Counseling / Help

Welcome to the Edith Smith Middle School Counselors' Corner.

The counselors at Edith Smith Middle School are committed to addressing the comprehensive needs of its individual students. Through fostering important decision-making and goal-setting skills, counselors support each student by developing a realistic plan for grade transition and beyond.

Upon enrollment, each student is assigned one counselor that is intended to remain with that student for the duration of middle school. This allows the counselor and student to establish rapport and build a trusting relationship, both necessary components when working towards a common goal.

If you would like to see your counselor, please fill out this form.

Mr. Gatyas (Students with last names beginning with A-L)

[email protected]

(224) 303-2813

Ms. Wade (Students with last names beginning with M-Z)

[email protected]

(224) 303-2814

Counselors also work very closely with the school social workers, nurse and school psychologist as part of a Support Team Staff to provide the best services to our students.

Mr. Dizon - Social Worker

[email protected]

(224) 303-2779

Ms. Hawkins - School Psychologist

[email protected]

(224) 303-2809

Ms. Park - School Nurse

[email protected]

(224) 303-2838

Role of School Counselors

The department's success is the result of effective collaboration with parents, educators, and other important stakeholders in delivering a variety of services that support the academic, personal/social and college/career development of all students.

Edith Smith Middle School counselors help students with:

  • transitioning from elementary school to middle school to high school to postsecondary opportunities
  • academic planning and educational progress
  • concerns that interfere with learning
  • acquiring skills and knowledge to cope with pressures
  • interpreting test results
  • getting connected with school programs and community opportunities
  • planning for postsecondary education and career options

Edith Smith Middle School counselors are trained to:

  • work with parents, students and school staff members
  • work with students individually and in groups to help resolve problems that interfere with learning
  • support students with special needs and may serve as a member of child study team
  • offer critical incident intervention, prevention and response services
  • maintain contact with and make appropriate referrals to community and social agencies
  • provide information about school and community resources
  • plan and coordinate school wide programs for students and parents in academic achievement, personal/social development and transition planning
  • help students explore options for college and career training

Why Middle School Counselors

Today's young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders and citizens, every student needs support, guidance and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Early adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement.

Middle School Students' Developmental Needs
Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.

Meeting the Challenge
Middle school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today's diverse student population. Middle school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve success in school. School counselors align with the school's mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs, with its data-driven and results-based focus, serves as a guide for today's school counselor, who is uniquely trained to implement this program.

Middle School Counselors Implement the School Counseling Program by Providing:

School Counseling Curriculum

  • Academic skills support
  • Organizational, study and test-taking skills
  • Education in understanding self and others
  • Coping strategies
  • Peer relationships and effective social skills
  • Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution
  • Career awareness, exploration and planning
  • Substance abuse education
  • Multicultural/diversity awareness

Individual Student Planning

  • Goal-setting/decision- making
  • Academic planning
  • Career planning
  • Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Transition planning

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small group counseling
  • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
  • Peer facilitation
  • Consultation/collaboration
  • Referrals

System Support

  • Professional development
  • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
  • Program management and operation

Why Middle School Counselors?
Middle school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team member with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community. The professional middle school counselor holds a master's degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today's students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor's knowledge and effectiveness. (Excerpt from the American School Counselor's Association)

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