School psychologist aims to work most with students

Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

In college, the majority of people change their major a few times. A lot of college students end up doing something they never even imagined. However, Blue Valley psychologist Julie Seitter said she knew she wanted to be a psychologist from a young age.
Seitter said she went into college planning to major in psychology. She has a Bachelors Degree and an Educational Specialist Degree in psychology.
“I’m one of those weird people who knew from a very early age that I was going to be a psychologist,” she said. “When I was in sixth grade and we were doing careers, we were supposed to interview two people — I interviewed a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I feel that I really enjoy helping other people, and all my friends brought their problems to me. I was always pretty good at listening and helping others solve problems. It just felt right.”
Seitter has been a psychologist for 29 years, and this is her second year at BV. She worked at BV Northwest for 18 years before coming to BV.
“In complete honesty, I love both schools,” she said. “I loved being at Northwest, but I am really glad that I made the change to High. I really like the environment here. It’s a little bit more of a small-town feel here, and I love that. Even though we are a large school, it doesn’t feel as large to me at Northwest did. I love the staff, and I quickly made friends who I’ll have for the rest of my life.”
REbeL is one of the many extracurricular activities Seitter participates in.
Before senior Oksana Spindler joined REbeL, she said the only interaction she had with Seitter was seeing her in the halls.
“I am one of the leaders of REbeL, so whenever we do activities throughout the school year, I touch-base with her about what’s going on,” she said. “We keep each other informed. She helps me keep everything organized.”
Seitter said it’s important to balance her schedule and make time to re-energize herself.
“Sometimes it’s a tricky task,” she said. “Sometimes I get too involved and have to stay at school until 6 [p.m.]. When I came to Blue Valley High, I made the decision I would only do a few things. I am on the district level Diversity Team. I am on the Suicide Prevention Task Force. I do quite a few things, but I enjoy everything I do. I have a pretty good inner radar as to, ‘OK, I need to back off a bit and get some more sleep.’”
Seitter said her biggest priority is working with the students.
“I wear a lot of hats,” she said. “I am in therapeutic situations to help support them, and if need be, I get outside help. I also work a lot with the Special Education department. I do a lot of consultations with parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, outside therapists and outside agencies.”
Spindler said she would describe her relationship with Seitter as easy-going and supportive.
“I know if I have any issues I need to discuss, I can always go talk to her, and that’s really cool,” she said.
Spindler said Seitter has taught her things that help with her everyday relationships.
“When we talk about things in our REbeL meetings, I now apply them to my own life,” she said. “One of the things we talked about was compliments and how we shouldn’t say so many superficial compliments like, ‘Oh, that shirt looks so cute on you.’ We should be saying compliments that actually mean something, like telling your friends how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you. I’ve found myself doing a lot more of that because of REbeL and knowing Mrs. Seitter.”
Even though Seitter said her job is exhausting, she said it is rewarding.
“At the end of the day I am really, really glad I came to work,” she said. “It is such a great joy to see students grow and learn more about themselves and learn ways to help themselves. It is an amazing thing to watch.”
Seitter said she always tells students to not get too caught up in high school.
“High school only lasts four years,” she said. “Your whole life is ahead of you, while it seems this is the most important time of your life. In one way, it is because you’re living it right now, but there is so much more out there. You are going to meet so many new people in your lifetime. Learn to find joy in every day.”