After Vanessa Halford retired as counselor at Chamberlin Elementary, Amber Davenport was hired to take on the role and is all about creating a welcoming environment for students.

Davenport has been in education for 11 years, starting as an elementary school teacher, then moving into the counselor role two years ago.

“I’ve always had a passion and desire to be a counselor. We have a huge impact on the students,” she said. “I just felt like I wanted to do even more and help the kids who needed a little extra hug or someone to talk to. It’s a very rewarding job, so is teaching, but counseling is too in a different way.”

Before coming to Stephenville Davenport taught at Garland ISD and Sulpher Springs ISD. She made the move here with her husband who works at Tarleton State University.

“Stephenville ISD is a great place to be, I love it,” Davenport said. “I was in a room January through May (interim) and then I became permanent as of this school year. It’s been wonderful (the teachers/staff) have been very welcoming, friendly and inviting, it’s just an awesome place to be and I couldn’t be happier.”

Davenport’s goal is to make sure her students feel safe to come to her anytime with any problems.

“I go into their classrooms and do lessons so they can get to know me and I can get to know them and build those relationships with them,” she said. “I greet them in the mornings when they come in so they are familiar with who I am. It’s all about forming those relationships and being inviting for them so they know it’s a safe place.”

Helping build relationships is a new process that Chamberlin is implementing called Capturing Kids Hearts. The process not only includes greeting students at the door each morning, but initiating affirmations teacher-to-student and student-to-student.

“I’m really excited to see the difference that it makes in our kids,” Davenport said. “I feel like I’ve said it 100 times, but it’s all about relationships and feeling a part of the team and being heard.”