Meet KDE’s new counseling program coordinator

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Damien Sweeney
Damien Sweeney

My name is Damien Sweeney and I am your program coordinator for Comprehensive School Counseling at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Previously, I was a counselor at Seneca High School (Jefferson County) for eight years. I have a passion for counseling and look forward to working with you.

I aim to be a resource for you when you have questions and I hope to see many of you in your schools. I will provide you with evidence-based practices and research that can help you feel empowered to be the best possible counselor.

I hope to inspire you as well. For your first moment of inspiration, check out the first track to our Kentucky Counselor’s Mixtape on YouTube, which features “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco. Music has always served as an inspiration to me and my practice and I hope you enjoy this first track as you continue reading.

As school counselors, we are placed in a unique position within our schools, districts and state to be change agents. We fight for traditionally marginalized students and seek ways to support all students. We are a voice for them, their families and their communities.

This year, we have several goals for school counselors at the KDE. We hope to revise and improve Kentucky’s Counselor Standards with feedback from school counselors and in conjunction with the Education Professional Standards Board. I also am approaching this year with four themes that include the following:

  • Counselor as Innovator
  • Data Driven Counseling
  • Equity and Access
  • Counseling from a Social/Emotional Health Lens

You will see these themes woven throughout your Counselor Connection emails and when I present, I will address them often.  School counselors are the change agents we need in schools.  To be our best selves, let’s be willing to grow in these four areas.

Damien Sweeney is KDE’s program coordinator for Comprehensive School Counseling. He may be reached at (502) 892-6639, ext. 4545, or by email at Damien.Sweeney@education.ky.gov. You also can follow Sweeney on Twitter @DamienSweeney33.

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