Iron Mountain Public Schools celebrates counselors during national recognition week
The first full week of February is National School Counseling Week.
IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Schools across the country are celebrating the work counselors do for students. The first full week of February is National School Counseling Week.
Iron Mountain Public Schools has one counselor and one student success coach available for students. Both staff members try and meet the academic and mental health needs of the students.
“I feel responsible for my students. I feel responsible on many different levels. When they leave the building, I dwell on how things are doing. I think about if they are going to be okay the next day and other things that happen,” said Shelly Petrusch, Iron Mountain Public Schools counselor.
Petrusch focuses on middle school and high school students. She said anxiety is one of the most popular mental health struggles students will come to her for.
“You’re thinking about kids being on Snapchat, Twitter, and other social media,” Petrusch said. “They can’t escape stuff nowadays.”
What most people don’t know is that Petrusch is heavily involved with annual academic testing.
“I am the testing coordinator,” Petrusch said. “So, that is your PSATs, SATs, NWA, any big state testing, I am the coordinator for it.”
Her counterpart in the district is Allison Cevigney, the student success coach. Cevigney said she is the link between the school and the community.
“I can make referrals, as needed, for students who are struggling with mental health issues,” Cevigney said.
In her office, Cevigney has clothing and snacks for students who need them. She said students can come and speak to her anytime. The success coach adds her favorite conversations are when students she sees regularly share something positive in their lives.
“It’s everything. It makes it all worth it,” Cevigney said.
Cevigney and Petrusch are invested in the lives of the students in their care and hope every district recognizes the need for support staff.
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