Counselors guide students in academic, social concerns
MADISON – The valuable role of school counselors in guiding students to informed decisions is taking the spotlight during National School Counseling Week on Feb. 4-8.
The American School Counselor Association sponsors the observance week to focus public attention on unique contributions of professional school counselors in U.S. school systems and ways that students are different because of counselors. National School Counseling Week highlights counselors’ impact for school success and career plans.
The special week serves to recognize counselors who help students face 21st-century demands. More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will participate in the week’s festivities. (schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members).
MCS counselors are Stephanie Allen, West Madison; Ashley Claborn and Katherine Mitchell, Mill Creek; Stefanie Cook, Madison elementary; Cindy Perry and Candice Taylor, Columbia; Macy Smith, Heritage; Becky Thompson, Rainbow; Jennifer Walker, Horizon; Karen Clayton and Shatiyyah Lateef, Liberty; Kelle Moody and Tim Van Dorn, Discovery; Johnny Fowler, Sonja Griffith, Damarius Anderson and Stephanie Bostick, Bob Jones; Carol Torrello, The Academy at James Clemens; Heather Porter, Rosalyn Smith and Lana Meskunas, James Clemens.
Melissa Mims works as Elementary Counseling Coordinator and Sharon Powell as Secondary Counseling Coordinator for MCS.
Counselors’ core focus involves academic achievement, career and social/emotional development. Students can experience enhanced academic performance, better social relationships, improved decision-making and problem-solving skills and a broader understanding of careers and post-secondary options.
In emotional support, counselors help with grade anxiety, loss of a loved one or feelings of self-worth. Counselors can customize help to individual needs by using one-on-one, small-group or crisis response settings.
With explosive growth and limited funds, MCS contracts with the Enrichment Center for mental health counseling.
This year, Stefanie Cook, Sonja Griffith and Johnny Fowler earned the Bronze RAVE award. Stephanie Allen and Becky Thompson earned the Gold RAVE. The RAVE is a continuous improvement document that gives a school-counseling program an opportunity to demonstrate effective communication and a commitment to implementing an outcome-based, data-driven program.
“Three of the most common topics of conversations with elementary students are peer relationships; coping with difficult emotions, such as stress/anxiety, anger or sadness; and making positive choices, specifically in behaviors to support learning,” Stephanie Allen said.
High-school students’ top three questions concern college preparation for academics, college entrance exams and summer programs; career pathways at James Clemens with tech courses; and prioritizing and balancing time.