Michelle Sircy, Ed.D., a longtime educator, high school counselor and counseling services specialist, has joined the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) as program coordinator for comprehensive school counseling in the Office of Teaching and Learning. She began her duties on Sept. 11.
“I am very excited about having the opportunity to develop relationships with school counselors across the state of Kentucky,” said Sircy. “I look forward to creating opportunities to collaborate and grow as a role group across the Commonwealth to strengthen supports for students and families.”
She said when school counselors are “given the opportunity and tools they need to provide tiered, data driven interventions for students, the impact they can have on student success is immeasurable.”
As the program coordinator for comprehensive school counseling, Sircy will work with educators (including school counselors, principals, superintendents and other school-based mental health professionals) to build proactive, comprehensive school counseling programs and systems of support. She also will provide guidance in such areas as the minimum high school graduation requirements, Individual Learning Plans, accelerated learning and the Early Graduation Program.
“Dr. Sircy is an incredible advocate for school counselors,” said Damien Sweeney, director of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning. “She is a talented and knowledgeable individual who works hard so school counselors and other mental health professionals have the assistance, resources and professional support they need, while ensuring other stakeholders have a better understanding of their role.”
In her 22 years in education, Sircy has served as a special education teacher in Bullitt County and as a high school counselor. For more than a decade, she led more than 300 school counselors as Jefferson County Public School’s counseling services specialist. Sircy also was co-leader of the district’s crisis team, where she organized crisis support for over 450 crisis events and led suicide prevention for students in grades 3-12 .
Sircy is the state lead for crisis support for the Kentucky Counseling Association, and is the association’s past president. She also is past president of the Jefferson County Counseling Association. She has served as the regional representative for the College Board, and is an adjunct professor at Spalding University in the school counseling division of the educational department.
She is the recipient of the Kentucky High School Counselor of the Year Award, the Kentucky Counselor Advocate of the Year Award, and the Kentucky Counseling Association’s Dr. Daya Sandhu Research and Innovations in Counseling Award.
“Michelle understands how important it is to meet every child’s social and emotional needs,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “She understands that if a child is struggling on either one of those fronts, they will have a much harder time focusing on their studies in the classroom. Michelle’s knowledge and dedication will be an asset to all students, families and communities across the Commonwealth.”
Along with improving mental health services and suicide prevention, Sircy’s passion also lies in addressing racial equity at the school level.
“KDE’s DEIB team is extremely happy to have Dr. Sircy and we know she will work hard to enhance student belonging, while supporting educator and student well-being,” said Sweeney.
Sircy and her husband, William, have three sons and one daughter, and live in Spencer County. Her husband is an Army veteran. The family enjoys camping, watching football and spending time with their three dogs.