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Piekarski relishes challenges, physical activity [UPDATED]

Published 3:52am Monday, September 9, 2013 Updated 5:59am Monday, September 9, 2013

Britt Piekarski enters her third year this fall as a Mental Health Practitioner for the Fergus Falls School System – a program affiliated with Lakeland Mental Health in Fergus.

It’s a challenging job she relishes, and she handles the stress and pressure by remaining extremely physically active.

She’s not only an active member of the Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA but runs 7 miles a day five times a week.

“I like to work out early in the day because it’s one of my favorite stress relievers,” says Britt. “When I run I am able to plan my day, think about how I am going to accomplish my goals and it gives me a sense of calm.”

Britt has a Masters Degree in School Counseling, offers counseling and teaches specific social skills. She also does health presentations for the Freshmen and enjoys engaging them in conversations about serious topics. Her health presentations are for Deb Holicki’s class at school.

“I feel prepared to face anything that life or work throws at me after I work out,” adds Britt.

The students she works with get plenty of one-on-one help and attention with the primary focus on gradually getting them back into the mainstream. Each student has a chart to measure individual progress. There is a constant emphasis on social behavior.

She says when she plays a part in getting a student back into mainstream levels, it leaves her with a tremendous sense of pride.

“We take a lot of pride in what we do and it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” adds Piekarski. “We celebrate the tiniest feats and it’s just a sense of awe when they progress.”

During the winter, Britt volunteers as a Special Olympics basketball coach, working with a large group of students and dedicated coaches and parents to help the youngsters form relationships, increase their skills and knowledge of the game and to provide a good time with friends.

The 31-year-old Fergus Falls native will work with a class of 12 this year. She also has five years of teaching science on her resume.

She also has a Bachelors Degree in Life Sciences education as well as the Masters Degree in School Counseling. She’s a Mental Health Practitioner/Case manager in the EBT room at Roosevelt Education Center.

“It is a daily reward to work with these students and form connections with students throughout the school system,” Britt smiles. “It provides many moments of awe and pride, especially when I get to help a student succeed at what they are trying to accomplish, no matter how big or small.”

Britt has been married to Joel Piekarski for 6 years. He is a farmer in Carlisle Township and works for Carlson Highland in the winter.

By Mike Bellmore

For the Journal

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