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The Warrior Messenger

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The Warrior Messenger

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Recognizing Counselor Appreciation Week

Guidance+bulletin+board.
Destiny Perez
Guidance bulletin board.

Counselor Appreciation Week has arrived! Here at WMS, we have 6 counselors which are Mrs. Valente, Mrs. Torrella, Mr. Musacchio, Ms. Acheson, Ms. Topham, and Ms. Kondroski. To show some respect, we’ll be taking the time to appreciate and notice the dedication and hard work these counselors put into their everyday lives working at WMS.

Guidance counselor Mrs. Valente said she mostly enjoys getting to know the students she’s interacting with and getting to know about who they are. She likes helping students and hopes she can lead them down any positive road. Valente said, “Social media and cell phones weren’t a huge thing when I first started which has definitely changed the way we have to look at counseling.” She said that staff and students being positive is what encourages her to continue doing her job. She said hearing positive things about the students and seeing that they’re reaching their goals after speaking to her is a great encouragement. She also said that hearing families say that she helped their child through middle school is another positive encouragement. Eighth grader, Raymond Rebovich said, “As a whole, Mrs. Valente, she’s a really kind teacher and a good person.”

Guidance counselor, Mr. Musacchio said he really enjoys meeting students. When he was asked what he would tell himself before taking on his job, he said he would say there’s not always your own time to eat your own lunch. “Sometimes you will eat your lunch in front of students,” said Musacchio. He said he has built a strong relationship with many teachers, counselors and students. “It is these relationships that give strength and motivation to continue to work as hard as I do,” he said.

Guidance counselor, Mrs. Torrella said she really enjoys helping everyone and likes to see students for themselves. “Students will let me know how I could help them. Many give positive comments – it makes you feel that the job I’m doing as a counselor is worth it,” she said. Torrella said that the staff at WMS encourage her because it’s really rare for counselors to receive positive feedback for their jobs. “When you do, it reminds you that the staff appreciates the job we do,” said Torrella. Sixth grader, Emir Diaz said, “She helped me through a lot: my family, my friends, fighting.”

BEST counselors, Ms. Topham and Ms. Kondroski said they enjoy working with students every day in different grades, different levels and all different issues. Kondroski said she also enjoys working with the teachers and other counselors as a “team.” Kondroski said there is nothing she would regret not knowing about being a counselor. 

She feels encouraged to hear that the students that come to her for help actually use the skills learned for different situations. “That’s really beneficial and kind of keeps me going through the day just knowing that I’m having an impact on them and teaching them something,” said Kondroski. 

Kondroski and Topham work with a small group of BEST kids which is a very confidential group at WMS. You have to be referred into the program which includes grades 6-8. The group of BEST kids is different from going to guidance or the SAC because they work with a smaller group of students. She includes that it is a “pleasure” working at WMS. She said being able to support and help all diverse students and things going on with them is very “rewarding” for her.

The SAC (also known as Student Assistance Counselor), Ms. Acheson said she enjoys supporting students and helping them see experiences from other perspectives. Her goal is to assist students in overcoming challenging situations to allow them to be their own best advocate. Acheson said she would tell her past self the same thing she tells students going through many different situations and issues which is, “You cannot control everything in your life. Let’s figure out what is within your control and focus on making those things work to your advantage.  Also, you are never truly alone…” 

Her own life experiences allow her to empathize with students who are struggling. Since it is Acheson’s first year working here at WMS, she said she hopes everyone is learning that she is “truly” an advocate for all she comes in contact with. She is also grateful to all the staff and students that have taken the time to get to know her. Eighth grader, Nolan Nixon said, “She’s always there for me.”

The counselors here at WMS have shown some great inspiration, encouragement and support to both students and staff. Personally, I would like to thank Mrs. Valente for allowing me to come down to her office and speak to her. She has helped me try to look at things a little differently and listened to me thoroughly. However, all the hard work and dedication these counselors put into their everyday lives shine bright and are seen by both staff and students.

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    Amanda AchesonFeb 6, 2024 at 11:08 am

    Great article Ms. Perez! Happy School Counseling Week to all of our WMS counselors!

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