New staff explain their roles and careers.
BY CALLIA PETERSON, ’22 AND MATTHEW DORON, ’23.
Meet Ms. Lockwood
After serving as director of Vocal Music at UAHS for three years, Lydia Smith-Lockwood, or “Ms. Lockwood” to her students, replaced Matthew Jordan as assistant principal over the summer.
After pursuing an undergraduate degree in music therapy for three years, Lockwood switched to music education during her senior year at Willamette University. Her “foray into the education arena” was a practicum where she worked with preschool students with special needs.
“I wanted to be in the classroom or in the schools with kids,” she said. “I thought music was the perfect medium in which to engage the students.”
Lockwood began her career in education at an intercity middle school. A few years later, she got a masters in education from Wright State University while serving as a faculty member in the history department. For the next five years, she worked at the same middle school where she began. She then worked at a rural high school in Springfield, Ohio for eleven years before coming to UAHS.
In 2015, Lockwood began to pursue a doctorate in educational leadership. Her dissertation examines issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in schools, with a focus on how it relates to teachers and their professional development. Lockwood hopes to complete her doctorate by next May.
“I’m very passionate about issues of equity for students as they relate to socioeconomics, racial [and] cultural diversity and just equitable access for all students,” she said. “We need to make sure that we are honoring everyone within the frame of the system. I believe the administration is very committed to that, so I’m very excited to be in this position.”
In her new administrative role, Lockwood will be engaging with students during Power Hour, and she said she hopes students will come to her office on the third floor to talk.
“Students just need to know that I am really looking forward to engaging with them on different levels, and I want to continue to have that student interaction in my daily life,” she said. “We as administrators are accessible. I don’t want any student to feel like they’re alone.”
Meet Ms. Garrett
Clintonville native Dominique Garrett has filled MaryAnne Nyeste’s shoes as school counselor for students with last names beginning with C, D, Q, T or V.
Garrett received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University and was on the school’s track team. She then got her masters in school counseling through an online program with Liberty University.
Garrett worked at both St. Charles Preparatory School and Greensview Elementary School as an intern before becoming a long-term substitute at Dublin Coffman High School and West Central High School last school year.
She chose to pursue high school counseling to help students prepare for their careers after they graduate.
“I went into counseling … to help students to see the realm of possibilities and to understand there is more than one route to take after high school,” she said.
Her goals for her first year include getting involved in as many activities as possible and getting to know multiple facets of her students.
“[I want] to get the well-rounded picture of students besides just academics, because I know there’s way more to every kid besides just school,” she said.
Garrett said she is “more than happy” to write recommendation letters and assist seniors with college applications, but understands that many students feel their teachers know them better and would prefer recommendations from them rather than their counselor.
“I hope to meet each [senior] in the first two months of school, just to kinda check in to see how things are going, so we’ll go from there.”
A new furry face will be joining the UAHS community this year. Based with intervention specialist Kim Wilson on the first floor of the academic wing, Ferris, a one-year-old golden retriever, will be available for students to pet and interact with, and will serve as a way for students with disabilities to connect with more of their peers.
As a facility dog, Ferris will be available to students that want to interact with him and will be used in Wilson’s classroom for instruction. He is still undergoing onsite training, and his availability to the student body will widen by the end of his training. Ferris will also eventually be a certified therapy dog. However, he will not function as a therapy dog in the school.
“He will be used in my class for instruction in a whole lot of different areas that my students are learning in…One of the hopes for my students is that it’s going to improve communication and initiation,” Wilson said. “[O]ur primary goal was that he’s going to be a bridge between students with disabilities and [able-bodied] students, and [be] a meaningful thing that my students can be in charge of in the building that other people look up to.”
Two years ago, Wilson proposed the idea of having a therapy dog assist her students “through the lens of special ed[ucation]”, and the idea was widely supported by the staff. She began connecting with service dog organizations and was supposed to be placed with a dog in the summer of 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic and online learning stalled her project. Eventually, Wilson was given a grant from the UA Education Foundation and got approved to move forward with the service dog organization last spring. In July, Wilson was placed with Ferris through a Michigan-based organization called Paws With a Cause that trains service dogs for a variety of tasks, from personal support to search and rescue.
“[The organization said Ferris] is unable to be placed as a one-on-one service dog because he has hip dysplasia and he will have to retire early. It’s not that he can’t do the work, it’s that if he’s placed one-on-one with an individual, that individual is relying on him and he can’t retire early. So he’s sort of a failed service dog, but he didn’t fail [because of] his behavior, it was a medical concern,” Wilson said.
Ferris is still training and will not be fully available to the general student body for several weeks. By the end of his training, Wilson said Ferris will be available during certain periods of the day and potentially lunch in the northwest common area of the building.
She emphasized that Ferris is the building’s facility dog, so students can interact with him differently than they would with a personal service dog.
“We will be working on some guidelines and presenting that information to students, you know, [teaching them to approach] him in a calm manner. He gets excited if you get excited, so we will work on getting that information to students. [However], he’s different [from] a service dog. You can pet him anytime,” Wilson said. “If [students] think he’s cute, [they can] go ahead and give him a scratch on the head, it’s fine.”
Wilson said Ferris is able to engage with all students, but that they are cognizant of the students who do not like dogs or cannot be around dogs for medical reasons, such as allergies. Thus, there will be parts of the building and certain classrooms Ferris is not allowed in so that people do not have to be near him.
Ultimately, Ferris is at UAHS to be a calming presence for students.
“[A]ny time anyone sees him and they want to reach out and pet him or say ‘hi’, he’s always available,” Wilson said.