Counselor Connections

VHS Counseling Department Newsletter - February 2023

Welcome New Vipers!

The start of the semester brought us 35 new students! We appreciate everyone welcoming them to our Verrado family. Go Vipers!

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National School Counseling Week & AzSCA Annual Conference

National School Counseling Week is February 6th - 10th. The week brings national recognition for School Counselors and their professional skills, knowledge, and expertise. School Counselors hold a minimum of a master's degree as well as state certification in School Counseling. School Counselors assist students with their academic, career/life, and social/emotional development.

The Arizona School Counselor Association's annual conference provides counselor-specific professional development opportunities. Session topics included: social justice, college & career readiness, mindfulness, trauma informed care, leadership, advocacy, mindsets, best practices and many more. This year's conference is February 6th & 7th. We appreciate the opportunity to attend this conference and continue our professional growth!

Wellness Wednesdays

The School Counselors post a weekly Wellness Wednesday exercise, tip, or activity to try to help students be healthy, both mentally and physically. Posts are made in the Google Classroom specific to your grade level/cohort. Here are some examples of recent posts:

  • It’s the new year and new semester! It’s a great time to let go of excuses, grudges, and other negativity. For Wellness Wednesday, let’s focus on the positives the new year brings and what we want to achieve. Write down some SMART goals for yourself and keep it somewhere that you can see so you can review your progress throughout the year. SMART goals help you make sure your goals are clear; SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
  • For Wellness Wednesday, let’s remember to get some physical activity each day. Whether it be a hike, bike ride, workout at the gym, walk, run, yoga or other type of exercise, let’s get moving! The energy we exert during physical activity can help us release stress, step away from the “noise” of the day, and help our body/mind stay fit.

If you are experiencing a difficult time, please remember your School Counselor is here to help! You can always go to the main Counseling Center (front office area) if you need to meet with us.

2023-24 Course Selection/Registration

Counselors were busy in the month of January as we met one-on-one with current sophomores and juniors as well as went to the middle schools to meet with some of our incoming freshmen (Class of 2027). We appreciate everyone's understanding regarding the time and focus this takes.

At this time, we are wrapping up the Course Selection process.

Later this semester, current students will be given one final chance to review their course selections and request adjustments to their initial selections. After this step, the master schedule and staffing will be determined. There are only a few reasons for which schedule changes can be made after this time so students and parents should be sure to review the course requests this semester.

February is CTE month!

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for a wide range of careers and post-secondary education/training. These careers may require varying levels of education—including industry-recognized credentials, postsecondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees.

CTE programs are integral part of being “college- and career-ready.” CTE programs combine

  • academic skills

  • employability skills

  • technical skills

At Verrado, we have the following CTE programs/courses:

  • AP Computer Science: Coding

  • Digital Photography

  • Engineering

  • Film & TV Production

  • Graphic Design

  • Live Entertainment Productions/Stagecraft

  • Marketing

  • Sports Medicine

Verrado students can also apply to West-MEC which offers additional CTE programs. Click here for more information regarding West-MEC programs


If you are a senior working on a class(es) via Edgenuity that is a graduation requirement, your target completion date is Friday, April 28, 2023. This means all coursework, assessments, and notes are completed. This should ensure everything is graded out and processed in time for graduation ceremonies. Mr. Marks oversees the Edgenuity program on our campus so if you have any questions about the program, be sure to reach out to him at If you have a question about your graduation requirements, talk with your counselor.

Did You Know? AZ Professional Skills

"The Arizona Professional Skills are taught as an integral part of all CTE programs. They are recognized by business and industry leaders as being the most critical knowledge and skills necessary to obtain the job, be successful in the job, and advance in any career pathway. They are the result of 11 focus groups conducted around the state by the Arizona Department of Education, Career and Technical Skills Department, working in cooperation with the Arizona CTE Quality Commission, advocates for accountability and excellence in Career and Technical Education." (taken from

The nine Professional Standards that were determined to be essential for employability in Arizona are:

  • Complex communication

  • Collaboration

  • Thinking & innovation

  • Professionalism

  • Initiative & self-direction

  • Intergenerational & cross-cultural competence

  • Organizational culture

  • Legal & ethical practices

  • Financial practices

Attending class, working in groups, completing coursework by due dates, classroom interactions with staff and peers, learning, as well as other classroom components help you build and strengthen your professional skills so you are ready for employment during and after high school.

Learn more about the AZ Professional Skills at

Learn & Grow in Summer!

The summer months are often a great time for students to explore their potential college options (such as ASU's Barrett Summer Scholars), test-out their career choices (like the UofA's Summer Scrubs Program), strengthen their community by volunteering (for example, with the Maricopa Library System's Summer Reading Program and/or teen events) or working (City of Goodyear summer jobs, Whatever interests you, start looking now as many opportunities are posted!

Summer School ~ AFUHSD

By Spring Break, our district should post information on all of our summer school options. If you want to get ahead on credits or need to recover some credits, there is an option for you. You will find information at > Parent and Student Resources > Summer School. Be sure to talk with your counselor about the course(s) you want to take!

Upcoming Events

February 4

ASU’s Future Sun Devil Family Day

ASU West Campus

March 1 & 2

College Board's Real Talk: HBCU Edition

March 4

April 8

April 22

Discover NAU Days

April 1

Phoenix Zoo’s Virtual Teen Career Conference

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Register at

April 2

RMACAC Spring College Fair


12:00 – 2:00 PM

Be sure to check your Remind messages for updated and additional event information. If you have not signed up for our department's Remind messaging, you will find directions on our department's webpage,