National School Social Work Week: Meet Evelyne-Cynthia McDowell

National School Social Work Week: Meet Evelyne-Cynthia McDowell

Photo of McDowell

It’s National School Social Work Week! Every year, the School Social Work Association of America sets aside the first full week of March to recognize the contributions of school social workers.

On a daily basis, school social workers help to eliminate barriers to student success by providing counseling services, connecting families to community resources, or responding in times of crisis. This week, Polk County Public Schools is taking the time to highlight our own school social workers.

Today we meet Evelyne-Cynthia McDowell, who has been a school social worker for seven years.


What do you like most about being a school social worker?

Being able to work with families in their time of need, and having a hand in the awesome change that occurs within their lives.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?

I would say these current times have been challenging, with the pandemic.

What are you most proud of in your time at PCPS?

The relationships I’ve built with staff, students, families and the community.

Can you tell us one success story from your time at PCPS?

The time I coached the track and field team at Lake Gibson Middle School. It was a success story for me because I was able to build a relationship with my student-athletes on different level, outside of being the school social worker. I had a hand in being part of something they were passionate about, and we shared time together outside of the typical school structure. Being their coach gave me an opportunity to impact them in different aspects of their lives.

Everyone at PCPS contributes something special. What do you think you bring to our organization?

I try to enter each situation with the mentality of teamwork, knowing that every working part can accomplish much more together.