National School Counseling Week

Kangisser Lets Woodsdale, Madison Students Know She Cares

It’s always special to Allyson Kangisser when a student approaches her in the hallways.

In her seven years as a counselor at Woodsdale and Madison elementary schools, it’s a scenario that has played out many times. Yet, for Kangisser, it never gets old.

“I love it when a student gets out of line, walks up to me and gives me a hug,” she said. “It lets me know that the child realizes how much I care for them.”

Kangisser is a 2003 graduate of Wheeling Park High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marshall University in 2007, and she earned her master’s degree in counseling from West Virginia University in 2010. Kangisser is also a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2016.

Kangisser never set out to be a school counselor and that becoming one was a lucky career choice. However, she believes the role suits her, and it has become one that she truly loves. Kangisser said the most rewarding part of her job is the relationships that she forms with her students and their families.

“My job is to be connected to them and getting them to feel comfortable and safe with me,” she said. “I feel connected to my students, their siblings and their parents, and that is important. Ultimately, when it comes to a crisis situation, I want them to feel that they can come to me for help.”

“The hardest part is knowing that I have to support children who are sometimes in dangerous situations,” Kangisser added. “Still, I love that I am part of their lives because they realize how I feel about them.”

Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Miller worked with Kangisser for four years when she served as the school’s principal. She described Kangisser as a true professional and caring nurturer.

“She’s very conscientious,” Miller said. “She truly cares about her students, and that is what makes her such a great counselor.”

In addition to being an excellent school counselor, Kangisser is also an exceptional athlete. During her years on Wheeling Park’s varsity golf team, in 2002 Kangisser helped claim Park’s first WVSSAC State Golf Championship. She holds two Women’s West Virginia Golf Association Amateur Championships.

Kangisser’s accolades while attending Marshall University include 2007 Psychology Student of the Year, 2007 Conference USA Women’s Golf All-Academic Team, 2007 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal of Honor, 2005 All-Mid-American Conference Academic Team and 2004 Mid American Conference Freshman of the Year.

Since leaving college, Kangisser’s work at Ohio Schools and being a mother have been her focus. While she doesn’t play as much as she’d like due to family activities, Kangisser looks forward to teaching her two daughters, Gabby, 4, and Kenna, 2, to play when they are older. She is married to Triadelphia Middle School teacher Scot Kangisser.