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Hello everyone! I started with the Sayre Area School District in August 2013 as an elementary school counselor. I am just as excited and passionate about my role in the district as I was when it was offered to me. Thank you for the privilege of working with our students.
My work in the school systems began when I worked as a substitute teacher. The opportunity to work in a school setting made me realize it is where I would like to be. I completed my masters degree in school counseling through Capella University in December 2011. Shortly after completing my degree, I earned the credential as a nationally certified counselor (NCC). Also, I am an active member on the governing board of the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA) as a Regional Representative.
Between finishing my degree and beginning my work here, I worked in a Family Based Mental Health program as a therapist and was a mental health crisis worker. Currently, I am pursuing my EDd in Educational Leadership through Capella University and looking forward to completing it. My career has continuously been focused on human services in various capacities. I enjoy using all I have learned so far to benefit our students. Watching them grow is a privilege and the opportunity to influence them is a gift.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or insights you would like to share with me.
- When to contact the school counselor and what can they do for me and my student
Classroom Guidance – Lesson overview by grade
Classroom guidance lessons are scheduled with all grades annually with each classroom teacher. Classroom lessons are intended to focus on teaching students about personal/social, academic and career issues. School counselors address both the PA CEW standards and ASCA’s Mindsets and Behaviors in identifying and implementing lessons.
By addressing personal/social topics with students we intend to provide students with options of how to navigate related challenges. Some topics include conflict resolution, recognizing and responding to bullying, being a good friend, avoiding and minimizing drama, and many more.
The school counselor talks about academic issues in terms of skills not content. In other words, school counselors focus on facilitating and encouraging skills that will assist students in being a better learner regardless of the subject. Some of the topics include organizational skills, time management, goal setting and goal achievement, and self-management.
At the elementary level, school counselors are expected to raise student awareness of careers. This involves talking with students and asking them about the workers in their everyday world and those they may not have contact with but know they exist.
More information on grade specific topics will be posted in the near future…stay tuned.
- Individual Counseling
- Small Group Counseling
- Mediation – Responsive Service
- Topic Specific – Scheduled
- Weekend Backpack Food Program
Special Education Referral Process / Child Study Team
Get Started Learning At Home – Welcome to Wide Open School! As parents, you may be adjusting to the idea of having your kids at home all the time. To make learning with them more accessible, we have been busy compiling the best free online resources. As you get started, here are a few things to keep in mind to set you and your kids up for success.
Test Anxiety & PreparednessAlthough we are barely into the new year, state testing is not too far away. Elementary students in grades 3-6 will be tested for both ELA and math. Fourth grade students will test in ELA, Math and Science. During these dates and building up to the tests it is not uncommon for students to experience some test anxiety. Below are a few things you can do to assist your student in reducing and managing their anxiety.
- Healthy sleep schedule
- Students this age typically need between 9-11 hours of sleep each night.
- Going to bed at approximately the same time nightly helps students develop a sleep habit/schedule.
- Routines in general reduce anxiety about what will get done and when.
- Healthy diet – eating a variety of healthy foods has been linked to:
- Better grades
- Better memory
- Increased level of alertness
- Good study habits – Although it is not possible to study for the PSSA’s, good study habits throughout the year will prepare students for the areas where they will be tested.
- Do their best it is all anyone can ask of them.
- Attendance students need to be present to benefit from what is being taught in school.
- Homework is a chance to practice what they have been learning nightly.
- Ask questions for topics they are not sure about.
- Read, read, read… The more students read not only will they learn more, but they will become better readers and reduce future anxieties for the amount of required readings.
- Paying attention to the material presented in class will not only help them on the test, but serves as a foundation for the material they will be learning in years to come.
- Anxiety Blockers
- Positive self-talk – ex. “I’ve got this!”, “I am ready to rock this test!”, “I am calm, focused, and ready to show what I know.”
- Deep breathing – we all breathe everyday, but somehow tend to breathe less when we are under stress. Reminding ourselves to stop and breathe helps us slow down and focus.
- Be calm – People do not think as clearly when they are not calm, focusing on being calm helps us all avoid silly mistakes. Ex. looking for that item that is right in front of us.
- Healthy sleep schedule
- NSSH, SI, HI
Cyber GuidanceThroughout the year we talk with many students about interpersonal issues. Many of which relate to things posted on social media including; tik tok, facebook, instagram, snapchat, youtube, and texting, just to name a few. Social media provides an opportunity to express ourselves, use our creativity, and share our excitement, memories, and events in our lives with those around us. Like any tool available, they can serve a good purpose until they are misused (accidentally or on purpose). Elementary students are at an age of learning to interact with each other face to face. When individuals are face to face a reaction to what they say or do is easier to observe. However, social media removes this immediate feedback to students’ developing social interactions. Viewers may not provide the immediate feedback that something that was posted may not be true [T], helpful [H], important[I], necessary[N], or kind [K] (questions students can ask themselves before saying, posting, or texting). Below are some ideas to assist you in guiding your student as they learn to interact with others in person and through social media. For students:
- Before posting/saying something ask themselves will it hurt someone. (Taught during Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade classroom guidance lessons).
- Conflict is more effectively resolved face to face (Taught in 4th & 5th grade classroom guidance and small groups). Since the resolution of conflict depends on the reaction of others involved, the use of social media to resolve conflict is not effective. By being face to face, each person involved can better judge if they are solving the problem or making it bigger. Social media makes interpretations difficult if not impossible because they cannot see the other person or hear how statements were made or intended.
- Conflict can only be resolved when we speak directly with those involved (Taught in 4th & 5th grade classroom guidance, and small groups). Many of the issues that carry over to school are not about the initial issue, but about the conversations with others who are not involved in the cause or solution to the original issue. This quickly becomes gossip and drama. Before we know it, no one remembers what the original issue was or who it involved, but become upset about things said in the conversations that follow the conflict being shared with those who are not directly involved.
- Focus only on what we hear or see for ourselves (Taught in 1st grade, 4th, 5th grades and small groups). This avoids reactions to rumors. Everyone interprets situations differently. A statement or mannerisms that may offend one person may not have been intentional and may not even be noticed by another person.
- View their social media – Students are still learning to interact, viewing their social media is a good way to show an interest in them and see some of their social strengths and areas where some guidance may help.
- Discuss what they post (compliments/interests and appropriate/concerns) – Student posts may lead to shared interests between adult and child, discover a new interest of the student’s, learn about their sense of humor, or observe how they interact with their peers.
- Review their friends/followers lists – Does your student know these people personally? Talk to your student about the risks of talking to people who are not who they claim through online profiles.
- Bullying Facts
If this is an emergency please call 911
Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
PA Childline ~ If you suspect an identified child is being abused, you can call the number below to report it.
Safe to Say
Teen-Teen Hotline 1-310-855-4673