News from the Nest: Meet Emily Bergstrom, Executive Director of Cardinal Academy

This week, I’d like to introduce myself! My name is Emily Bergstrom and I am the Executive Director of Cardinal Academy. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have lived in Boise since 2008. I was the Academic and Career Counselor at the former Marian Pritchett School for 10 years. In addition, I was the school counselor for several other schools in the Boise School District. I have a Master’s Degree in Community Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and have been working in schools for 20 years. I am a Bluum New School Fellow and have enjoyed taking a new and different career path, while still getting to work in a school setting.

My husband and I have two very active kids, ages 8 and 11, and a dog. We like to spend time outdoors in our garden, camp, read and travel. We like being with extended family when we can. When it’s hot out, we like to watch survival shows together, like Alone and eat popsicles. We love living in Boise and taking advantage of all it has to offer.

What do you like most about your work with Cardinal Academy?

It’s really about the students and their children. Young parents have to be so resilient. Being a parent at any age can be hard, but it can be so much harder when you’re still in high school. Getting to watch students grow into who they are meant to be is such an honor. By connecting students to resources, we can sit back and watch the magic happen (okay – magic, but usually paired with lots of hard work!)

What are your hopes for Cardinal Academy?

I hope Cardinal Academy is a safe, caring place for students and their families. I think we can show our community what schools are capable of. These are different times. Families are struggling and we’re all coming out of this global pandemic. How we move forward and take care of our community will determine our future.

What was the best parenting advice you ever got as a mom? 

I remember being at my daughter’s baby shower. We were playing a game and they were asking what I wanted her to be when she grows up. A friend I really respect turned to me and said, “I always just wanted my kids to be happy.” It really made me think about the expectations we put on kids from a young age to “be” something instead of letting them explore and figure out what they’re into. Just be who you are!  We are only here for a short time and can try our hardest to find some happiness and fulfillment in life, no matter our circumstances. That really stuck with me.

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