Welcome Back to School!

August 2020: Counselor Introduction

Hey There!

We heard you're a middle schooler this year (say what?!) and headed to Prairie Ridge soon (yay!). We are so excited to meet you and wanted to share a little bit about ourselves before you come to PRMS on your first day.

Scroll through this newsletter to learn more about your school counselor & school social worker at PRMS.

Kid President says, "Science! You're Here, you take up space, you matter!"

Meet Your School Counselors & Social Worker

Includes 4 pictures: Ms. James, Mrs. Northway, Mr. Weddle, and Ms. Zwick
Picture collage of Ms. James. Includes her fiance, a picture of her running, her dog, her family, and the logos for Iowa State and Drake Univeristy.
What's Up PR?!

My name is Ms. James and I am assigned to students with the last names A-G. This school year will mark my 8th year in education, with 3 of those years being served here at Prairie Ridge.

Some fun facts about me include:

  • I was born and raised in Iowa
  • I have one younger brother
  • I am obsessed with my dog, Cooper, and bitmojis
  • I like playing volleyball & going for walks
  • I coach track and field
  • I cheer for the Iowa State Cyclones and the Chicago Cubs
  • AND I will get married in September!

Want to chat with me before school starts? Click here to email me!

Picture of collage of Mrs. Northway. Includes her family, pictures of her kids, pets, and flowers


My name is Mrs Northway and I’m assigned to students with last names H-O.

Some fun facts about me:

  • I was born and raised in Des Moines.
  • I graduated from University of Iowa and Drake University
  • My husband and I have 3 children
  • We spend a lot of time keeping up with our children’s activities
  • I like gardening and landscaping
  • I like watching movies and streaming TV shows
  • I am a Hawkeye fan
  • I work part-time at Ankeny HyVee Prairie Trail Floral Shop

Want to chat with me before school starts? Click here to email me!

Picture collage of Mr. Weddle. Includes his wife and pictures of his family

Hello Prairie Ridge!

My name is Mr. Weddle and I am assigned to students with the last names P-Z. This school year will be my 13th year in education. 6 of those years have been here in Ankeny.

Some fun facts about me include:

  • I was born and raised in Iowa
  • I got married this summer!
  • I have two brothers and sister
  • My wife and I have two dogs and foster dogs
  • I enjoy being out on the water, hiking, and running
  • I am an Iowa State Fan
  • I enjoy streaming TV series online

Want to chat with me before school starts? Click here to email me!

picture collage of Ms. Zwick. Includes her family and pictures of things she likes to do.
Hi, PR!

My name is Heidi Zwick and I will be the School Social Worker at Prairie Ridge this year. I will serve all students and work closely with Ms. James, Mrs. Northway, and Mr. Weddle.

Some fun facts about me include:

  • This is my 10th year in education; 4th year in Ankeny, 1st at PRMS

  • I enjoy biking and other outdoor activities during the summer

  • I have attended all 3 universities in Iowa but I am a lifelong Iowa State fan

Want to connect with me before the school year starts? Click here to email me!

Why do you have a School Counselor?

Middle school students are characterized by*:

  • rapid physical growth

  • curiosity about the world

  • emerging & evolving self-identity

*Per American School Counselor Association

Middle school counselors have an impact on these years by*:

  • implementing a school counseling program

  • collaborating with school staff, parents and the community

  • creating a safe, respectful learning environment

  • promoting academic, career and social/emotional development

*Per American School Counselor Association

What do School Counselors do at PRMS?

  • Collaborate with families, teachers, community resources, and administrators

  • Individual check-ins/meetings

  • Host small groups

  • Promote future readiness

  • Supervise lunch

  • Student scheduling

What Can You Talk to Your Counselor or Social Worker About?

  • Being LGBTQ+

  • Bullying

  • Celebrations & Happy Moments

  • Colleges & Careers

  • Drugs / Alcohol

  • Emotions & Feelings

  • Family & Siblings
  • Grief & Loss
  • Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Peer Pressure
  • Race / Ethnicity
  • School Experience & Grades
  • Self-Esteem & Confidence
  • Self-Harm
  • Social Media
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Your Future

            Or anything else you can think of! We are here for YOU!

            Big picture

            Parent & Guardian Info:

            Parents & Guardians,

            Welcome to a special edition of the "Counselors' Quarterly". Each quarter PRMS school counselors aim to send out a newsletter geared towards parents and students. While we aren't sure what the Counselors' Quarterly will look like this year, we will continue to do our best to update you and your students regarding recent happenings as Prairie Ridge, fun news, and upcoming events.

            New to Ankeny or Prairie Ridge this year? Check out our New Student Info for Families (COVID-Style), linked here.

            Curious about what previous editions of the Counselors' Quarterly looked like? Check them out below:

            Further questions for your student's school counselor?