Chatfield Elementary welcomes new counselor

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS Jenna Dokken is joining the Chatfield Elementary staff this fall as the school counselor.
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

“I chose to become a school counselor because my heart is with preventive work. I am a strong believer in the saying, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment.’ I knew I always wanted to work with people, helping people,” stated Jenna Dokken, Chatfield Elementary School’s new counselor. “I found that by working with young children, I can do very impactful work, teaching children necessary skills that will empower them to be successful adults. Not to mention, I absolutely love working with kids.”

Dokken graduated from Caledonia High School in 2012 and from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2016. While at UW-L, she majored in interpersonal communication studies and minored in psychology.

“I graduated from Winona State this spring, 2019, with my masters of science in school counseling,” she continued. “This is my first counseling job after finishing my degree. I previously worked at Chileda, which is a private school for students with cognitive disabilities and extraordinary behavior needs. Before that, I was a site director at the YMCA of La Crosse.”

Dokken said she chose to work in Chatfield because it felt right. “I really liked the school climate, the strong sense of community and supportive staff stood out to me the most,” she said. “It was clear how much staff here care about their students and the value placed on providing high-quality education. I wanted to be part of that. The Chatfield staff are very welcoming and are also fun. I am happy to be part of the Chatfield team.”

As a school counselor, Dokken said her focus will be on social and emotional learning. “I believe it is essential to teach students the necessary skills that will help them understand and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict,” she said.

Dokken said she anticipates providing a comprehensive school counseling program which follows the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) model by offering classroom guidance, group counseling and individual counseling services. “I ultimately want to offer a school counseling program that meets student, family and school climate needs,” she added.

Dokken just moved to Rochester from Winona. “I come from a fairly large family. I have five older brothers and sisters, nine nieces and nephews – and counting! I enjoy spending time with all of them and being the fun aunt,” she said.

In her free time, Dokken said she enjoys traveling and likes to go on adventures and experience new things. “I also like to lead an active lifestyle by biking, hiking and paddle-boarding,” she concluded. “Spending time with family and friends is also very important to me.”