Katharine Williams is in her 16th year with the Okeechobee County School District. She is in her 13th year as a Crisis Counselor. Previously, she spent three years as an Exceptional Student Education teacher. She has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the state of Florida. As a crisis counselor, she is called in as part of the threat assessment team responsible for assessing risk of students who threaten to harm themselves or others. She also facilitates small psychoeducational groups and classroom social emotional lessons. She believes that each lesson plan taught can and should have a social emotional component.
Katharine demonstrates leadership qualities in the many facets of her position with the school district. She is a leader on the team of each threat assessment that she performs. She is involved in the development and management of district protocol for both threat assessment and safety planning for students. She is one of the six district instructors for Youth Mental Health First Aid which is the state mandated curriculum for all staff to be in compliance with the newly adopted Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act (Senate Bill 7026) introduced in 2018. In addition, she was a lead author in the development of the Okeechobee County School District’s Mental Health Allocation Plan which was required to receive the mental health assistance allocation for our district that was included in Senate Bill 7026. In order for a school district to receive their allocation of funds, the plan had to be approved by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE).
Katharine is passionate about her work. She believes that God has led her into this position to be a light for Him for students in serious emotional and/or mental distress. She strives to model active, empathetic listening for them and to teach them that they are lovable, can love others, and can learn how to have successful emotional regulation. This truly inspires her every day. To her, this represents PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, Ethics), which is the foundation of our district.