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Full-time counselor to be on-staff at Freeport

August 15, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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Students in the Freeport School District this school year will benefit from the services of a full-time mental health professional.

BUFFALO TWP — Freeport School District is taking a proactive approach regarding mental health.

The school board at its August meeting unanimously approved adding a full-time counselor that will be available to students in grades six through 12.

Superintendent Ian Magness said on Tuesday that the district's administrators and school board began considering a full-time mental health counselor about a year ago while studying school security issues.

“We wanted to be proactive and we wanted to address, in a much more holistic manner, school safety and getting kids what they need,” Magness said.

He and the school board hope students will use the counselor for bullying issues, anxiety, depression or any other issues they may be dealing with.

Magness said a mentally healthy school population is one that is less likely to suffer a tragic event at the hands of a violent student.

Students who are in need of mental health services but whose families cannot afford them due to insurance constraints or other issues can also visit the new school counselor, Magness said.

“We wanted something in the buildings that is readily accessible to our children during the school day that we could utilize to assist our kids for any reason,” he said.

Read more in the Butler Eagle.

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.