Image of Kate Nicoll

Kate Nicoll

School Social Worker

University of Farmington, University of New England

Online Support Can Make All the Difference

Across the Maine Connections Academy community – across any community – people face a wide range of personal issues and challenges. For students, professional assistance can make an enormous difference. Ms. Nicoll’s responsibility is “to help support kids through life's struggles.”

Being able to connect online can be an important advantage. “As a social worker, I meet my clients where they are,” she explains. “Many of my clients struggle to leave their home due to social anxiety or limiting phobias. However, my clients almost always make their meetings with me.”

Making that initial connection is a critical part of building a productive relationship with students. “They can truly relax in the comfort of their home,” she says, and that enables them to “work together on current issues and long term/short term goals.”

One approach that Ms. Nicolls has found especially valuable is art therapy. As an artist herself (and a published poet!), she appreciates that not all communication is verbal. Through drawing or almost any art form, some students are better able to share their feelings and thoughts. Once that happens, finding solutions is much easier.

Vigorous & Rigorous

When she finds time for herself, Ms. Nicoll takes part in many different outdoor activities. She skis. She goes snowshoeing. She hikes often and has hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail. She’s also a runner and enjoys competing in races of various lengths. She’s currently training for a half marathon.

When Ms. Nicoll stops to catch her breath, she likes to collect vintage and antique items. She also participates in community art installations. And when she finally settles in back at home? Ms. Nicoll says you can find her “cuddling with my senior dog.”

Image of Kate Nicoll and her dog