February 10, 2022
This week, February 7-11, is National School Counseling Week. At Lutheran East, our two School Counselors are trusted advisors, friends, and resources for students and their families. Until recently, the discipline of School Counseling was called “Guidance.” Our School Counselors do help to guide students and families through their high school years and into what’s next, but the entirety of the scope of their roles at Lutheran East makes them much more like partners to our Falcon families.
CLHSA Director of Communications Jessica Miller recently interviewed Lutheran East School Counselors Mrs. Nicole Chiles and Mrs. Jill Gray.
JM: What does a School Counselor do?
NC: School counselors provide direct services for all students to help them with interpersonal skills, apply academic strategies and navigate career and schooling pathways. School counselors partner with school administrators and staff in creating a school culture of success for all.
JG: School Counselors:
Provide individual counseling (academic, social, college/career)
Provide academic support - Course registration, scheduling, track academic progress, facilitation of the College Credit Plus Program (Tri-C), student accommodation plans
Plan and administer all annual assessments
Guide students’ college planning - (applications, scholarships, letters of recommendation, etc.)
Offer individual counseling, classroom lessons, mediations
Provide resources for crisis counseling/referrals to community agencies
Collaborate with families/teachers/ administrators/community for student success
JM: How long have you been in School Counseling, and how long at Lutheran East?
NC: I have been a school counselor at Lutheran East for the past 7 years.
JG: I have been a School Counselor for 15 years.
JM: What is/are the most gratifying part(s) of your job?
NC: Students are at the heart of the work we do here everyday. True gratification comes in seeing growth in a student as they work towards achieving their personal or academic goals. Every win, big or small, is a victory and I enjoy those moments of achievement with students.
JG: Getting to work with students on a daily basis to help them reach their fullest potential academically, socially/emotionally, and with their post-secondary plans.
JM: What can a student and their family expect from their School Counselor?
NC: A student and family can expect a school counselor who is both a resource and support throughout the high school year experience. We are proactive in establishing and strengthening parent-school counselor relationships. This support propels our students towards success both in high school and beyond.
JG: Frequent communication, collaboration, advocacy for their child, academic, social/emotional, and college/career support.
JM: How do you feel when you hear from former students who are doing well in college and in their careers?
NC: Sometimes our lens of students is limited because we don't see students regularly after they walk across the stage after high school graduation. There is such a strong sense of pride when I reconnect with former students and hear about their success after high school. Our students have such amazing gifts and it is heartwarming to hear the ways they share their God-given talents with the world. There is no better feeling.
JG: I love seeing and hearing from former students! It's not unusual to have a former student stop in my office every now and then to say hi and update me on their college experience or career. It's very gratifying to see the positive impact Lutheran East has had in their life.
JM: What would you say to a student who is interested in School Counseling as a career path?
NC: Go for it! I share with students regularly the rewards that come with working as a school counselor.
JG: School Counseling is a very rewarding career. No two days are the same so you have to be able to prioritize, be flexible and organized. As a School Counselor, your main objective is to be an advocate for students and to help them reach their fullest potential academically, socially/emotionally, and in their post-secondary planning.