SHS Counseling Newsletter

December 2021

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IMPORANT: December Graduate Clearance

December graduate clearance will be held on December 16th from 1:30-2:30 PM in the Media Center. Please make sure that your student attends this required clearance event if they are a current December graduate. They will need to bring any library books, textbooks, and any outstanding fees that need to be paid during this time. More information to follow on CTLS Parent.


Sources of Strength (S.O.S.) is a best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. Sources of Strength peer leaders and caring adults impact their world through the power of connection, Hope, Help, and Strength.

Sources of Strength begins with a very interactive 4-hour training that encourages peer leaders to connect distressed or suicidal friends with supportive, caring adults so they can get help. These peer leaders also identify the trusted adults they would go to if they needed help. The training of this peer leader group is followed by peer-led activities designed to enhance peer help-seeking attitudes of students and protective factors throughout the school culture. The peer leaders in Sources of Strength are not trained as peer counselors but rather as social change agents.

Sprayberry implemented S.O.S. a few years ago and hopes to grow the organization with more students trained each year. This year, over 50 students were nominated by teachers, and over 30 students participated in the S.O.S. Peer Leader Training. The S.O.S. Peer Leaders have been working diligently to implement different campaigns to help spread Hope, Help, and Strength into every corner of our community. Currently, S.O.S. will have trained Canine Assistants (puppies) visiting on Monday, December 6th during all lunch periods in the PLR to help relieve stress from finals and testing by giving students and staff time to pet, play, and just sit with adorable puppies.

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GAfutures Webinar Opportunities

The following webinars are FREE and sponsored by GAfutures.

Apply to College: Follow-ups Webinar - December 2

About this event - This webinar will offer the next steps of the college admissions and financial aid process after the initial applications are submitted.

Click HERE to register

Entrepreneurship Webinar - December 7

About this event - How to start a business and tips for owning a business as a teenager or young adult

Click HERE to register

College Prep: Beyond the SAT - Parent University Webinar Series - December 7

About this event - This webinar will provide: 1) the timeline for preparing for college; 2) how cognitive skills, study skills, and test-taking contribute to success; 3) how the SAT and ACT play a role in college acceptance; 4) the profile of a successful college student and more.

Click HERE to register

Ask the College Admissions Expert - December 8

About this event - This interactive webinar will cover all the basics---from how colleges make their selections to how to make a great college list. Do not forget to bring your questions!

Click HERE to register


The following webinars are FREE and sponsored by Applerouth. To attend their webinars, you must create an account on their website.

Planning Ahead: Admissions and Testing Strategies for the Class of 2023 and Beyond - December 2

About this event - This webinar will offer strategies for students for the class of 2023 and beyond when it comes to standardized testing (e.g., SAT, ACT) and college admissions.

Click HERE to register

Helping Your Students Survive Final Exams - December 9

About this event - This webinar will offer information about motivation, learning and review strategies, optimizing the study environment, prioritization and time management, help-seeking, peer collaboration, mindset, and more.

Click HERE to register

NOTE: If you have specific questions about their webinars, please contact Applerouth directly.

Important Update: 11th Grade Advisement

The counseling department hosted 11th-grade advisement throughout the month of November. Students were invited to meet with the counselors and review important information needed to move from 11th to 12th grade, and they received a copy of their transcript and status report. Counselors hosted a make-up session on Friday, November 19th for all students that missed their initial 11th-grade advisement session. If your student missed their initial 11th-grade advisement session and the make-up session, he or she will be contacted at a later date.

Parents/guardians have been able to view the same video presentation that was shown during 11th-grade advisement by clicking HERE. After watching the video, parents/guardians are welcome to reach out to your student's assigned counselor in December if you have additional questions. Each counselor's caseload and contact information is listed at the bottom of the newsletter.

NOTE: This information is also posted on the Sprayberry counseling website under Important Updates (on the main page).


If your senior is planning to attend college after high school graduation, he or she must complete the FAFSA form. Many colleges, both in-state and out of state, set priority deadlines by which students must submit the FAFSA form to be considered for financial aid. If your senior is HOPE or Zell Miller eligible, he or she must complete the FAFSA form as well.

If your senior has not completed the FAFSA form, our Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) rep, Marcus Hilliard, provided helpful guides for you and your senior to navigate the FAFSA completion process (see below). Mr. Hilliard is very knowledgeable about the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarship program, the FAFSA, the cost of attendance for college, the GAfutures website, and more. If you have specific questions regarding your student's situation, you can schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with Mr. Hilliard by clicking HERE.
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Update: College Rep Visits

College rep visits are hosted during AO, and the last AO for the fall semester ended on Wednesday, November 17th. College rep visits will restart on Wednesday, January 19th. Students will have the opportunity to view the upcoming college rep visits in their Naviance accounts when we return after the holiday break in December.

In the meantime, we encourage students to contact college reps and admissions counselors directly through the college's website. Remember, admissions counselors and college reps are the experts of their colleges and their programs, so please do not hold back on your questions. Additionally, many colleges offer in-person and virtual college visits.

How Your Student Can Track Their HOPE GPA


2021 Probe College Fair

Select your fair and register. There is no charge to attend; however, pre-registration is required.

Helpful Articles and Resources

How To Improve Mental Health At School

Mental health has only become more important and more fraught as the pandemic has confined children to their homes and limited their social interactions.

Cobb's Virtual Calming Center

Nature Sounds & Music, Apps for Staying Calm & Connected, Animal Webcams, Visual Relaxation, Puzzles & Games, Coloring & Creativity, Support: Hotlines & Textlines, Exercise, Breathing, Relaxation, & Staying Present

ParentVUE and StudentVUE

IMPORTANT: As we near the end of the Fall semester, it is critical that students continue to check and monitor their grades in StudentVUE.


You are able to monitor your student's grades and attendance through ParentVUE. For assistance with ParentVUE, please send an email to our ParentVUE coordinator, Michelle Pace, at In your email, please include your student's first and last name as well as their student ID (lunch number).


Please encourage your student to monitor his or her grades regularly through their StudentVUE account. If your student needs assistance accessing their StudentVUE account, he or she can send an email to our media specialist, Paula Axford, at In the email, your student must include their first and last name as well as their student ID (lunch number).

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Upcoming Events & Reminders

SWAYJ - December 11

Fall Final Exams - December 16 - 17

2021-2022 SHS Counseling Department

Ms. Lea Ponticelli, Last Names: A - D


Mrs. Misty Hawk, Last Names: E - Li


Dr. Brandy Brady, Last Names: Ll - Roc and DE for Chatt Tech

Department Chair


Dr. Tammy White, Last Names: Rod - Z and DE for KSU


Mrs. Marilyn Wagner, Counseling Clerk


Ms. Theresa Morales, Registrar


CONNECT WITH US ON INSTAGRAM: @sprayberrycounseling

CONNECT WITH US ON TWITTER: @sprayberrycounse1ing

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