School Social Work Services

The Role of a School Social Worker

Traverse City Area Public Schools’ certified school social workers are licensed and experienced master’s level professionals who hold an integral role within our buildings across the district.

Our social workers are also leaders within our schools’ External LinkStudent Support Network (SSN). Our SSN aims to facilitate and enhance social, emotional, and academic development for all of our students.

This role is closely tied to the district’s efforts to help every learner reach their potential in an engaging, inspiring and challenging environment. We prioritize vulnerable students and families - working diligently to build and strengthen healthy and encouraging relationships by assessing needs in and out of school. Fostering healthy relationships, mental, physical and emotional well-being, and strong supportive community norms are priorities in order to increase social and emotional well-being for our students and families. Visualizing the valuable long term positive outcomes of “productive citizenship” and “healthy and innovative skills for life-long learning”, our impact goes far beyond the walls of our buildings.


“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” -CASEL (External LinkWhat is SEL?)

External LinkSocial Emotional Learning Core Competencies


External LinkResponsive Connection & Framework for Supportive Relationships


External LinkSocial Emotional Learning Rationale, Curricula, and Tips 


PDF DocumentLight the Path to a Healthy Kid

The Light the Path to a Healthy Kid series held in the fall of 2020 is now available online.  It is a remarkable opportunity for our families to connect with nationally recognized experts in the areas of anxiety and other social/emotional needs. These free virtual workshop sessions led by local and national experts, made possible through a generous grant by NoVo Foundation & @ed1stconsulting, can be found at External Link


External LinkTCAPS SEL Resource Library for Staff

Students can be referred for support via email, phone call, note, or in person conversation by administrator, teacher, student (self), student (peer), or parent/guardian. When a referral is made, the receiving specialist consults with all involved parties to gather information and develop a plan in order to best respond to the assessed needs. Parent permission is required for ongoing individual and small group intervention work. School specialists adhere to the External LinkNASW Code of Ethics and diligently work to facilitate effective communication and collaboration between involved parties.

TCAPS Specialists and Interventionists




TCAPS Student Support Network

  • Katie Kubesh
    Student Support Network (SSN) Coordinator
    McKinney-Vento District Liason
    Regional Grand Coordinator
    Foster Care Liaison
    Office: 231.933.1789

  • Amber Ochoa
    Student Support Network Specialist

  • Haley McDonald 
    Student Support Network Specialist
    Central High School: M/W/F (a.m.)
    West Senior High School: T/Th/F (p.m.)

  • Sara Sovis
    SSN Liaison
    East Middle School

  • Kathryn Baumann
    8th Grade Counselor/SSN Liaison
    West Middle School


TCAPS School Guidance Counselors

  • Kathryn Baumann
    8th Grade Counselor
    West Middle School: M-F
  • Paul Crowley
    6th Grade Counselor
    West Middle School: M-F
  • Sara Dennis-Parker
    At-Risk Counselor
    Central High School
  • Tom Ford
    Counselor (Lag-Rom)
    West Senior High School
  • Melissa Kamm
    Counselor (F-Laf)
    West Senior High School
  • Jennifer Lee
    Counselor (A-E)
    West Senior High School
  • Blaise Lowe
    504/Title IX Coordinator
    West Senior High School
  • Brandee Ludka
    Counselor (I-P)
    Central High School
  • Michelle Morrison
    Counselor (Q-Z)
    At-Risk Coordinator
    Central High School
  • Ron Nowicki
    9th Grade Office Principal
    Alpha House Counselor
    East Middle School: M-F
  • Tom Passinault
    Counselor (A-G)/504/Title IX Coordinator
    Central High School
  • Marci Perthes
    7th Grade Counselor
    West Middle School: M-F
  • Lauran Pinto
    Counselor (Ron-Z)
    West Senior High School
  • Brenda Schwind
    Omega House Counselor
    East Middle School: M-F
  • Ashley VanLandschoot
    7th Grade Counselor
    East Middle School