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KSD Celebrates National School Counselor Week

National School Counseling Week 2021, “School Counselors: All in for All Students,” sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be celebrated from Feb. 1–5, 2021, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. 

The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who “implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century,” according to Dr. Shonda Ambers-Phillips, Executive Director of Equity, Wellness and Inclusion.

School counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, postsecondary and social/emotional 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 aspirations for themselves. School counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, postsecondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Jill Cook, ASCA executive director. “School counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week’s festivities. Many schools will be hosting special events and activities to call attention to the countless benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program. 

As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, Kirkwood School District would like to recognize our school counselors listed below for the wonderful work they do! 

Jill Gatcombe, School Counselor
Angela Babaran, Intentional Connections Counselor

North Glendale  
Keith Leonard, School Counselor
Stephanie Dunn, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor

Julie Cohen, School Counselor
Indria Harris, School Counselor

Amber Sidwell, School Counselor
Ana Shields, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor (Tillman/Robinson)

Dr. Courtney Wilson, School Counselor
Gina Rocchio-Gymer, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor

Dina Shabaneh, Kirkwood at Home
Carmelita West, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor, Supervisor 


Carmon Griffin, School Counselor
Nelson Taylor, School Counselor
Lauren Wallace, School Counselor
Julie Lossos-Snow, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor

North Kirkwood
Michelle Fink, School Counselor
Justin Jansen, School Counselor
Lisa Owens, School Counselor
Craig Walsbeth, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor
Taylor Rayner, Middle School Intentional Connections Counselor 

Kirkwood High:
Rachel Cosic, School Counselor
Sarah Esslinger, School Counselor
Joe Fisch, School Counselor
Josh Jaworowski, College Counselor
Amber Kapral, School Counselor
Abby Peterson, College Counselor
Roxanna Cazer-Traylor, Alternative Education Counselor 
Sara Gibbs, BJC-BH Educational Support Counselor
Freddie Jones, High School Intentional Connections Counselor
Kelly Nevins, Pioneer Pathway Advisor