Posted: Monday, February 6, 2017
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), is celebrated from February 6 -10 to focus attention on the many contributions of professional school counselors.
Greenville County Schools is recognizing its 212 school counselors for their active engagement in helping students identify their strengths and interests and for their ongoing efforts to involve parents in the decision-making process.
Wade Hampton High Counselor Lorraine Holeman said, “What I love about National School Counseling Week is that it gives us the opportunity to educate our faculty and students about what we do as school counselors. We provide social and emotional education, career education, and academic support, and that lines up clearly with Building a Better Graduate because we reinforce and teach those real-life skills.”
Another important role of the school counselor is to help students understand their options and be confident in their decision-making. “We help students see that there might be something out there that would be the perfect fit for them that they don’t even know exists,” said Wade Hampton’s College and Career Counselor Laura Tolbert.
Betty Floyd, who is new to the Wade Hampton High counseling team, commented, “One thing that has impressed me about this school is that the bar is high. Even though it’s a very diverse population, the message is clear: we expect you to do well. We expect you to have that work ethic. And when you have high expectations, students will rise to the occasion,” she said.
Anjail Salahudin-Bolden runs the Freshman Academy at Wade Hampton High. “As ninth graders, they need someone who can help them see that high school is the path to the future. I have conversations with them, ask them what their likes and dislikes are, and let them know that you can have a job where you enjoy what you do. I teach them how to be assertive and ask for what they need,” she explained.
“We make sure the high-achievers are getting the support they need, but also we’re making sure students don’t slip through the cracks, especially those who do not have support at home,” said Junior Counselor Lauren Tingle. “We have relationships with them, we know them well, and we know their strengths and weaknesses, so we help them find their most successful path after graduation.”
Director of School Counseling Angela Massingille says her job is to help students understand that when they leave high school and move on to a new environment, it’s their ‘first thing’ and not their ‘life thing.’ “I think they feel overwhelmed because they say they don’t know what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives,” she said. “I tell them it’s okay, this is your first thing. Now find something you’re excited about, and that path will take you to great places.”