South Colonie celebrates school social workers during National School Social Work Week

March 6-12, 2022, is National School Social Work Week, an opportunity for schools, communities, and partners to acknowledge and recognize the impactful work our school social workers do in support of the school community. This week, South Colonie joins the movement to celebrate the accomplishments of those professionals in our schools who shine a light for students and families. 

“Our school social workers play a valuable role at South Colonie,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Perry. “They focus on contributions that benefit the whole-child, link families to community resources, play a role in our schools mental health teams, and offer hope to students and families who face various challenges. This week we are proud to shed some light on their work. Please join me in recognizing each of them for their impact and contribution to our schools.”

The theme for National School Social Work Week 2022 is “Time to Shine.” Please see some of the highlights below of our school social workers shining hope, understanding and respect in our schools.

Social Work in Action

Colonie Central High School

Students sit on the stairs with Ollie the Goldendoodle
Students enjoy their time with our unofficial School Social Worker Ollie (Mrs. Audino’s three year old Goldendoodle).

Ollie is a three year old Goldendoodle and belongs to Mrs. Audino, one of the High School Social Workers.  A couple of days a week, you can find Ollie greeting students at the High School.  Whether he’s making classroom visits, comforting students in need or welcoming students prior to taking an exam, Ollie has been a welcoming addition to the Colonie family.  

Sand Creek Middle School

Screen shot of the opening slide of mental health mondays
Mental Health Mondays Video Broadcast with Mrs. K

Mental Health Mondays (MHM) are pre-recorded mini segments (3-5 minutes) written and produced by Mrs. K. A special thanks to the Broadcast Club for including them in the Monday morning video announcements, which are played during homerooms, building wide. Morning announcements occur every morning. Mental Health Monday segments aim to provide mental health and wellness awareness, literacy and tips and tricks for staying well.  

Roessleville Elementary

students sitting and posing in the classroom
Second Step program in action at Roessleville Elementary.

South Colonie has adopted the Second Step program, a holistic approach to building supportive communities for every child through social-emotional learning. Second Step promotes school success and connectedness, while creating a safe and respectful school climate through the collaborative efforts with school social workers. 

School social workers push into Kindergarten classrooms to help support the teachers and build relationships with students while teaching them important social skills that advance their educational experience. Students are taught how to become learners, how to identify and understand feelings, practice coping strategies and creative problem solving.

Veeder Holiday Committee

toys in a storage room
Veeder holiday committee comes together to collect toys for families in need.

In order to assist Veeder families who are in need over the holidays, our school community all comes together! The social worker helps coordinate and organize a holiday drive, complete with support from donations from our families, fundraisers and a Veeder shopping trip to Target. Additional gifts come from Toys for Tots. 

The highlights above are a brief glimpse of the work our Social Workers do each day.  From supporting our backpack programs, linking families to community resources, and more—we thank the following individuals for their dedication to our students: Zachary Forbes, Kerri Audino, Jessica Rippel, Melissa Millan, Lisa Bennett, Allison Mullen, Kathryn Nixon Davis, Donna Davidson, Nicole Kozilsky, and Jannah Umar.

About the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA)

SSWAA is a membership organization with the mission to empower school social workers and promote the profession to enhance the social and emotional growth and academic outcomes of all students nationally and globally. For more information about SSWAA, please visit