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Spotlight On...School Psychologist Dr. Kacey Broadhurst

Kacey Broadhurst grew up in Massachusetts, one of six daughters to a single mom. She admits her upbringing was non-traditional and therefore was on her own at the age of 16.  Kacey became a mother at a young age.   She knew it was a pivotal moment in her life, and felt motivated to give her child the upbringing they deserved. It was her junior year of high school, and a guidance counselor told her the goal was simply to graduate. Obviously, she wouldn’t be going to college…but Kacey had other ideas. It was just the spark she needed. 


“I thought to myself, I will decide what my future looks like, not you, ” she smiles. 


And decided that she did. Kacey graduated high school at 17 years old with her 8 month daughter looking on. After high school, she attended SNHU where she got her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and went on to receive her Masters in Educational Counseling and Mental Health Counseling…to be a guidance counselor.  Kacey later received her CAGS in School Psychology and in 2018 graduated with her Doctorate Degree in Psychology.   

Growing up in a household that didn’t put a high value on education served as a motivator to raise her own children with a higher ceiling for achievement. Kacey now has 5 children with her husband, and encourages them to work hard and achieve their own successes.  


With such a busy life, Kacey admits the largest challenge she faces is balance. She loves what she does so it doesn’t seem like work, but that also causes her to work longer hours.  She often gives up her breaks in order to work with  students and families at a time that suits them.


“It’s a rewarding, yet emotional job.  I’m making big determinations based upon children’s needs.  And I want to make sure that I’m doing it to the best of my ability to ensure they get the necessary supports.”


Kacey’s passion for her work and her students is evident when she describes her favorite part of what she does. Her whole face lights up as she talks about discovering a child’s strengths, that they didn’t realize were there. Then being able to use those strengths and empower families to be part of the process.


What have you learned from your students?

I have learned to expect the unexpected! I have had students that hadn’t made any prior progress when they come to work with me. I learn their strengths and I get to work on bringing those strengths out. When you take the time to peel away their layers, you discover great things. 


Can you give us your thoughts on teletherapy?

The thing is, we have had remote learning for a long time, we just didn’t have access to resources for it to be successful. And in school psychology it was taboo; there was this school of thought that it wouldn’t be accurate without a student in front of you. But there’s a huge population that it works for and would otherwise not be identified or get the support they need. It is breaking down those barriers of in-person learning for so many students.


Mental health is such an important issue and dealing with it has changed. What is that like for you as a school psychologist?

With the pandemic, we have a global lack of exposure to education and social situations that young people need developmentally to be successful in life. And educators are struggling and burned out with behaviors and want to turn to psychologists to determine disabilities.  But we (psychologists) need to be mindful of these things that are barriers, but not disabilities. We need to be supporting educators and students but still maintaining ethical practices; making sure we aren’t creating disabilities based upon situations a student is temporarily going through.


What would you be doing if you weren’t a school psychologist?

When I was a teenager, my friends and I had this plan to move to California and be lifeguards during the day and bartenders by night, just live the life with no responsibilities. I obviously didn’t do that. I actually burn in the sun so I don’t know what I was thinking (she laughs).