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North welcomes new social worker

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North welcomes new social worker

Social worker Amy Fitzgerald poses with her therapy dog Kensi. Both Fitzgerald and Kensi work toward a mutual goal of connecting and comforting students.

Social worker Amy Fitzgerald poses with her therapy dog Kensi. Both Fitzgerald and Kensi work toward a mutual goal of connecting and comforting students.

Social worker Amy Fitzgerald poses with her therapy dog Kensi. Both Fitzgerald and Kensi work toward a mutual goal of connecting and comforting students.

Social worker Amy Fitzgerald poses with her therapy dog Kensi. Both Fitzgerald and Kensi work toward a mutual goal of connecting and comforting students.

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Amy Fitzgerald, the new social worker, and her dog Kensi are two new faces in the counseling department and part of the Grayslake community.
Although Fitzgerald is the new social worker at North, she is not new to the whole high school experience as she’s been working at different high schools around the area and recently transferred from Warren High School.
“My goal is to really connect with students,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald wants to help build the community and culture for the students at North. According to Fitzgerald, connecting with students can provide them with the support that can help them through their decisions for the future.
“I want to help [students] find their strengths and passions at North,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald also works with her dog Kensi. Kensi is a Golden Retriever who was trained, tested, and certified to be a therapy dog. As a therapy dog, it’s Kensi’s job to have students become relaxed while students talk with her.
“Kensi makes it easier to interact, as people feel more comfortable,” Fitzgerald said.
The process to have a dog become certified all depends on the dog and their handler, so it varies from situation to situation. The majority of training to become a therapy dog focuses on obedience and their ability to behave in certain situations.
“Any dog can be a therapy dog, but they need to have a certain temperament and they have be over a year old,” Fitzgerald said. “When we got Kensi, we knew she had the personality for it.”
Though Fitzgerald has worked along with service dogs, she’s happy working with therapy dogs.
“I’ve worked with service dogs, but for myself, I generally stay in the therapy dog region as I enjoy seeing people interact with them,” Fitzgerald said.

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