Welcome to Our School Counseling Website
On this webpage you will find links to the following:
- Counselors’ Bio and Philosophy
- Counseling Services Offered
- Information about the School Counseling Curriculum
We make it our mission to focus on the developmental needs of all students and serve as their advocate by partnering with staff, families, and community members. As your school counselors we are committed to addressing academic and career goals, as well as the socioemotional needs of students while facilitating life-long learning and empowering our students to be respectful world citizens. We will embrace diversity and respond to the cultural needs and interests of each student. To ensure equity, our comprehensive school counseling curriculum is delivered K-5, providing access to resources for all of our students and supporting their rigorous academic experience.
Role of the Counselor
As professional school counselors we can enhance the educational experience of students by:
- addressing personal/social concerns that get in the way of students’ education,
- serving as a link between the community and the school,
- coordinating a comprehensive school counseling curriculum, and
- advocating for students and the profession.
Comprehensive School Counseling Curriculum
A comprehensive school counseling program includes school counseling lessons, counseling groups, and individual counseling. As school counselors, our professional organization – the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) has provided a model for developing a comprehensive counseling program. We will utilize both the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success and the Virginia Standards for School Counseling Programs – which cover the domains of academic, social/emotional, and career development.
- Academic development: School counselors help students obtain and maintain the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed for academic success in the present and for the future.
- Social/Emotional development: School counselors engage students in activities to promote positive interpersonal knowledge, attitudes and skills. These assets are central to helping students make healthy decisions, set reasonable personal goals, cope with difficult and stressful situations and consider their personal safety inside and outside the school setting.
- Career development: School counselors help students understand their personal talents and strengths in ways that allow them to acquire skills for exploring the world of work and for making informed career decisions.
School Counseling Lessons
School Counseling Lessons are an important component of a counseling program because we can affect the largest amount of students in this way. We will teach lessons that promote academic success (e.g., developing study skills). Our school counseling lessons will incorporate social/emotional concerns like responsibility and citizenship. We will also help to facilitate career development because this is not something that begins in high school; students can begin to explore their interests at an early age.
Counseling groups offer a unique opportunity for students to discuss common challenges and work together to find solutions. Groups like this also offer support – letting students know that they aren’t the only one experiencing these challenges. Before offering counseling groups we will conduct a needs-based assessment to allow both students and teachers an opportunity to share the needs they perceive. Based on the feedback we can offer a variety of groups.
We may offer groups on topics like:
- Academic Success,
- Social Skills,
- Making Choices,
- Military Support,
- Changing Families, or
We might see a student for individual counseling due to reoccurring problems or topics that are too sensitive to discuss in a larger setting. A student might come to me for individual counseling by self-referral (e.g., signing up in my mailbox or by simply stopping me in the hallway). A parent or teacher may also request that we see a student by completing a School Counseling Referral Form.
Click here to view the Matoaka School Counseling Annual Calendar 2018-2019
Meet Mrs. Harris
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Destiney Harris. I am a graduate of the University of Virginia and before moving here, we lived in Charlottesville. William & Mary brought us to Williamsburg… my husband is pursuing his post-graduate studies there! We have two beautiful daughters; if you come by my office you’ll see their pictures all around!
Getting to know me as an educator…
Here are a couple of things about me that I want you to know:
· I am passionate about kids: I love the elementary school world and working with children in this age group! Each one of my students has a special place in my heart. I look forward to building a relationship with your child.
· I am patient: I know that kids make mistakes and don’t always make the best choices. I try to provide my students with several opportunities to make good choices. I want each student to be successful.
· I am open-minded: If I discover that something is not working, I will re-evaluate it and make adjustments as necessary. You know your child(ren) better than I do and I appreciate your insight and feedback.
· I am approachable: If you have questions or concerns about anything, please know that you can talk to me. I am here for you just as much as I am for your child!
· I am still learning: Please don’t expect me to be perfect; I’m not. Like the mission statement states, learning is a lifelong process, which is never fully attained. Because I embrace this belief I participate in on-going professional development so that I can be the best school counselor for your child(ren). I am an active member of the American School Counselor Association as well as the Virginia School Counselor Association.
I am so excited to have the privilege of working with you and your child(ren).
I am looking forward to a great year!
Hello! My name is Traci Kester and I am very excited to join Matoaka ES as the part-time School Counselor. This will be my 18th year in education. I earned a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education & Art History from Randolph-Macon College. As an elementary school teacher, I taught Kindergarten, First & Second Grade, and Reading. In addition, I received a Master of Education in School Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a specialization in Gifted Education.
With great excitement, I recently moved to Williamsburg with my husband Jay, and our two sweet boys-Henry & Will. I look forward to exploring all of the amazing things the area has to offer. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, painting, and spending time with my family.
If you have any questions, concerns or need to chat, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always here to listen and work together as a team. I am thrilled to get to know all of the Matoaka ES students, parents, and community and look forward to an extraordinary school year!
Here’s what we are learning about in School Counseling Lessons!
Click here to see our School Counseling Curriculum Puzzle.