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Northome School welcomes new staff Huyge-Opsal and Lievsay

Dawn Huyge-Opsal stands between her son, left and her husband.

When I welcomed the new faces in school in the first newspaper, I only welcomed the new faces that were in the building at that time simply because I had no idea that we would be welcoming more people.

The latest new face in Northome School is Dawn Huyge-Opsal, the new mental health worker, from Lake George, Minnesota.

Ms. Huyge-Opsal works along side Ms. Christine Lundin as a counselor. However, Ms. Huyge-Opsal does counseling that Ms. Lundin doesn't. Ms. Lundin works strictly with academics and grades when Ms. Huyge-Opsal works with all sorts of problems such as; personal and emotional problems, bullying and organization problems. You can think of her as your in-school parent.

Ms. Huyge-Opsal currently works at two different schools as a mental health worker: Northome and Voyageurs High School of Bemidji. Therefore, she is only in Northome from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. but is willing to stay late if needed by students. Appointments with her can be made, but she also accepts students that simply drop in to speak with her.

All meetings are strictly confidential. However, if she fears for students' safety, Ms. Huyge-Opsal is required to refer students to get more professional help.

Ms. Huyge-Opsal is married and has three children. One girl, age 26 and two boys, ages 24 and 12.

When not so busy at both Northome and at Voyageurs High School, Ms. Huyge-Opsal does a lot of outdoors activities with her family. This includes hiking, canoeing, gardening, etc.

Another interesting thing about Ms. Huyge-Opsal is that she enjoys learning and speaking foreign languages, considering that she lived in Europe for seven years, five years in Holland, came back to America for college and then continued two more years living in Germany.

Son langage favori pour apprendre le français est la.

If you're like me and have no idea what that means, it says "Her favorite language to learn is French."

Dawn Huyge-Opsal's goal while at Northome School is to help students and to make them comfortable when talking to a staff member about their problems.

She is willing to help staff with their problems, as well. So don't be afraid to go for help. She is a nice lady and is only trying to help students and staff with every day problems.

Also, if there is a major problem throughout the school, she is willing to give classroom presentations in order to resolve the issue.

Another new face is Colleen Lievsay. Colleen works in the elementary as a para professional, helping kids with special needs.