Naperville Central welcomes new staff members for the 2019-2020 school year

New staff member Rachel Wick shares some facts about herself with the Central Times.

Prem Chandrasekar, Managing Editor

Q: So, you are the new school psychologist, right?

A: Yeah, so I’ve been a psychologist for five years. This will be my sixth year. I worked at junior high before this, though, so I was at a junior high in Schiller Park and then I was actually at Jefferson here in Naperville. 


Q: What are your basic responsibilities as a school psychologist?

A: Basically, psychologists support students and teachers. So, like, I might meet with students and do some counseling or therapy, run groups, and if students need support with stress management, I help with that too. A lot of students also need support with academics, as well as just social-emotional support. I also help with that, too. We design programs and interventions, so we work behind the scenes, sometimes directly with students, but a lot of times it’s behind the scenes and we’re kind of trying to help just the whole school be a better school.


Q: What is your educational background?

A: I actually went to undergrad and studied anthropology, and then I was like, “Oh, am I going to go to the jungle? No, probably not.” So then I decided I wanted to work with students and people. I then went to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in downtown Chicago, and I have an education specialist degree, so it’s an EDS. 


Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

A: I have a one year old, so I spent a lot of time with him, like going to the park and museums. I love being in downtown Chicago and just having fun there. I like watching cool movies and series. It’s nice to relax. I like to read but I read more stuff that’s related to psychology. I’m really interested in research and books about psychology but I don’t have a lot of time to read for fun anymore. I like to hang out with my friends and sometimes go to brunch.


Q: What is your philosophy as a psychologist?

A: Work smarter, not harder. School psychologists have a lot of different things on their plate, and I think sometimes it’s like if we can figure out how to be efficient with our time and make sure that we’re supporting all kids, I think that’s the key. So, I don’t want to spend my time doing a lot of paperwork if I can be with students and help support everybody at school. 


Q: Why did you want to be a psychologist?

A: I think the reason that I wanted to be a psychologist is that I wanted to be the person that I needed when I was in high school. I think high school can be challenging for so many different reasons. Even if you’re really smart, you do really well, you have a lot of goals, and you have a really good family, a lot of times things can still go wrong for you. If you don’t have someone who can support you and talk to you about that and help you get through a tough time, then I think it can be really challenging, so I always wanted to be the person that I needed.


Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A:  I’m really excited to be at Central. I can’t wait to meet more students and be a part of the school culture here.