Pine Belt schools celebrate school counselors for support they provide

By HASKEL BURNS,

This year’s motto for National School Counseling Week is “School Counselors: Providing Lessons for Life.”

It’s a tenet that is being celebrated this week at schools across the country – including the Petal School District – with the initiative from the American School Counselor Association that focuses on the contribution of school counselors in United States school systems.

“I think throughout the course of any given school year, we have different weeks and different things where we recognize people across the nation for their efforts, and this week happens to be National School Counseling Week,” said Matt Dillon, superintendent of the Petal School District. “We’re very blessed and fortunate to have a great group of counselors across our district that do so many things behind the scene to help assist our buildings.

“For example, they work closely with the administration and teachers who are dealing with social and emotional issues with students, in addition to helping build a master schedule and scheduling students. Along with the testing responsibilities – they’re very cumbersome – there are many other hats they wear throughout the year to make our schools run so effectively.”

In honor of the week, the American School Counselor Association is holding the National School Counseling Week Photo Challenge, in which students, families and school colleagues are encouraged to share on social media videos or pictures of a different theme each day. Thursday’s theme is “Life #Goals,” followed by “Building Better Humans” on Friday.

Counselors and students can download signs and other materials for the challenge at www.schoolcounselor.org.

“The role of a school counselor has evolved over the years,” said Tess Smith, superintendent of the Lamar County School District. “The service they provide to our schools and students is irreplaceable. We appreciate them every week.”

At the Petal School District, which features eight counselors across its schools, teachers and other administrators are taking time out to congratulate counselors and share their appreciation for the profession.

“We always want to take the opportunity to recognize the work that our staff are doing,” said Kelli Brown, director of Student Assessment for the district. “We have the opportunity through teacher appreciation, the school nurse, of course the counselors, and resource officers.

“So we do try to take those opportunities to recognize those special people who make our schools function so well.”