(COVINGTON, La.)–The Counseling Department at St. Paul’s School has always been dedicated to helping students complete their high school careers by offering assistance in any way possible. The department is made up of counselors for each grade level, college application specialists, and a coordinator for special student services.
Counselor Mary Pierson describes her role in the counseling department in assisting students with special learning needs.
“My role is as the Student Services Coordinator is to support students and parents at all grade levels who need assistance, either temporary or consistently, as they work through the academic and social life of St. Paul’s,” Pierson said.
All of the counselors offer help to students in many different ways. Pierson described the type of things they help with.
“Any student with an illness or injury that prohibits him from participating in PE or climbing the Benilde stairs will usually check into Student Services with his medical note for a time-limited Caddy Pass or restroom pass,” Pierson said.
One of the more involved programs the department organizes is the Brotherhood of the Paw peer mentor program, which goes on throughout the year.
“With the help of these mentors, a pre-freshman transition program is given in the summer. This program introduces specific students to their mentors and teaches self-advocacy and study tips. Then, monthly meetings of the Paws are supervised throughout the school year to continue the mentoring relationships,” Pierson said.
One of the biggest reasons for visits to the counseling office is to seek information about a future college life. The department even helps organize college tours.
“Students at any grade level who have questions about post-secondary studies outside of standard colleges and universities, or who have questions about alternative colleges and universities are welcome to visit the Office of Student Services by appointment or during free times,” Pierson said.
Many other services, such as help with TOPS and ACT applications, cover a wide range of student needs. Students needing assistance with academic or personal issues are instructed to see counseling secretary Ann Pressley to schedule an appointment or visit the school website for staff contact information.