Schools look at proactive plan for mental health

In News by Reporter News

Pearland ISD’s proactive focus on student mental health has resulted in a new program involving students themselves.

A Student Ambassadors program is planned within next year’s budget for all the district’s high schools and junior high campuses.

“Essentially, it is connecting students with other kids,” Superintendent John Kelly said.

The new effort is much like PAL, or Peer Assistance and Leadership, a nationally recognized program in place in school districts including Goose Creek and Conroe ISD.

Pearland ISD’s proposed program involves 30 to 40 students chosen at the high school level as well as six to eight adult family group leaders. The students become “feelers” within the campuses, attend leadership and conflict resolution training.

District officials began focusing on overall student mental health this year, holding a “social media night” on May for parents to learn about negative influences and messages on the Internet.

Trustees described the first-ever event as an “eye opening event and well attended.”

“It’s a great first step to get that awareness going on,” Trustee Rusty DeBorde said of the public meeting.

Trustees last week approved the appointments of Kelly Holt as Dawson High principal and Dana Miles as Pearland Junior High West principal, drawing applause. PISD has also appointed Pam Wilson as special programs executive director.

In Pearland ISD, Wilson has served as a Sablatura Middle School teacher, campus instructional technology specialist and assistant principal and principal of PJH West, where she won the Pearland ISD Secondary Principal of the Year Award in 2010. Most recently, Wilson has worked as a Special Programs specialist and interim executive director since January.

Holt has served as assistant principal of the former Ninth Grade Center and associate principal of Dawson High since it opened in 2007.

Currently pursuing her doctorate, Miles has served as principal of Rogers Middle School for the past five years. In 2013, she was named the Pearland ISD Elementary Principal of the Year.

The next scheduled board meeting for the district is Tuesday, June 9.

PISD trustee meetings are held at the Education Support Center, 1928 N. Main. Individuals may address the board during the citizen’s participation portion of the regular meeting.

Agendas for each meeting will be available 72 hours in advance at

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