Teenagers in high schools across the world are undergoing social, emotional, and academic challenges. It is no different at Oak Hill Academy, where we help guide our students with an understanding of their common struggles and unique needs. As the OHA Director of Counseling, Mrs. Joy Groves leads these efforts.
The guiding principle behind Mrs. Groves’s work is to assist students in their growth and to help them move forward. This takes many forms, from academic scheduling and college counseling to running advisory programs and nurturing student leadership skills.
Mrs. Groves, who holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Marshall University and is a licensed professional counselor, joined the Oak Hill family more than 19 years ago. At that time, she knew she loved helping students, and she has found her role here incredibly rewarding.
“I enjoy when I see the satisfaction of students when they work hard on an essay—or anything—and finally get it just right!” she said.
When she isn’t working directly with individual students, Mrs. Groves serves as a community leader on campus. In 2019, she helped to interview staff, faculty, and students to develop Oak Hill’s four core values. These values are the central statements of purpose that drive Oak Hill’s procedures and inform best practice on The Hill.
Mrs. Groves said, undoubtedly, her favorite part about working at Oak Hill is the community.
“Not only is it a wonderful community for students to come and be a part of,” she said, “but it was a wonderful place to raise our kids and to invest as our family in this community. Everyone just jumps in and connects with each other as family.”
The close-knit, family connections developed at Oak Hill are truly unique—and powerful. Mrs. Groves said, “I knew the Oak Hill community was special when I needed a kidney transplant and multiple people at OHA offered to be donors for me.”
Mrs. Groves is special to the Oak Hill community. Mrs. Lisa Finklea, the administrative assistant to the president, has known Mrs. Groves since the day she moved to Oak Hill. “Mrs. Groves is known for her true concern and care for each student and their wellbeing,” Mrs. Finklea said. “She is always available to them and wants to see them succeed academically and through personal growth.”
Mrs. Groves exemplifies the special balance between individual impact and community connection that makes Oak Hill stand out from other boarding schools. “If I could describe Oak Hill in one word, it would be acceptance,” she said.
Each student, faculty, and staff member is appreciated for who they are and what they bring to Oak Hill. And within this nurturing community, individuals overcome struggles, maximize their growth, and build meaningful connections along the way.