Moreland Instructor Draws on Experience with Columbine Shooting to Promote SEL

Katherine Holman, M.A., LPCC is a faculty member at Moreland University who was profoundly impacted by the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and ultimately decided to pursue clinical mental health and school counseling. Her journey underscores the power and importance of social and emotional learning and trauma-informed practices in education.  

A graduate of Columbine High School, Katherine was an elementary school teacher at the time of the massacre and worked to support her community of learners through one of the deadliest events in U.S. educational history. “Columbine was my alma mater and my assistant principal at the time had two daughters in the building the day of the shooting. A parent of a student in my classroom was an officer called to the scene. To say that this tragedy struck close to home is an understatement.” The trauma faced by students, families, and educators at the time of this massacre was an impetus for her enduring passion for equipping students and their families with the social-emotional skills to navigate the challenges they face. 

With a 25-year career supporting students and families, Katherine holds deep regard for the work of building connections between school and home. Katherine tells candidates she teaches in the online TEACH-NOW Teacher Preparation Certificate Program, “Parents are experts of their children and teachers are experts of the classroom. Many times, teachers look to children’s parents to help understand and support students. Parents also look to teachers for tools and knowledge to best care for their children.” Katherine has observed in her career that many parents with a desire to support their children’s mental and emotional wellbeing may lack knowledge and resources. She has been determined to solve this problem for educators, students, and their families. 

Watch the faculty spotlight below to hear Katherine’s story and learn strategies for social and emotional learning and trauma-informed practices both in the classroom and at home. Click here to learn more about our online master’s degrees for teachers to better integrate these best practices into your classroom.

Joseph A. Pearson, M.S.Ed.
Professional Development Officer, Moreland University

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