If you spend any time at The French School, The Chinese School or The International School, chances are you’ve met our founding School Social Worker, Emilie Lytton.
Emilie is a native of Moline, IL. She has an undergraduate degree in Jewish & Near Eastern Studies, with minors in Anthropology and Hebrew, from Washington University. After a few years of work in the St. Louis Jewish community, she returned to Washington University to earn her Master of Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families and a specialization in school social work from the Brown School.
Emilie has worked in the St. Louis Jewish community at the St. Louis Hillel, the organization for Jewish life at St. Louis area universities, and in Rockwood School District’s early childhood program. In 2013, she received her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) certification. She is a member of the School Social Work Association of America and is involved with several other organizations in the community.
Here’s our Q&A with Emilie:
- What drives you to work at a school/serve children?
I have known to some extent my whole life that I wanted to work with children. I loved working with younger kids and my younger cousins when I was growing up, and that never faded – it just took a long time to figure out the capacity. My mom worked in a school so I got to see that environment from her perspective, and it really motivated me to work in a school too. I love the opportunities I get through my position at SLLIS to work with so many kids of all ages on so many different things. Every day they open my eyes to a new way to see the world and make me smile!
- If you could have dinner with 5 people (dead or alive) who would they be?
It’s so hard for me to narrow it down to just 5, and it’s not even that intrepid! I really would just want to have dinner with my mom and dad and all of my grandparents – and that’s 6; but how to you eliminate one of them?! It’s so good to be with family and we always have such a fun time together and such great conversations. I love to hear my grandparents’ stories about growing up in times that were so very different than life today and always want to hear more. And maybe my mom would cook – she’s very good at that!
- In your opinion, what is St. Louis’ best kept secret?
Bobo Noodle House on Skinker, near the northeast corner of the Washington University main campus. I don’t know how secret it is, but it’s really excellent pan-Asian food for a reasonable price, fresh with house-made sauces. My favorite thing to get there is the vegetable dumpling soup with shiitake mushrooms. So yummy, and always enough for leftovers the next day! My husband likes the selection of Asian beers. Plus, you get a tasty sesame ball for dessert.
- What do you do when you’re not at work?
Yoga, mostly! I have been practicing for over 12 years and I just completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training. I love the centering, grounding, strengthening, and flexibility it brings me – in body and mind. It keeps me balanced and present. Part of my goal with completing my teacher training was to be able to bring yoga and meditation to the students I work with at SLLIS, so I’m excited about developing that aspect of my role here. Aside from yoga, I spend time with my husband and my dog, and I love cooking, baking, reading, and working in the garden. And traveling, when I can!