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Support Services

We are committed to the holistic wellbeing of our school community.

While the Valley Core Values provide the framework for ongoing SEL (social-emotional learning) and the maintenance of our positive school culture, Valley School’s support specialists work with individual children, student groups, and families to help them manage specific challenges that arise during the school year. Our full-time counselor, multiple learning specialists, nurse, faculty, and mental health community partners are available to meet the emotional, physical, social, and instructional needs of our students.

Meet Our Support Services Team

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Hannah Earhart

    Hannah Earhart 

    Learning Specialist
  • Photo of Denise Danko

    Denise Danko 

    Reading Specialist
  • Photo of Cindy Shaffer

    Cindy Shaffer 

    Math Specialist
  • Photo of Thersea Stewart

    Thersea Stewart 

    School Counselor
  • Photo of Christy Goswick

    Christy Goswick 

    School Nurse

Support Specialists

List of 3 items.

  • Counselor

    Valley School employs a full-time Counselor who is available to help all members of our school community grow emotionally, socially, and academically. Through developmentally-customized lessons, she educates students about self-awareness, self-esteem, problem-solving, conflict resolution, empathy, relationship management, stress regulation, and appreciating their individual uniqueness. Working strategically in collaboration with teachers, administrators, and families, our Counselor supports the work of our mission and Valley Core Values.

    Outside the classroom, individual children and parents are welcome to talk with the Counselor when a concern or need arises. As a trusted adult with an open-door policy, she helps students achieve their full potential by nurturing open and honest dialogue. Whether in need of assistance with social, emotional, relational, or circumstantial challenges, our Counselor is a vital resource for students and families. Play therapy, role-play, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, gestalt exercises, and mindfulness may be employed in helping children to find balance or achieve their mental health goals.

    Valley School’s Counselor does not provide long-term therapy, but does help students navigate difficulties with solution-focused interventions. She also can provide counseling referrals where necessary or desired.
  • Learning Specialists

    Valley School is committed to fostering students’ independence and academic growth through a variety of universal and targeted support. All teachers at Valley School have robust experiential backgrounds, and several have previous experience in Special Education and Reading Specialist roles. As a result, students at all grade levels receive instruction through individualized, evidence-based practices and strategies on a daily basis within their regular classrooms. 

    When a student is in need of additional support—either on a temporary or long-term basis—the student’s teachers, administrators, and Support Specialists collaborate with the family to orchestrate, conduct, and monitor the necessary interventions. In addition to our Counselor, the Support Specialists at Valley School currently include full-time Learning Specialist and Reading Specialist positions, as well as a Math Specialist. Additional support for students experiencing academic challenges may include executive functioning and organizational coaching, study strategy instruction, subject-specific support, and classroom observations. Literacy Skills instruction and interventions are conducted using programs such as the Wilson Reading System, REWARDS, and Great Leaps. 

    Valley School can also provide a variety of accommodations for students with official testing and diagnoses. Learning profiles are created for students needing more formal and intensive support in order to document their needs and progress. We encourage families with questions about what support services may be available to them to reach out to the appropriate Division Head to begin the conversation of how Valley School can best reach their child.
  • Nurse

    Learning is easiest when our bodies are healthy. Valley School’s Nurse promotes the health and safety of our school community. She is available during all school hours to deliver direct care to students for injuries and acute illness. She also coordinates with families and healthcare professionals to provide ongoing care for students with chronic conditions. When appropriate, the Nurse assists in the development of care plans for students who may experience emergent health events in the school setting.

    In support of our Valley Core Values, our Nurse participates in Wellness Wednesdays and other programs by educating our students about the ways in which they can take responsibility for their health by making good choices.

Valley School of Ligonier

Address: 153 Lupine Lane, Rector PA 15677
Mail: PO Box 616 Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: (724) 238-6652  Fax: (724) 238-6838
In an environment that is safe, challenging, nurturing, and disciplined, Valley School provides a balanced and strong program of study for a diverse group of children. Our goal is to stimulate in each young person lifelong habits of moral behavior, seeking wisdom, and doing good works for others.
© Valley School of Ligonier. All Rights Reserved.