Student Life


At Hyde Park Schools, we recognize the integration and interwoven nature of a student’s social, emotional, and developmental health that ties into their academic performance. Students are not one-dimensional. To properly care for our community, each school level has its own dedicated licensed counselor, with licenses ranging from LMSW to a Ph.D in progress, to proactively plan with students and families, intervene when necessary, and reactively care for students as they grow and mature through their school years. In instances where outside support is necessary, our counselors can refer families out to a wide array of local resources that specialize in specific areas or longer term counseling services including individual or family counseling, neuropsychological testing for learning differences, and long term counseling resources.

Our licensed counselors are able to provide short-term counseling, brief family consultations, crisis management, goal oriented interventions, and refer to community based resources. Based on students’ developmental stage, individual and small group counseling interventions are utilized. In elementary school, this is often focused on social skills, navigating friendships, and conflict resolution. In middle school, the focus often shifts to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal relationships, and responsible decision making. In high school, student needs become more acute– through evidence-based approaches, social, emotional, and behavioral needs are addressed to optimize total student functioning.

The Counselors also partner with our Hyde Park parent community through Parent University, which is a collaboration between the school and parents. Being a parent is hard and we know that partnership between the school and parents is a two way street. Parent University is a set of workshops once each semester where counselors identify areas of need for our students and families. Then, partnering with local resources and experts, our goal is to equip parents to support their students amidst their ever-changing needs.

Counseling Team

Melanie Challberg
Student Support Counselor
High School
Debbie Pakes
Middle School
Valerie Ahrens
Elementary School