Shenica Hunter


Revitalizing Education: Exploring Alternative Discipline Practices for Homeless K-12 Students


This capstone presentation focuses on the impact of traditional discipline practices on homeless K-12 students. The research analyzes current discipline methods, proposes a conceptual framework, and suggests training for school personnel to enhance social-emotional and educational outcomes for this population. The capstone project consists of three products. The first is a systematic literature review that examines traditional and alternative disciplinary practices to address the unique challenges faced by homeless K-12 students. The second product is a conceptual paper proposing a novel framework that integrates Family Systems Theory (FST) and Critical Race Theory (CRT) to implement disciplinary measures. The last product is a practice application paper emphasizing specialized training for school administrators. The training focuses on trauma-informed practices, restorative justice practices, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The ultimate goal is to promote fairness, inclusivity, and positive outcomes by personalizing disciplinary approaches to the specific needs of homeless students in the K-12 educational setting.


Shenica Hunter, Ed.S., LMSW, RPT, originally from Nocatee, Florida, has called Athens, Georgia, home for 27 years. A proud “double dawg” graduate of the University of Georgia with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology (2001) and a Master’s in Social Work (2006), she later earned an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Counselor Education with an Emphasis in Play Therapy from the University of Mississippi (2022). Her licenses include Licensed Master Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist, and Certified School Social Worker.

For nine years, Shenica has served as a School Social Worker in the Clarke County School District. She also serves part-time as a School Social Worker at Foothills Regional High School. Her 3rd present role includes serving as a part-time Assistant Professor for Educational Psychology doctoral students at the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. Previously, she worked in various roles with the Clarke County Department of Family and Children Services and Advantage Behavioral Health System.

Shenica is active in professional societies like the National Association of Black Social Workers, Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, Georgia Association of Play Therapy, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Social Work with a clinical focus from the University of Kentucky, her research is on discipline practices with homeless K-12 students. She is slated to graduate in May 2024.

Outside work, Shenica enjoys family time and travel. She cherishes her roles as a wife, mother, niece, sister, aunt, cousin, mentor, and friend.