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High School Student Assistance Program

The Linn-Mar High School Student Assistance Program is researched-based. The program seeks to address the risk factors that lead to at-risk behaviors, while promoting the protective factors that lead to increasing productive behaviors. The Student Assistance Program offers prevention programs, mentoring, support groups, short term counseling, and crisis intervention services. Recommendations for additional services and referrals are also provided.

If you are interested in any support services provided by the high school Student Assistance Program, contact a Student Assistance Specialists or any Student Assistance Team member.


High School Student Assistance Program Mission:

  • Completion of high school
  • Provide services addressing at-risk behaviors
  • Prevent substance abuse
  • Provide services that promote productive behaviors

High School Student Assistance Program Contacts:

All information received by the student assistance counselors is held highly confidential by federal law and is not included in student records. 

Kevin McCauley, CADC
Student Assistance Counselor
(319) 447-3047 / Email

Provides individual and group counseling for at-risk behaviors, a safe place for substance use screenings, and education about personal life issues. Referrals for service may come from any source.


Janessa Carr, MA & NDPS
Student Assistance Counselor
(319) 892-4884 / Email

Provides assistance to students struggling with issues such as attendance, peer relationships, no secure post high school plans, minority student support, and students with a history in foster care. Referrals for service may come from any source.


Jessica Deahl, MA
Student Assistance Counselor
(319) 730-3559 / Email

Supports students, groups, and families on a variety of life issues, particularly mental health related. Support may take the form of counseling, support groups, education, or referral. Referrals for service may come from any source.


Tony Nicol, MA
Student Assistance Counselor
(319) 447-3073 / Email

Provides academic support to students struggling to pass their courses and earn the necessary credits to meet graduation requirements. Referrals may come from any source.

  • Credit Completion – Students ending a term with a grade ranging from 55-59% can still earn a D- by completing course work
  • Credit Recovery – Students may earn credits through online courses and/or the Work Experience Program
  • Credit Accumulation – An alternative setting is provided for students to take courses via the COMPASS Program

Danielle Patterson, MA
Student Assistance Counselor
(319) 447-3059 / Email

Provides academic support to students struggling to pass their courses and earn the necessary credits to meet graduation requirements. Referrals may come from any source.

  • Credit Completion – Students ending a term with a grade ranging from 55-59% can still earn a D- by completing course work
  • Credit Recovery – Students may earn credits through online courses and/or the Work Experience Program
  • Credit Accumulation – An alternative setting is provided for students to take courses via the COMPASS Program

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Shawn Knighton, BA
Family Resource Specialist
(319) 730-3633 / Email

Provides direct services to families in the Linn-Mar Community School District regarding at-risk issues, as well as a liaison with parents and community resources.

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High School Student Assistance Team:

This team, which consists of staff members, can assist students who voluntarily contact them for support, counseling, information, and resources in a confidential manner. The Student Assistance Team is not intended to provide therapy or substitute for a therapeutic relationship between the student and a helping professional. Students needing additional counseling will be referred to one of the Student Assistance Specialists or an outside agency/professional.

Name Title
Corey Brinkmeyer Business Teacher
Jordan Printy Social Studies Teacher
Kim Yum Math Teacher
Kyle Hoffman Science Teacher
Tracy Hopkins English Teacher
Kathleen Kelley English Teacher
Nancy Kleitsch LMHS Nurse
Jennifer Tiede Band Teacher
Lisa Loftin Spanish Teacher
Kevin McCauley Student Assistance Counselor
Jessica Deahl Student Assistance Counselor
Tony Nicol Student Assistance Counselor
Jeanne Turner Psychology Teacher
Margaret Tietjen English Teacher
Becky Youngkent Science Teacher
Sarah Mollman English Teacher
Chelsi Snead Health Teacher
Kelsey Epner French Teacher
Theresa Gail Student Support Services Teacher
Danielle Patterson Student Support Services Teacher
Lee Kibbie English Teacher
Janessa Carr Student Assistance Counselor
Kourtney Albright Compass Teacher
Jaclyn Ohnemus Vocal Music Teacher
Shawn Knighton Family Resource Specialist

Student Support Groups:

  • C.O.D.E. – a support group for Children Of Diverse Environments
  • Lean On Me – a presentation group that addresses bullying & harassment issues for grades 4-8 students
  • SODA – a social activity group for Students Opposed to Drugs and Alcohol
  • TRY – Teens Reaching Youth, a group which provides education about productive, healthy lifestyles for K-8 students
  • ALO – a group for students of color focusing on Accountability, Leadership, & Opportunity
  • STOP – Standing Together Opposing Phones While Driving – an advocacy and support group for those interested in changing minds about texting and driving

Staff/Student Mentoring Program:

Selected high school staff serve as mentors to identified students who could benefit from a positive, supportive role model. These staff members will have regular contact and provide support throughout the school year in all areas of the student’s life.


Traumatic Event Response Plan:

The high school Student Assistance Team facilitates the building crisis plan when a traumatic event occurs.


James E. Purtell Award:

This award is selected by the high school Student Assistance Team. The Purtell Award is presented to a senior who has made notable personal growth since entering high school.


Wildcat Closet & PRIDE Food Pantry:

Collected quality clothing, school supplies, and non-perishable food items for high school students who are in need. All items are free to students.  Contact Stephanie Sheldon for questions on the PRIDE Food Pantry and Jessica Deahl for questions on the Wildcat Closet.


Mikula Reception:

A graduation reception for selected students who have overcome significant living obstacles.