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This is my 19th year as counselor for Middlebury Community Schools. What a privilege it has been to work with so many students and their families for almost two decades! I spend 60% of my time at Jefferson Elementary (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) and the other 40% at York Elementary (Mondays and Wednesdays) . My goal is to assist students, parents, and teachers with problems that interfere with learning. Students can achieve more when barriers to learning are removed.
I have had an excellent advisory council in place for many years at Jefferson Elementary consisting of parents, teachers, and an administrator. We have worked together in the past to obtain state recognition for the guidance program through the Gold Star School Counseling Award from 2003 -2014. And in 2010, we achieved national recognition through the ASCA RAMP Award as a nationally recognized model program.
I also received a Bully Prevention Specialist designation in 2014 that is recognized nationally through the American School Counselor Association.
In 2018 I completed all the training to be certified by the American School Counselor Association with the Mental Health Specialist designation.
Individual Counseling: Each year I provide hundreds of individual counseling sessions to students. My focus is to help students overcome barriers to the learning process so that they can have a more successful educational experience. I also meet with individual students to assess and resolve problems, provide counseling and support, teach new skills, develop behavior plans, and assist parents and teachers with other educational or behavioral interventions. These sessions have centered on topics such as academics, anger, anxiety, attendance, behavior, conflict, depression, family issues, friendship, grief, self esteem, social skills, study skills, etc.
Families: I also work with parents and families in a number of ways. Last year I had hundreds of parent contacts made through parent meetings, family meetings, phone calls, drop in visits, email, or parent teacher conferences.
I work with families who desire to implement Love and Logic Parenting Resources to make a difference in their families. The resources have been very well received by parents are a valuable resource to many families including my own. Working together with parents has made many of our students more successful.
Classrooms: This year I will teach classroom lessons at least every other week largely focused on Social Emotion Learning. On non SEL weeks the students go to computer lab. I normally teach around 600 classroom lessons each year. You can find my schedule HERE. These lessons target various standards and indicators in 3 major domains: Academic, Career, and Citizenship. All my classroom lessons have been directly tied to specific Indiana School Counseling Competencies for Students or their equivalent for the last 15 years. My classroom lessons are designed to address the social / emotional needs of students. You can find an Annual Calendar HERE. Click on the tab at the bottom for the appropriate school and grade level. You can find a Weekly Calendar HERE.
Indiana School CounselingCompetencies for Students
My lessons have also been aligned with the American School Counselor Association Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success or their ASCA equivalent since 2010.
By mastering these standards and mindsets, students are far more likely to become successful learners, productive workers, and responsible citizens. Some of the topics that are covered through the year include: what do counselors do?, respect, what to do when someone bugs you, conflict resolution, peer mediation, anger management, diversity, self-esteem, prejudice, tattling, bullying, good touches vs. bad touches, goal setting, decision making, empathy, and careers.
Small Groups: Last year I offered many small group counseling opportunities for students. My plan is to continue that service this year. Groups have been offered on issues such as controlling anger, changing family situations, life skills, study skills, social skills, Stop myself and Really Think Groups, friendship skills and several groups with students who are going through the grieving process. Groups usually consist of 4- 6 students working on the same skills together for 30 minutes. Some groups meet once a week during school hours for 6-8 weeks. Other groups will meet 3 times a week for several weeks. All the groups are designed to be educational in nature and build skills that are helpful for all children.