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About Me

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I am a school counselor with a Pupil Personnel Service Credential. I received my Masters of Education in Counseling and Development from Lamar University. I also have Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Communications from Texas A & M University, and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A & M. I started my career in education in 2001 teaching speech, debate, oral interpretation and theatre arts to high school students. I bring my dramatic background into my counseling work with many creative expression activities. I work with students individually, in groups, in classroom guidance activities, in student leadership, and in school-wide climate and culture initiatives. I am energized by helping students develop the skills they need to uncover their talents, strengths, and build towards a meaningful life. 

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Counseling

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Sun Valley has a whole school curriculum intended to deepen our school community through common school wide language and lessons. Through monthly themes we emphasize the following aspects of social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Other parts of our program include

 

 

  • Mindfulness. One of our most important school wide tools is mindfulness: paying attention to the present moment with kindness and curiosity so that we can choose our behavior. We have a mindfulness coach that works in the classrooms and in small group settings on developing mindful strategies students can use anytime. Our teachers use mindfulness throughout the day to help kids stay calm and focused.

 

  • Guidance Lessons. Throughout the year, student have other special visitors in their classroom to teach mini lessons on topics such as empathy, emotional regulation, and effective problem solving. We use a variety of social emotional tools including Soul Shoppe, Second Step, Kimochis, Zones of Regulation, and Digital Citizenship. Check out the Resource Section for more information on these programs.

 

  • Groups. Placing students into small groups for focused lessons and activities provides more in depth practice on key student success skills. Kinders, 1st and 2nd graders take part in "friendship clubs." These groups give children a chance to practice social skills such as taking turns, active listening, joining in a group, and making new friends. For 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader groups we tend to focus on leadership skills and personal empowerment. Through games and crafts we cover topics such as setting personal goals, managing difficult emotions, effective team work, building self-confidence, and being an assertive communicator. We also have specialized groups that focus on executive skills - such as focus, concentration, and impulse control. We have a fun, interactive curriculum that helps kids see the value in taking control of their actions so that they can chose behavior wisely.

 

  • Restorative Circles. Circles are a structured way of helpnig students get to the heart of an issue. Teachers, parents, or students can call a circle anytime they need help building or restoring a relationship. This could be because of a conflict, misunderstanding, or disagreement between students. It could also be because a child is feeling lonely or left out, and we are looking for ways to build new friendships. During a circle, we do not focus on past problems, but rather look at ways we can support each other moving forward. We also have specialized techniques if we are dealing with a bullying type situation.

 

  • Peace Partners. Peace Partners are students who serve as role models in our school community during their lunch and recess breaks a few times each week. They receive training in problem solving, and they often help out when there is a conflict between students. They also help oversee our Buddy Bench, and they are always on the look out for students that might need help finding or making a new friend.

 

  • Consultations and Individual Counseling. I am available to help process or problem solve situations unique to your child and family, and do work with students in individual settings. School counseling is not the same as child therapy, social work, or school psychological services. I can, however, provide a community resource list if this is the type of support you believe is needed for your child.

 

 

What's new?

All 5th, 7th, and 10th graders in San Rafael City Schools will be taking a mental health, wellness, and school climate survey at the end of September. This survey is designed to help our schools recognize school wide strengths and areas to address; as well as identify any students that might be at-risk for psychological distress (depression, anxiety, low self-concept, etc.). Visit COVITALITY to learn more about this tool OR view this short presentation.

Here is a letter with more information. If you do NOT want your child to participate in this survey, please return this letter to Sun Valley on or before September 24th. 

what is school counseling?

School counselors work with students on a range of issues from school work to classroom behavioral concerns to social relationships such as navigating friendships and bullying to emotional hurdles that make focusing on school challenging. It is appropriate for a school counselor to work with a child if something is going on in their life that is directly affecting their schoolwork or experience on campus.  School counseling is different from school psychological services and child therapy. As a school counselor, I follow the ASCA (American School Counseling Association) National Model which has a set of 35 mindsets and behavior standards that we address in working with children. Check them out here! 

LEARN MORE

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