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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Jun. 6, 2022 6 months ago

OSZ Influencer of the Week: Kelley Bell, Horizon West Middle School

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Kelley Bell is the S.A.F.E. Coordinator at Horizon West Middle School.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

Kelley Bell is the S.A.F.E. Coordinator at Horizon West Middle School. She works with students who are in crisis, have suicidal ideations, or have anxiety or depression. She also helps students and families connect with counseling resources and any other additional resources needed to ensure that students have the mental and emotional help they need. Although she has received job-related accolades, Bell said she would rather boast about the amazing opportunity she has to work with the students and staff at the school. 

What brought you to your school? 

I worked with our principal, Michelle Thomas, at our previous location and loved her leadership style and passion for education. So when the opportunity opened to apply for Horizon West Middle School, I did so as soon as I could. 

What do you love most about your school?  

The students! We really have some amazing kids at our school. With us being a new school, I also love the ability we have to create traditions for our students, family and staff. While it has been challenging opening a school through the pandemic, I enjoy coming to work every day.  

What is your motivation? 

To impact the lives of students positively. To be able to plant a positive seed in their lives that one day they can look back and remember that Mrs. Bell was there for them when they needed someone the most. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Creating a safe space for students where they trust speaking to me. I get the pleasure of hearing the hearts of our children and can play a part in helping them make decisions for their lives. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I like spending time with my family, friends and running my business.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why? 

My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Jackson. She was an amazing teacher!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why? 

I wanted to be a teacher. My mom was a teacher and will be the principal of North Lake Park Community School this upcoming school year. I always wanted to be like my mom. 

What is your favorite children’s book and why? 

“The Watsons Go to Birmingham.” I can’t say I have a reason why, but it’s just always been a favorite of mine.

What are your hobbies? 

Singing, playing the piano and trying new restaurants.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?  

I would love to be able to teleport. I spend a lot of my time driving and would love the ease of teleporting.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? 

India Arie, PJ Morton and Maverick City Music. As a worshipper, I love the songs that Maverick City Music creates to reverence God, and I love the musicality of India Arie and PJ Morton.

What was your go-to lunch as an elementary student? Any favorite snacks or special treats you remember? 

I didn’t have a go-to lunch or any favorite snacks I can recall.

What is your favorite holiday and why?  

My favorite holiday is Easter, which as a Christian, I use that time to reflect on what Christ did for us on calvary. Easter is also referred to as Resurrection Sunday.

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch? 

Nicole Ellis, and yes, we are still in touch now. We met in middle school in Cleveland, Ohio. Twenty-plus years of friendship and counting!

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors? 

I took piano lessons, was on the volleyball team, step team, bell choir, sang in the choir and more. Yes, I have won accolades and honors, but don’t want to bore you with all of them!

 

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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