CHARLES TOWN, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Jefferson County Schools is proud to highlight the unique contribution of school counselors to the public education landscape during National School Counseling Week 2024.
Celebrated annually during the first week of February, National School Counseling Week recognizes and honors school counselors while highlighting their tremendous impact in helping students achieve success and plan for the future.
School counselors play an important role in college and career readiness as they help students examine their talents, strengths, abilities, and interests.
By implementing comprehensive school counseling programs, they provide a crucial support network for students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century.
“JCS school counselors are vital members of our educational team,” said Dr. Kate Kramer-Jefferson, Facilitator of Student Access and Support.
“They help ensure our students explore their full potential, set realistic goals, and become purposeful members of society.”
Joseph Shepherd, the counselor at C.W. Shipley Elementary School, was drawn to a career in school counseling after performing crisis assessments on children in the mental health field.
Shepherd said he was motivated by the opportunity to positively impact a child’s lifelong mental health.
“Elementary school is a crucial time of cognitive and emotional development where students are more open to learning coping skills and applying strategies to manage their emotions and deal with stress for the rest of their lives,” he explained.
Shepherd enjoys the longevity of his role as he works with students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
He said working with students one-on-one and in classroom lessons, lunch groups, and leadership roles allows him to build a rapport with them.
“My favorite part of being an elementary counselor is the amount of direct time I get to spend with students in these different capacities,” he said.
Student interaction is a universal highlight for JCS school counselors.
“Working closely, one-on-one, with the students is my absolute favorite part of the job!” said Bethanne Arthur, a school counselor at Washington High School. “It allows me to teach, guide, build relationships, and help steer young minds toward a successful future.”
Wildwood Middle School counselor Kelly Price agreed, saying, “My favorite part of my school counselor role is the day-to-day interaction with our students. I enjoy knowing what goes on in their lives, and I love being able to celebrate their wins with them!”
Price added that she is also grateful for the opportunity to support her students through difficult times.
“It can be challenging as a school counselor when you see such amazing potential in a student, but they don’t see it in themselves,” she said.
“We can encourage students to work toward a goal and even help them move toward it, but we cannot do it for them.”
Arthur said she enjoys advocating for her students and finds helping those who have struggled in school particularly satisfying.
“Encouraging and supporting students who want to successfully finish school and graduate brings me so much joy and satisfaction as a school counselor,” she said.