Student Support Services

Welcome to Student Support Services. Please visit our Google Site to learn more about us and to access helpful resources!

Tessa Henelsmith - Social Emotional Learning Specialist - [email protected]

Hi Kendrick Lakes Families, I am excited for this new year with all of you! My previous school experience includes working as a Social/Emotional Learning Specialist and a School Social worker within Jeffco Public Schools. I have a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work, both from the University of Denver. Go Pioneers!

This is my third year at Kendrick Lakes Elementary. I believe in empowering students and the importance of self-determination.  I aim to provide students with the skills and tools to successfully navigate life's challenges. I strive to listen to understand, and to be understood. I meet students where they are at, and support them to become the best versions of themselves! I am a member of the School Climate and Culture Committee. I look forward to supporting students and staff members at Kendrick Lakes!

Lisa Fiess - Gifted and Talented Counselor - [email protected]

Hello!  My name is Ms. Fiess and I am excited to start my 6th year as a counselor at Kendrick Lakes Elementary, specializing in working with the gifted and talented.  I split my time between Kendrick Lakes and Ken Caryl Middle School; this year I am at Kendrick Lakes on Thursday and Friday.  I am passionate about supporting both parents and students.  When I am not at school, you can find me parenting my teenage kids and 3 wild pups!  For fun, I head to the mountains where I hike, tube, boat, camp and fish.  I am here to help you through the tough times and celebrate the good times.  Let’s have a fantastic 2020/2021 school year!

Brittney Caruth - School Social Worker - [email protected]

Hello! I am in my first year with Kendrick Lakes Elementary and am excited to be part of the Kendrick Lakes family! I am the School Social worker working as part of the Special Education Team. I have a Bachelors of Social Work from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver. My previous experience includes being a ABA Behavioral Skills Therapist working with individuals, ages 3-21, with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities and social communication disorders. Additional experience includes working in a Serious Emotional Disabled SPED focused program and at residential treatment center for youth.

I believe in empowering todays children and offering never-ending support through active listen, understanding and kindness. I thrive to support each student and their families and to teach each student the skills they need to be successful in navigating their world socially and emotionally both in and out of the academic setting. I am excited and look forward to supporting every Kendrick Lakes student and their families over the next school year!

Description of Roles

As Jeffco Social Emotional Learning Specialists, our mission is to create and maintain a positive climate and culture that is inclusive and safe for students, families, and staff. While cultivating and empowering the whole child through tiered, evidence-based implementation of social emotional learning programming in order to empower successful, productive citizens and actualize the Jeffco Generations. Social and emotional learning (SEL) describes a set of competencies and skills that enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges.

Gifted and Talented SEL Counselors provide counseling support to gifted students at GT center schools. The support system that GT SELCs provide encompasses the CASEL competencies of self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. SELCs collaborate with all stakeholders including teachers, school mental health providers, administrators, parents, and any outside agency involved in the student’s life in order to provide quality support for gifted learners. They provide classroom instruction, small group interventions, and brief individual counseling support within the GT center of the school. SELCs are also available for consultation with any school needing advisement in serving GT populations. 

Social Workers generally work with students with more specifically defined academic and/or social/emotional/behavioral needs as identified in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as determined by the school’s Special Education team. These needs are typically addressed in smaller group settings and/or with individual students.