Primary Address: 115 Mitchell Branch Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 (see map)
Satellite Address: Avery County Courthouse, 200 Montezuma Street, Room 201A, Newland, NC 28657 (see map)
Counties Covered: Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, Yancey
Upcoming Trainings & Events
My name is Deborah Reed Kirkley from Watauga County. I worked for 37 years in the N. C education system as a teacher and then a school counselor. I loved my role as a counselor; going into the classrooms, doing small groups and meeting with students individually. Over 30 years I would like to think that I helped and made a difference in some of my student’s lives. The hardest and most frustrating part of being a school counselor for me was working with parents. I never felt I had enough time to really get to the big issues. I had no leverage or power to facilitate change. I needed more time to build trusting relationships that would provide greater depth of understanding into overall family dynamics.
During my years in the school system, I had the opportunity to work with several GAL volunteers when they would come to visit students at my school. I was greatly impressed with the process as they explained and demonstrated what they did to help children. I vowed that when I retired I would become the voice for a child!
After retirement and 6 months recovery time, I was ready to do something useful and worthwhile. In 2013, I contacted Valerie Daniels and went through the GAL training, was sworn in and received my first case. I learned the complexity and importance of my role in the process. One of the judges quoted something directly from my report in court. It taught me that our reports have an important role in determining the outcome of a case. I was in awe and a little intimidated.
Another thing that has impressed me about the process of working a child’s case is the importance of being a volunteer and not a paid employee of an agency. To volunteer is to have no allegiance to any agency or organization. We can truly speak for the best interest of the child!