Students’ guides thanked during National School Counselors Week

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Perry Middle School Counselors Miranda Brus, left, and Jodi Schuttler are among the district's eight guidance counselors honored during National School Counselors Week. Photo courtesy PCSD

National School Counselors week is Feb. 3-7, and this year’s theme is School Counselors: Helping Build Better Humans. Your school counselors at Perry Community School District think that this is a great reason to let you know how we help our students be better humans.

The Perry School District has a comprehensive school counseling program. This means that we work hard to teach our students the skills they need to be better humans starting in kindergarten and continuing throughout their high school career.

Our school counseling program has one of the best student-to-counselor ratios in the state of Iowa. We do our best to give each student the kindness, support, safe place and tools to become their best selves.

At every grade level in our district, school counselors support individual students with one-on-one counseling time. We also support individual students by referring them and their families to services in the community.

School counselors at PCSD are always busy behind the scenes, making sure students have everything they need to be able to learn. For example, we have a food pantry, a clothes closet and extra school supplies for the students who are unable to afford them.

We also work closely with community agencies that provide mental health support, crisis intervention, help with medical costs, glasses, transportation and any other area in a student’s life that can interfere with their ability to attend school and learn while they are here.

If any student or family needs help with anything, we will find a way to help!

Counselors are also responsible for our district’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. This means that we coordinate assemblies, reward programs, leader recognition and go to PBIS trainings. We also collect and use data to adjust our school-wide, individual and small-group efforts. We manage 504 plans, bullying investigations, standardized testing and behavior plans.

At the elementary level, counselors teach guidance classes in which students learn skills like empathy, problem solving, personal safety, learning skills, growth mindset, perseverance, coping skills, emotion identification and management and mindfulness.

When students need extra work in any of these areas, they receive small-group instruction. Throughout the middle school and high school, counselors continue to teach students these skills through cooperation with teachers.

At the middle and high school level, counselors work with students to help them plan for their future. Whether it is creating their class schedules to keep students on track for graduation and post-secondary plans or helping students find their passion and possible career path, counselors are working hard to help students realize their potential.

“At Perry Middle School we are very fortunate to have two amazing counselors who epitomize the role of school counseling,” said Perry Middle School Principal Shaun Krueger. “Mrs. Schuttler and Mrs. Brus are both very positive and optimistic school counselors who perform numerous tasks to support not only our students, but also in many cases their families. They offer individual and small group counseling, create our advisory lessons, lead the JayFeather positive incentive program, provide food to needy families and help with bringing students to school physicals, doctor’s appointments and eye appointments. They make home visits to work with families, collaborate with mental health providers and support families in helping their children with attendance. They facilitate the Giving Tree at Christmas time and so much more. Academics are the reason we have school, but I’m not sure how we could run a school without Mrs. Schuttler and Mrs. Brus’ support and all they do for our students and families!”

Perry Elementary School Principal Ned Menke expressed similar appreciation for his school’s counselors.

“We are very fortunate at Perry Elementary School to have three outstanding school counselors,” Menke said. “Our counseling team goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our students. I am thankful for all of the great work that has been done in our building by our school counselors this year!”

Dan Marburger, Perry High School principal, said the PHS counselors are “amazing. The level of concern and care they give our students is second to none. They help meet the academic, career and emotional needs of over 550 students on daily basis. The level of support our students receive from our counseling department is amazing and impressive. We are lucky to have such a caring department working for our students.”

The counselors at Perry Community School district are honored to help the Perry community build better humans. The students have certainly helped make us better humans as well!

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