Counselors' Corner Newsletter

Vol. 1/Issue 1. September 2016

Welcome Back!


I hope everyone had a great first three weeks back to school. It's been a pleasure working with everyone so far and I know it's going to be a great year; I look forward to collaborating with all teachers this year in order to best serve all of our students in grades 6-9. Together with Mrs. Darnell, our school counseling department has developed three main goals - all of which are related to improving the academic achievement, behavior, and attendance of our students. These goals are aligned with the goals of our school & aim to support the work you do in classrooms every day. As a school counselor, I serve as a student advocate and your partner in education. Throughout the year, I will develop programs that help students in the areas of (1) academics, (2) personal/social, and (3) college and career readiness.


Mrs. Nina Darnell, School Counselor

(serves students in grades 10-12; also services students in Grade 9 for the 2nd semester)

Mrs. Wrenaye Matzen, High School Office Student Services

(serves all high school students)

Ms. Hannah Russell, School Counselor

(serves students in Grades 6-8; also services students in Grade 9 for the 1st semester)

Ms. Mills, Middle School Office Student Services

(serves all middle school students)

What's Happening in the School Counseling Department?

  • Classroom Guidance Lessons introducing USMS' School Counseling Program
    (delivered through classrooms - Thank You Mrs. Doyle (9th Grade), Mrs. Coppola (8th Grade), Mrs. Dunn (7th Grade), and Mrs. Colbert (6th Grade)!
  • Classroom Guidance Lessons ongoing throughout the 2016-2017 school year
  • 6th Graders will receive most classroom guidance via "Guidance Class"
  • Counselor/Staff Introduction at next whole staff meeting

  • Collaborate with teachers to support our students' academic and social/personal growth
  • Communicate with teachers on a regular basis
  • Increase # of students with A's, B's, and C's on their report card(s) by 25%
  • Increase overall attendance rate of school by 15%
  • Implement Mindfulness Strategies with students who are struggling academically -- helping students to use self-regulation strategies/mindfulness techniques to improve their academic performance

THANK YOU TEACHERS! Notable Quotables from the Kids…

"I like this school. All the teachers respect me at USMS. They show respect to kids and lots of schools aren't like that."

-- USMS 7th Grader

"This year is going really well. I like all my teachers and I understand how they teach."

--USMS 6th Grader

"The only thing I needed help with is opening my locker. But Ms. Clark helped me and now I get it."

--USMS 6th Grader

"I never knew how much I could like middle school."

--USMS 7th Grader

"So far so good. My homework isn't too bad yet."

--USMS 8th Grader


Decades ago, counselors were introduced to assist students with occupational/vocational choices, college preparation support, etc. These educators took courses and were dubbed "guidance counselors." Fast forward to present day and you'll hear us being called school counselors who are planning Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. School counselors deliver the following services to students:

  • individual counseling
  • small group counseling
  • classroom guidance lessons
  • consultation services
  • intervention services
  • referrals to outside Mental Health Counseling Services
  • referrals to other community agencies
  • peer mediation services
Big image


If you need to refer a student to see a school counselor, please send an email, give me a call, or just stop by the office.

If a student wants to set up a counseling appointment, please have them fill out one of the purple school counseling forms. If you ever need additional forms, feel free to let Ms. Mills or myself know. Students will give that purple form to you, Ms. Mills, or directly to me. Students are aware that I will call to meet with them that same next (or the next day) -- as soon as time allows.

Check out the two videos below about re: Mindfulness! Do you think this would help our students? If so, which students might benefit and how do you think it might help them?

"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)
Mindfulness for Children