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Meet Kathryn Dunay, School Therapist


Meet Kathryn Dunay, School Therapist

Posted: March 14, 2024 | Written By: Sharmin Hossain | Category:

Kathryn Dunay

March 1 was Employee Appreciation Day! We're celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about Kathryn Dunay, School Therapist at Rivermont Schools Rockbridge campus.   

What is your favorite thing about working here?   

Some of my favorite things about working at Rivermont Rockbridge are helping our students meet their goals and seeing them gain confidence in themselves. I also very much appreciate my coworkers here and our principal. I feel very supported and have been able to achieve a good work/life balance. 

What keeps you coming to work each day?   

The kids of course!  I am lucky enough to be able to greet all the students as they come into the building to start their school day and I get to wish them a good afternoon at dismissals.  Every day there is hope for success and accomplishments. 

How do you make an impact on students’ lives? 

Building relationships with our students is one of the most imperative things in my role as a school therapist, and I believe that I have built that with many of our students. Having them be able to trust me and feel safe with me is an honor. I used to teach here and after being gone for four years many of my former students told me how happy they were that I was back, and it helped me see what an impact we have on our students’ lives. 

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive)   

It’s so hard to choose only one value!  I think if I had to, it would be supportive. I feel so supported by our administration and peers and that allows me the opportunity to support our students in the best way possible. The relationships I have built at Rivermont Rockbridge are invaluable to me! 

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role? 

I start my day checking bags during arrivals and greeting our students. A “typical” day is never typical though! I spend a lot of my day trying to come up with solutions to problems and meeting with students to help them have a successful school day. I collaborate a great deal with my peers, attend leadership meetings, and run groups. I end my day providing support during dismissals. 

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now? 

I started my career working in the music industry, which led me to study Music Therapy in graduate school. I worked for many, many years as a Music Therapist with children and adolescents in several settings. I decided on a career change and found myself at Rivermont intending to become a Special Education Teacher. I quickly figured out that, while I loved the kids, I was not cut out to be a teacher. While I was at Rivermont, I studied to get my degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  After three years at Rivermont, I worked on obtaining my license and returned to Rivermont with my LPC. 

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role? 

Honestly, I was very proud and honored when I was asked to consider coming back to Rivermont as a school therapist. I really love it here and am excited to be back working with so many great people and students! 

What is something about you that not many people know? 

I don’t think many people know that I grew up going to public schools in Washington D.C., which had a huge impact on me and why I chose to work with the populations I have. I also have a beautiful, blended family and am incredibly proud of my sons and stepsons, who range in age from eight to 22. My favorite time is spent with my amazing family! Oh, and I also love sports!