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Thank you School Social Workers! National School Social Worker Week 2023

March 6, 2023

In honor of School Social Work Week on March 5-11, 2023, Superintendent Dr. Monique Felder invited school social workers and Dr. Jessica Dreher, Director of Student Engagement and Support, to join the Board of Education for recognition at the March 6 business meeting.


Orange County Schools Social Workers 2023


Dr. Felder greeted school social workers, saying:

“We see you.

“When our schools provide the safe, inclusive environment that every student needs to thrive, we know that your contribution is not only essential, it is often largely unseen.

“We also know that when students are well-served in Orange County Schools, it is often because of your teamwork and support, making sure that every student and family has access to the resources they may need to succeed.”

Dr. Dreher prefaced her remarks to school social workers with a poem (author unknown):

Being a school social worker means you will never be bored.
You will always be frustrated.
You will always be surrounded by challenges.
So much to do, and so little time.
You will carry immense responsibility, and very little authority.
You will step into people’s lives, and you will make a difference.
Some will bless you; some will curse you.
You will see people at their worst, and at their best.
You will never cease to be amazed at people’s capacity for love, courage, and endurance.
You will see life begin, and end.
You will experience resounding triumphs and devastating failures.
You will cry a lot, and you will laugh a lot.
You will know what it is to be human, and to be humane.

Dr. Jessica Dreher and school social worker Sarah Patterson“School social workers hold a vital role in schools, providing services to students, families, staff, and the school community. School social workers invest their time training and sharing expertise to remedy barriers to learning. They work with teachers, administrators, parents, and other educators to provide coordinated interventions and consultations designed to keep students in school, and help families access supports needed to promote student success. 

“Orange County Schools is fortunate to have 13 passionate, dedicated – and above all, awesome – school social workers who give their all, their time, and completely pour their hearts into the work that they do with our entire school district. 

“This evening, we want to acknowledge all of our school social workers for the hard work they do day in, and day out, to provide exceptional services to our students and families, and to recognize March 5-11, 2023 as School Social Work Week sponsored by the School Social Work Association of America. 

“Happy School Social Work Week to each and every one of you. We appreciate you!”


Finally, School Social Worker Sarah Patterson at New Hope Elementary School addressed the Board:

“Thank you to Orange County Schools for making it a priority to have a social worker in each of our buildings. This isn’t the same everywhere across our state.

“Our work reaches into every aspect of a school, and aside from Dr. Dreher (Director of Student Engagement and Support) and maybe our (social worker) interns, it’s hard for one person to get it: ‘Walk faster… we’ve got things to do!’

“We are on so many teams with so many different people, doing so many different things. A big part of our job is to maintain confidentiality and support people without airing it. So, sometimes social workers are sort of flying under the radar when doing really important work.   

“But having a school social worker in each building enhances the learning and experience of our students and our families. We thank you for your support!”

River Park Principal Tony Widder and School Social Worker Hope Brown

Principal Tony Widder and School Social Worker Hope Brown
at River Park Elementary School 


Thank you to all our OCS School Social Workers for all you do every day!

Learn more about School Social Work Week online at the School Social Work Association of America website