EXTRAordinary Women 2023
Trina Heinisch is a Clinical Social Worker and Social-Emotional Learning Specialist in her 15th year at the Charles Sumner Elementary School in Roslindale, although she has worked in Boston Public Schools for over 20 years. She spends her days singing songs about empathy with second graders and empathizing with sixth graders about the awkwardness of the teenage years.
Trina fostered her passion for working with Boston's kids at the Children's Museum, then Citizen Schools, and later as the director of Out-of-School-Time at the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester. Trina then received her Masters Degree in Social Work at Simmons University and became the sole School Social Worker at the Sumner. She also worked at the Home for Little Wanderers, providing individual therapy to Sumner students, and directing therapeutic summer camps.
Currently, Trina teaches Social Emotional Learning and Health Classes, serves on the Student Support Leadership and Crisis Teams, and leads the Trauma-Informed Kids' Yoga program and the school's Black Lives Matter Week of Action. She is trained in Restorative Justice practices and de-escalation strategies. Her students know that they can always come to Ms. Trina for a safe space, unconditional support, and a hug on a hard day.
In her spare time, she served on the board of the Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, where she coordinated and volunteered to rebuild trips to the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico, including bringing Boston high school students to participate in this important work. She also loves to garden, cook, dance, and swim in the ocean.