltown Community School District; and with two elementary-aged children of my own, I am grateful to call them Bobcats!

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Meredith Lageschulte is a social worker at Marshalltown High School.