District News

Emotional Support of Byram Hills Psychologists

School psychologists are uniquely trained and qualified to socially, emotionally, and academically support students. They also consult with teachers on the best way to help with student success in the classroom. Byram Hills is fortunate to have five outstanding psychologists who, through compassion and guidance, ensure that their students’ emotional and academic issues are appropriately addressed.
Jaime Karp (CH), Yvette Thompson (WA), & Deena Harvath (HCC)At Coman Hill, Ms. Jaime Karp has been working with both students and parents for twelve years. “Many parents need assistance in the area of occupying and educating their young children while keeping everyone safe,” she shared.  “I love that every day is different and that I have the potential to impact students and their families positively.” Ms. Karp is continually called upon to help students with anxiety, behavioral, or mental health concerns.

Dr. Yvette Thompson has been the school psychologist at Wampus for 17 years.  Ms. Thompson said, “I help teachers, parents, and students understand their strengths and weaknesses. Academically, we paint a picture of what a prescription for learning might be.”  Dr. Thompson addresses COVID-19 and how it creates feelings of anxiety and discomfort among many families. Dr. Thompson said, “Wampus is doing an extraordinary job of building community and making sure that students are connected in their pods.”

At H.C. Crittenden, Ms. Deena Horvath, like her colleagues, wears many hats.  “You need to rotate what is at the top of your priority list every day,” she said.  “Being a voice for the students is important because some do not know how to share their feelings or advocate for themselves.”  It is clear how much Ms. Horvath enjoys witnessing the growth and progress of her students from grade six to grade eight.   “Hearing that your past students are independent and successful and knowing you played a role in their development is why I do this,” she shared.

Carolyn Lanfredi &  Ellen Medd (BHHS)Dr. Carolyn Lanfredi has been with Byram Hills for twelve years and helped establish the Flexible Support Program.  She works with students needing counseling support.  “If you are part of this program, the resource room is built into your schedule. My office is right there, so students can pop in any time,” said Dr. Lanfredi.  “A sense of a safe place is essential, and I offer that to my students. They know they can come to me, and there is no judgment.”

Dr. Ellen Medd worked at Wampus for 27 years before moving to Byram Hills High School two years ago. To reconnect with students from Wampus and see their growth is a unique experience. “The pandemic has brought many stressors,” Dr. Medd shared. “Testing is complicated, and conducting meetings through Zoom often misses interpersonal connections. Social isolation is challenging for high school students, as well.”  Dr. Medd is also the chairperson for the CSE & 504 Committees at the high school.

Dr. Medd collaborates with Social Worker Ms. Annie Kelly, Student Assistance Counselor Bernice Pagan, and Dr. Lanfredi in a group known as the Emotional Wellness Support Team. Their goal is to support students, families, and the larger school community and identify struggling students and ensure they receive appropriate attention and support. The team routinely collaborates with administrators, teachers, and parents to assess each situation.

The Byram Hills school psychologists work as a dedicated team that includes teachers, guidance counselors, and social workers. In addition to assisting children with special needs, they make certain that all students thrive in school and beyond. These five extraordinary and compassionate professionals are part of what makes Byram Hills a great place to learn.