Rudder Counselor Connection

Sept/October 2021

Welcome Back!

Words can not describe how great it has been having all our students back in the building. Laughter and happy faces fill the cafeteria at lunch and students are back to interacting and connecting with one another. This edition of the Counseling Department newsletter is full of information including upcoming events for the rest of this month and October. We look forward to continuing to connect and serve our Rudder community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime.


Your Rudder Counselors

Mrs. Duval, Mrs. Vasquez and Mr. Geraci




Our Mission:

The goal of the Rudder Middle School (RMS) counselors is to provide high quality, comprehensive school counseling services to all students. In accordance with TEC 33.005, our program is guided by the Texas Model of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. It is designed to help all students develop and enhance their academic, career, and personal/social strengths in order to become responsible and productive citizens. There is a commitment to individual uniqueness and the maximum development of human potential. Through the skillful use of strategic, timely, and personal interventions, counselors customize educational experiences in order to enhance capabilities, close achievement gaps among high and low performing groups and support positive choices.
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Your Rudder Counselors (from left to right)

Mrs. Selina Vasquez - 8th grade

Mrs. Katrina DuVal - 6th grade

Mr. Michael Geraci - 7th grade

Social Emotional Learning moves across the Rudder campus.

The counseling department won a $5,000.00 Northside Education Foundation Innovation grant to support social and emotional learning tool-kits for each teacher on campus!

One of our focuses was to present to the staff the importance of supporting the "whole child" and the role that social emotional learning plays on our campus and in our classrooms each and every day. Rudder counselors and Northside ISD believe this work is a collaborative campus effort, where everyone has a role and responsibility in supporting the healthy emotional development of all our students. Pictured are the items each teacher received to support and promote an SEL environment in their classroom.
Take your loved one seriously: Some people feel that kids who say they are going to hurt or kill themselves are “just doing it for attention.” But if your child, friend, or family member confides thoughts of suicide, believe them and get help.

Learn the warning signs: Friends sometimes let friends know if they are thinking about suicide or dying. Other times, changes in behavior may show that someone is struggling.

Listen with empathy and provide support: A fight or breakup might not seem like a big deal, but for a young person it can feel immense. Sympathize and listen. Minimizing what your child or friend is going through can increase his or her sense of hopelessness.

Don’t keep suicide a secret: If your friend is considering suicide, don’t promise to keep it a secret. Tell him or her you can help, but you need to involve other people, like a trusted adult. Neither of you have to face this alone.


Rudder Counselors rotate approximately every five weeks into classrooms. The purpose of these visits is to address one of the following four content areas:

  1. Intrapersonal Effectiveness: students have a positive self-concept; use effective executive functioning skills and; behave appropriately to situations and environments.
  2. Interpersonal Effectiveness: student interact effectively with diverse populations; use effective and appropriate communication skills; recognize personal boundaries, individual rights and privacy needs of others; use effective conflict resolution skills and; develop healthy relationships.
  3. Post Secondary Planning and Career Readiness: students are motivated to succeed in personal endeavors; demonstrate career exploration skills; students possess the knowledge and skills to gather information for postsecondary and career planning; demonstrate awareness of the importance of postsecondary education; understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home & in the community.
  4. Personal Health and Safety: students incorporate wellness practices into daily living; demonstrate resiliency and positive coping skills; possess assertiveness skills necessary for personal protection

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A Message from our New Parent/Community Liaison

Hi, I am Bernice Zamora (our students know me as Ms. Z) and I am delighted to serve your family and our community! I can assist with any community and family support services you may be interested in. Please feel free to connect with me for anything I can help with. I look forward to working with your student (s) and family!

A couple of resources that are available:

Food Bank

School Supplies

Utility Assistance

Parent Education

Contact Information:

O: (210) 397-5038


Office Location: C103 (next to the nurse's station)


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Character Counts Awards!

The Six Pillars of Character are the core ethical values of CHARACTER COUNTS! These values were identified by a nonpartisan, secular group of youth development experts in 1992 as core ethical values that transcend cultural, religious, and socioeconomic differences.

During this first marking period, teachers will be looking for students who are demonstrating the Pillars of Trustworthiness and Respect.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month


Parents! Check out the link below for more information on how you can support your child.


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Home Access Center

The Home Access Center (HAC) allows parents to register students, complete data verification, access report cards, and track attendance.

Sign in | Get help

(Your username is your email​ address​ and your password ​is ​the temporary password​ you received by email. You will be required to change it ​the ​first time​ you log in.)

Safeline is a proactive telephone hotline used to increase safety at Northside schools. The system is an automated voicemail and text message system that is monitored and managed by the Northside ISD police department. It is operated 7-days a week, 24-hours a day and addresses reports of crime, violations of district policy and safety concerns. The system is completLY anonymous, although callers are encouraged to leave their names and telephone numbers. For more information, go to:

Email, Call, Follow Us!

6th grade: Katrina DuVal 210-397-5025

7th grade: Michael Geraci 210-397-5027

8th grade: Selina Vasquez 210-397-5026