Kettle Moraine School Counselors Recognized During National School Counseling Week
The Kettle Moraine School District’s mission of cultivating academic excellence, personal development and citizenship is supported in many ways by a team of dedicated School Counselors. This week they are being recognized during National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association.
National School Counseling Week focuses the public’s attention on the unique contribution of professional School Counselors within U.S. school systems, and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. It highlights the tremendous impact school counselors have on helping students to be successful at school and in life.
Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with Master's degrees in Counseling. They are actively engaged in a variety of activities to support students. These include helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; working in partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic goals.
Elementary School Counselors are Doreen Heikkinen, Elizabeth Heine, Kim Osborn and Lisa Rierdon. They provide classroom instruction, group counseling and individual counseling to students in grades 4K-5. Lessons cover skills for learning, problem solving, self-esteem, empathy, emotion management, peer relations and safety. They also work with students on career exploration and bully prevention.
Middle School Counselors Kerry Neimon and Donna McKonly assist students in grades 6-8, and Pete Rortvedt is the school’s Academic & Career Planning Advisor. In addition to helping students with social/personal concerns and course selections, beginning in 6th grade students start to develop an Academic & Career Plan (ACP). The ACP is a student’s portfolio of learning experiences, interests, and goals for the future.
High School Counselors support students in grades 9-12 across four schools – Kettle Moraine High School, KM Perform, KM Global and the High School of Health Sciences. Counselors are Alissa Darin, Tricia Fetherston, Nancie Schneider and Noel Kolbe. Brad Bestor is the campus College & Career Readiness Coordinator.
The counseling team at the high school campus assists students with Advanced Placement and college entrance exams, course planning and selection, work and service learning experiences and continuing to develop their individual Academic & Career Plans. They help students apply for colleges, jobs, scholarships and financial aid. They also implement alcohol & drug prevention programs and activities that support the social/personal needs of students.
According to Counselor Alissa Darin, counseling has changed over the years from a reactive structure to a proactive one. “Today’s counselors offer comprehensive, intentional and systemic programming that fosters the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students need to be college and career ready,” she explained. They support students with a myriad of barriers to their personal and social growth so they can reach their fullest potential. “It is energizing for our counselors to see students move beyond barriers to flourish within their given potential,” she said. “We are very proud of the positive impact our team has on students and their learning.”
Superintendent Pat Deklotz offered her gratitude to the counseling team. “The demanding role of our K-12 counselors continues to evolve to meet the needs and expectations of our changing society,” she said. “Kettle Moraine is blessed to have these talented and dedicated professionals serving our students, our staff, and our parents. We deeply appreciate their continuing support and the work they do.”