Valedictorian back at middle school to help students chase dreams

Six years ago, her teachers knew she had a bright future, but they didn’t know it would be working with them.

Lindsey Crouch was valedictorian when she graduated Indian Creek High School in 2010, where she also played softball.

Now, she is coming back to her former school district as a counselor.

Since graduating, Crouch went to IUPUI, where she played right field in softball for the Jaguars and pursued a bachelor’s degree in social work. She worked at the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office while she went back to school for her masters degree in counseling.

And now she has been hired as Indian Creek Middle School’s counselor.

Part of her job will be to get young teenagers on the path she took to get what she considers her dream job.

She was known as Lindsey Richards in high school, and her résumé already stood out to the principal, Sean Zachery. Then he connected the names and memories and realized that the former valedictorian was looking for a job helping kids at the middle school.

That helped clinch the job for Crouch.

“It piqued my interest even further,” he said. “Everyone here, even in middle school, could tell she was a high flyer.”

As a senior in high school, Crouch knew she wanted to work with and help kids and families. She wasn’t quite sure what that would be yet, she said.

Becoming an attorney was attractive because they thought on their feet and could help others. Counseling was a path to help disadvantaged students too, she said.

She started interning in the child support division of the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office during her senior year of high school, taking in new applications and doing filing and copying work for the office. That led to a part-time job in college, and she was hired full-time after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

By then, she knew she wanted to become a counselor and that would take a masters degree, so she went back to school while working as a child support case manager. She did an internship at Warren Central High School on Indianapolis’ east side.

Seeing those teenagers overcome the most difficult of home lives and make it to school to get an education inspired her.

“Those kids overcame tremendous things, just to get to school, even,” she said. “They were determined kids.”

She shadowed victim advocates and thought that their approach to helping people was closer to what she wanted in a career, she said.

“Seeing their interactions with people, was how I wanted to help people,” she said.

Then a middle school counseling job at Indian Creek Middle School opened up, about 10 months before she was going to look for a counseling position. Her new job as the middle school counselor satisfies the internship requirement of her master’s degree. Coursework for that degree is completed.

She had no choice but to apply, she said.

And she believes her job at the prosecutor’s office will help make her an effective counselor, she said. She was used to talking to parents as a case manager, making sure that people who were court-ordered to pay child support were making their payments. And her load of about 400 cases at the prosecutor’s office is about how many students are at Indian Creek Middle School.

And once she got the job, she jumped in. She started digging into data at the middle school before her first day, looking at attendance records, grades and behavioral issues. From that information, she identified students who might benefit from spending time with their middle school counselor.

“Middle school and high school is where they are finding themselves,” she said.


Name: Lindsay Crouch

Job: New counselor at Indian Creek Middle School.

Education: Valedictorian at Indian Creek High School in 2010; bachelor’s degree in social work from IUPUI; working on master’s degree.

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.