Joining Pine View all the way from Pittsburgh, Pa., new sixth and seventh-grade guidance counselor Kelly Hawking is excited to bring her enthusiasm and experience. In just a few weeks, she has already shown commitment and positive energy to students and staff through her bright spirit and devotion to her profession.
Moving to Florida in July, Hawking came from her hometown in Pittsburgh, where she attended the California University of Pennsylvania, receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. “I have always loved children, so education has invariably been the one field I wanted to study in college,” she said.
Hawking’s teaching career began at Albert Galliton High, where she was an English teacher for seven years. She then applied for a counselor position at D. Ferd Swaney Elementary and stayed there for four years. “It was a big shift changing from high school to elementary [and from a] teacher to a guidance counselor,” she said. “But the students and the experience were worthwhile nonetheless.” Before coming to Pine View, Hawking also worked at Albert Galliton North Middle School as a counselor for three years.
When she lived in Pennsylvania, Hawking frequently visited Sarasota to see family and enjoy the weather. Upon discovering that there was a position opening for a guidance counselor at Pine View, she decided to apply. Hawking moved to Florida during the summer with her husband and 5-year-old daughter Sophia.
When asked what she is most excited about after joining the staff, Hawking said that she looked forward to getting to know the students and parents, as well as learning Pine View’s culture regarding education and philosophy. In regard to what she will miss most about living in Pennsylvania, she said she would miss the changing of colors during fall, but not the heavy amounts of snow. “I will miss home. I’ve lived there most of my life,” she said. “Most of my family lives there, but I am still excited to see what’s to come [at Pine View].”
During her free time, Hawking enjoys reading personal development books, spending time with her family and exercising. As a side job, she is an active health and fitness coach and has been for the past four years. “I help people who are ready to make changes in their daily lifestyle habits, so they can live a healthier and happier life,” Hawking said. “That usually incorporates meal-planning, training to ditch old eating habits, helping them to understand portion control, and finding an exercise schedule that fits.”
In the future, Hawking hopes to connect with the students and staff she works with at school. “I want kids to be comfortable to work and to talk with me,” she said. “If they need anything, they are always welcome to visit me in guidance.”