Waxahachie ISD is celebrating the unique contribution of school counselors during National School Counseling Week, February 1-5, 2021.
The district recognizes these professionals who make a tremendous impact in helping students achieve school success, balance social and mental health, and plan for the future.
Director of Educational Support and Counseling Services Ginger Robinson elaborated on the additional responsibilities counselors voluntarily took on during the pandemic.
Robinson noted during the beginning of the pandemic, counselors engaged with students virtually to help with social and emotional services, and also stepped-up when it came to distributing meals to students in need while the district was 100 percent online during the spring of 2020.
Counselors have maintained relationships with online students through the 2020-21 school year and even created an online resource for families that includes an abundance of counseling services. The online services even incorporate a “virtual calming corner” for students and adults. Meanwhile, counselors are also hard at work accomplishing their everyday tasks.
“They have been true heroes,” Robinson emphasized. “It is unbelievable what they can do while still teaching guidance, still taking care of mental health, while putting together course selection sheets.”
The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who “implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said WISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain.
School counselors actively engage in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents; work in partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; focus on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, postsecondary, and social/emotional development; and work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves.
School counselors are certified, experienced educators with master’s degrees in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, post-secondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Jill Cook, American School Counselor Association (ASCA) executive director. “School counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”
Every day, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, school counselors prove that they are heroes. With that in mind, we celebrate National School Counseling Week. Be sure to thank your school counselor this week.
Turner Prekindergarten Academy — Andi Wilson
Clift Elementary — Monica Chilton
Dunaway Elementary — Michelle Anderson
Felty Elementary — Monica Taylor
Marvin Elementary — Anita Barnes
Northside Elementary — Claire Thornhill
Shackelford Elementary — Laura Northcutt
Simpson Elementary — Carrie Andrews
Wedgeworth Elementary — Erica Scott
Wilemon STEAM Academy — Kishen Lavender
Coleman Junior High — Stephanie Gober & Rikki Morrow
Finley Junior High — Kevin Nesmith & Robin Ruthart
Howard Junior High — Andra Chapman & Robin Willett
Waxahachie Global High School — Christie Noonkester
Waxahachie High School — Jean Baskin, Ramona Leonhardt, Bo Livingston, Whitney Read, Susan Schmidt, Casi Thorne, Antoinette Vincent
Waxahachie High School of Choice/Challenge Academy — Martha Cunningham