Category: NEC NEWS



As a school we are charged with the education and safety of the children of our community.  This is both a wonderful blessing and a terrible burden at times.  If we all think back we can remember just how difficult it was to be young, and to face the social scrutiny that high school had to offer us.  Unfortunately this has not changed and those in our charge face the same emotional battles every day that we did at that same age.

October is a time of solidarity and prevention against this timeless and cruel practice of the young adult population.  You will be presented with challenges throughout the month to aid in bringing awareness to our and our students actions that could be construed as bullying.  We must work to face this eternal battle and guide our students to overcome its influence.


PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

National Education Association

National PTA

American Federation for Teachers

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education



A language researcher  in Belgium has recently (2019) used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to block words/phrases associated with bullying on their popular social media site, AskFM.

Full newsletter:  Oct. Newsletter

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 – QPR Training

Parkview Behavioral Health and regional partners are sponsoring free QPR suicide prevention training sessions throughout the local area on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
QPR stands for question, persuade and refer, a technique used to recognize the signs that someone is at risk of suicide, to offer hope and get that person the care and support needed. Training sessions are open to anyone 18 years and older, who is interested in extending a helping hand. Various times and locations are available:

Please click on the link below for more information:

MORNING SESSIONS | 10 a.m. – Noon


Grant impacts mental health program

The DeKalb Eastern school district has received a $20,740 Community Impact Grant to help pay for staffing a mental health professional three days a week. From left are Eastside Junior-Senior High School guidance counselor Lori Kaiser, Terri Christ from the Northeastern Center and Dawn Mason from the United Way of DeKalb County.  (Photo contributed)


KPC News Service Oct. 2, 2019

AUBURN -The United Way of DeKalb County has awarded a $20,740 Community Impact Grant to the DeKalb County Eastern Community School District.
The grant is for the first half of the district’s new mental health program that will provide immediate, in-house access to a case facilitator for all students in the district with heightened social,
emotional and mental health needs.

The mission of DeKalb Eastern schools, in partnership with the community, is to increase the self­ esteem and coping skills of its students so they may feel empowered and supported to succeed and to graduate lifelong learners with the knowledge, skills, and character necessary to become responsible productive citizens in a global society.

The grant funds support that mission through a partnership with DeKalb Eastern and the Northeastern Center that will increase mental wholeness, attendance rates and academic success while decreasing discipline referrals and help reduce the stigma of mental health issues for students within the school district.

With direct access to a Northeastern Center case facilitator three days a week, barriers such as transportation, scheduling, cost and intimidation of the formal mental health center will fade, according to the program. The case facilitator will provide many different resources and training opportunities relating to suicide prevention, social and emotional programming and mental health awareness.

Through the partnership, also supported by the Dekko Foundation, DeKalb Eastern’s mental health program will be self-sustaining after year two by a financial commitment from Northeastern Center.

“Our school district is so excited about our partnership with United Way, Northeastern Center and Dekko Foundation and the support and services we can provide our students together,” said Lori Kaiser, speaking for her guidance team at Eastside Junior-Senior High School. “We feel very blessed that the community supports our vision and are willing to assist with the initial funding to make this a reality.”

“Northeastern Center is excited to partner with DeKalb Eastern school district to provide support, mental health services and teacher/staff trainings,” said Terri Christ from the Northeastern Center. “Early identification and intervention in regard to mental health challenges is essential to help students achieve emotional and mental wholeness. Our shared vision would not have been possible without the support of the United Way and the Dekko Foundation.”

United Way said in a statement that is excited about this new collaboration and the opportunities it will provide for all students and families at DeKalb Eastern Community Schools.

Northeastern Center announces new CEO

The Northeastern Center has selected Steve Howell as its next CEO as he transitions into the role this fall.

On Wednesday, the Northeastern Center Board of Directors, led by President Eva Merkel, announced that current Chief Clinical Officer Steve Howell has been selected as the new CEO and will take over the position from retiring CEO Jerry Hollister, effective Sept. 30

Howell has been employed by Northeastern Center since 1993 and he has been the chief clinical officer at agency since 2006. He is a licensed mental health counselor as well as a licensed clinical addiction counselor. He obtained his master’s degree in human services from Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and holds a post-graduate certificate from Ball State University in educational psychology.

Personnel Committee Chair Sarah Dreibelbis indicated that Howell was selected for the position after an extensive candidate search by an outside recruiting firm.

Retiring CEO Jerry Hollister has been with Northeastern Center since 1977 and was appointed to the CEO position in 1989.

Northeastern Center has been providing community mental health services in Noble, LaGrange, Steuben and DeKalb counties since 1977. Northeastern Center provides a complete range of mental health and addiction services including outpatient, inpatient, residential as well as Clubhouse services. The agency employs more 250 people at multiple locations in the four counties.

Northeastern Center’s mission is to help individuals achieve emotional and mental wholeness through accessible, affordable, and quality behavioral health services.