McCracken, Katie (School Counselor)

Meet your full-time School Counselor

Katie with nieces and nephewsKatie Wohlford McCracken
Please see the Counseling Program webpage for more information, it is located under the tab "Academics" on the FES home page.
I grew up in Alabama, mostly in Montgomery, but attended middle school in Birmingham. I come from a large family with 4 brothers and 1 sister. My dad was a piano player and singer when I was growing up, but now is a sign language interpreter. In fact, I have many sign language interpreters in my family because my grandmother was deaf. I got more of my father's musical side than I got his interpreting blessing. I love to sing and dance, as all the kids at Fairview know!
Children are a huge part of my family's value system. On my dad's side on the family there are 11 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Each family get-together is quite an event! We love to play together, sing together, and hug on the children. On both sides of my family, adoption is very important to us. We believe every child in the world deserves love and care. In my family there are 7 adopted children from China, Vietnam, Mexico, and Kenya. We are so lucky to be family with these children we may never have gotten to know otherwise.
In the summer, spring, and fall I love to be outside mountain biking, hiking, running, and paddle boarding on rivers and lakes. In the winter, I prefer to be warm, reading, watching movies, and eating crock pot creations. I always love dancing, practicing yoga, and singing. I love to travel with my husband as often as possible.

What professional training and educational background have you had?
I received my undergraduate degree in psychology (Bachelors of Arts) from the University of Alabama and my graduate degree (Masters of Education) in School Counseling from Western Carolina University. Part of my professional training consists of 5 years in community mental health at Eliada Homes where I worked in residential treatment (group homes for kids 8-17 with mental health disorders who have been abused and neglected) & community support (an in-home specialist helping families learn to have healthier interactions and appropriate discipline techniques). I originally moved to the Asheville area from Alabama for a job as a wilderness therapy counselor at SUWS of the Carolinas. That was an interesting job because I would take the teenagers hiking & camping for a couple of weeks at a time. The goal was to teach students to replace unhealthy behavior patterns with more productive ones.
While I was in graduate school, I interned for a semester with Bill Hodges at Black Mountain Primary. That was a wonderful experience because he was a lovely, empathetic man. He plays guitar, signs songs, plays with puppets, and generally loves children. I try to carry on many of these qualities (I can strum out a few tunes on a ukulele, but so far I've had no luck playing guitar). The kids love dancing to songs we sing and they love getting to visit with our friends (the puppets).
I have an understanding of how past trauma can affect children and families through my work in community mental health and through continued professional development. This helps me to have empathy for children in a deep way that I hope will always shine through to them. I feel blessed for my many learning experiences that have helped me understand how to quickly gain rapport with children so that I can help them to move past problems that prevent them from being a respectful friend or successful learner.

What makes Fairview such a special place to teach?
I know there are wonderful children all over the world, but good gracious these particular kids make my day every day! They are so loving and sweet! Fairview is also a great school because our teachers truly care about the well-being of our students. These teachers work so hard to do their best for the kids! It's also a well-run school that is organized & has good communication from the administration. And our parents are truly involved and motivated individuals. When I hear from other school counselors about their lack of parental involvement I am shocked because this school's parents are amazing!

What do you like most about teaching at Fairview?
I love teaching in general. I like to bring enthusiasm, movement, and creativity to each of my lessons. I teach three or four Friends & Feelings classes each day about social skills, emotional management, and mindfulness. I get to teach all the students in the school.

What is your favorite quote about education, children and/or learning?

“When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”  ― Fred Rogers

For which classroom projects/events are you known?
I am known for facilitating a few school-wide programs: the Ambassador program (a group of helpful 5th graders) and PBIS (a program for positive behavior expectations and rewards).

How does Fairview create 21st century learners who collaborate with others and have a true passion for learning?
Many teachers try to make learning fun for students by being enthusiastic and creative, and by relating what students learn back to the "real world." Also, we try to cultivate the whole child by teaching music, art, social skills, health, as well as academic subjects. Students are taught how to learn.

In what ways can parents take an active role in your classroom and in their child's learning?

Parents can do all sorts of things to take an active role in their child's education such as volunteer in the classroom, get to know your students' friends and teachers, and role modeling a love for learning.
I look forward to receiving your feedback about services you think your student needs. I will do my best to accommodate the students’ needs, and I expect for our school counseling program to grow every year.
Feel free to call me at the school (828) 628-2732 or email me using the "Contact Me" button on the left.