Counselor’s Corner 2017-07-21T13:40:45+00:00
Counselor’s Corner

KHCS COUNSELING DEPARTMENT

The resources on this site contain valuable information about the school counseling program at Kestrel. Feel free to peruse the materials and contact the counselors with any questions!

KHS Counseling Department Mission Statement: The counseling department’s mission is to provide services and support to students and their families to maximize students’ potential for academic, social, and emotional success.

Stacy Kennedy – Counselor

I joined Kestrel Heights Elementary School its inaugural year in 2012. I was born in Montana, but I’ve lived in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.  I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University in 1998 and in 2011 I went back to school to earn my Master’s of Education in School Counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill.  I hold an Advanced Graduate (Specialist) K-12 School Counselor license and I’m a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). Currently, I live in Durham with my husband, two children (both Kestrel students), mother, and dog, Beckett.  I enjoy good books and laughter and when I’m not working, I can often be spotted driving my not so little people to places like dance class, theater rehearsals, swim meets, summer camps, film location sites, and a myriad of social events.
Fun Facts about Mrs. Kennedy:
  • I went to graduate school with Mrs. Callahan
  • I’m a military brat.
  • I love to paddle board, jet ski, hike, and roller skate!

Morgan Callahan – Counselor

I was born and raised in upstate New York, but after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2011, I decided to stay in the great state of North Carolina permanently! I completed UNC-Chapel Hill’s Master of School Counseling program in 2012 (with Mrs. Kennedy!) and joined the Elementary school in its first year of operation, teaching first grade for three years before joining the Middle School as their grades 6-8 counselor. I currently hold licensure as both a K-6 Elementary School Teacher and an Advanced Graduate (Specialist) K-12 School Counselor, as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor certification. I am also a professional member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). I currently live in Durham with my husband and our two dogs, Tucker and Jasper. I am excited about working with middle schoolers in a time of exciting personal, social, emotional, and academic growth!
Fun Facts about Mrs. Callahan:
  • My dogs’ full registered names are Tucker, Prince of the Mountains and King Jasper Daniels.
  • I love to read, run, hike, watch movies, and work in my garden!
  • I love the UNC Tar Heels and Boston Red Sox!
Mrs. Kennedy:
Email: kennedy@kestrelheights.org
Phone: 919-484-1300 X 325
Referral Form: ES Referral Form
 
Mrs. Callahan
Email: callahan@kestrelheights.org
Phone: 919-484-1300 X 204
Referral Form: MS Referral Form

What is your confidentiality/privacy policy?

Privacy is a very important piece of the counseling relationship. However, counselors are required by law to act, including to disclose information, when they suspect that a child may hurt themselves or someone else, or if someone else is hurting the child. In addition, we often encourage students to advocate for themselves by sharing information with parents and other staff members when pertinent, and students often give their permission for counselors to share information discussed.

Do parents/guardians need to give special permission for their child to see the school counselor?

The school counseling program is part of Kestrel’s regular educational program, the counselors do not need special permission to meet with a student. However, we highly value parent collaboration and welcome parents to contact us with concerns or questions. Additionally, we will send home notification letters and information for students who wish to participate in counseling small groups.

Who sees the school counselor?

EVERYONE! The school counselor works with teachers and staff to serve ALL of Kestrel’s students through a comprehensive school counseling program.

How can I refer my child for counseling services?

You are welcome to call or email your child’s counselor, or use their online referral form if applicable. We would be happy to answer any questions about our counseling programs at your child’s school level.

Can you see my child for counseling all year?

School counselors are not mental health counselors and cannot diagnose or treat any mental health disorders. We can help students with issues that interfere with their education, like friendship issues, academic concerns, bullying, anxiety, dealing with family changes, how to handle feelings, and developing coping skills. Because counselors need to be available for all students, we are here to assist with short-term counseling (less than 4-6 sessions). We will be happy to help you in finding outside counseling if needed.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law passed to help families who are homeless keep their children in school.
Definition of homelessness: The law defines a child or youth as homeless as one who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate residence. They may be in the following situations:
  • Living with a friend, relative or someone else because they lost their home.
  • Staying in a motel or hotel.
  • Living in an emergency or transitional shelter or domestic violence shelter.
  • Staying in substandard housing.
  • Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station.
  • Awaiting foster care placement.
  • Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home.
  • Abandoned in a hospital.
  • Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter.
 
Click below for additional information:
McKinney-Vento Liason:
Crissy Schmieder, MSW,LCSWA,LCAS
School Social Worker (K-12)
schmieder@kestrelheights.org
919.484.1300 x331

Mission Statement for the Elementary School Counseling Program 

The Elementary School Counseling Program helps students demonstrate a positive attitude towards self, gain life-planning skills, and develop responsible social skills. School success is increased as children use these skills to understand and appreciate the life-long process of learning, growing, and changing.  The mission statement of the School Counseling Program is an integral part of the total school program.

INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

Students can be seen on an individual basis as needed.  Usually, the student and the counselor work together to establish an individual goal related to the student’s initial concern.  Parents, teachers, and students can make referrals for individual counseling services by completing our electronic referral form. School counselors are not mental health counselors. We are here to assist with short-term counseling (4-6 sessions or less). We will be happy to help you in finding outside counseling if needed.

To refer a student to the elementary school counselor, please fill out the following form: ES Referral Form

 GROUP COUNSELING

Small group counseling provides a supportive environment where students can explore their ideas and feelings about a certain topic with their peers.  These short-term groups are usually comprised of 5-7 students.  Students may be referred by themselves, teachers, or parents.

CLASSROOM GUIDANCE

Classroom guidance is a preventative approach which allows the counselor to focus on developmental topics and skill-building. Kimochis (KEY-MO-ChEE) which means “feeling” in Japanese is our social-emotional curriculum. Our Kimochi friends help our students identify, understand, and manage their feelings as well as teach communication skills that develop tolerance and respect as we learn to get along with each other.

CONSULTATION AND COLLABORATION

The counselor is available to consult with parents, faculty, or community agencies in order to best meet the individual needs of students.  Parent consultations can focus on concerns at school or home, parenting strategies, or developmental needs.

Kestrel Heights Middle School Counseling Program: Counseling Services

School counseling has changed over the years, and it is definitely not the “guidance counseling” many of us remember from our school days! The American School Counselor Association says that a modern, comprehensive school counseling program should be “comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature”.

At Kestrel Heights Middle School, this is achieved through individual counseling, small group counseling, and classroom guidance as well as school-wide initiatives. The three main areas of focus for the middle school counseling program are: personal/social development, academic achievement, and college/career exploration.

Individual Counseling

At times, students need a little more one-on-one help and attention to learn, grow, develop, and overcome a specific obstacle or problem. This is when a student would meet with the counselor for individual counseling sessions. Sessions are typically focused on helping a student achieve a goal or overcome a problem in a specific area. Sessions are short-term (4-6 sessions or fewer) and solution-focused. 
 
To refer your child for counseling services, please use this form: MS Referral Form
 
Please remember that a school counselor is not a mental health counselor, and due to the constraints of the school day, cannot do the same scope of work as a mental health counselor. Mrs. Callahan is happy to help you locate and secure outside counseling services if necessary.

Group Counseling

Small group counseling is an opportunity for students to explore their ideas and feelings about a specific topic in a safe, supportive environment. 
 
Planned Upcoming Groups: 
  • Student Success Skills (study skills and time management)
  • Peer Mentor Training (teacher and/or peer recommendation required)
  • CogMed Working Memory Training (please check back for eligibility criteria)
Please contact Mrs. Callahan to inquire about a group, request for your child to be placed in a group, or suggest a specific type of group. While I cannot guarantee I will be able to honor all requests, I do take requests into consideration when designing my programming and making group membership decisions.

Classroom Guidance

Occasionally I will “push in” to other electives to offer classroom guidance to an entire grade level on a specific topic. Some topics currently in the works are: bullying, academic goal setting, and career exploration.

Consultation and Collaboration

As the counselor, I support the entire academic program at Kestrel in various ways. I lead and participate in some school-wide initiatives such as character education, improving attendance, and increasing college awareness. I also work with parents and teachers on teams and in conferences to develop plans for struggling students and provide leadership within the school. I am always happy to meet with parents or chat on the phone about how I can best help meet the individual needs of students.

KHCS COUNSELING DEPARTMENT

The resources on this site contain valuable information about the school counseling program at Kestrel. Feel free to peruse the materials and contact the counselors with any questions!

KHS Counseling Department Mission Statement: The counseling department’s mission is to provide services and support to students and their families to maximize students’ potential for academic, social, and emotional success.

Stacy Kennedy – Counselor

I joined Kestrel Heights Elementary School its inaugural year in 2012. I was born in Montana, but I’ve lived in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.  I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University in 1998 and in 2011 I went back to school to earn my Master’s of Education in School Counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill.  I hold an Advanced Graduate (Specialist) K-12 School Counselor license and I’m a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). Currently, I live in Durham with my husband, two children (both Kestrel students), mother, and dog, Beckett.  I enjoy good books and laughter and when I’m not working, I can often be spotted driving my not so little people to places like dance class, theater rehearsals, swim meets, summer camps, film location sites, and a myriad of social events.
Fun Facts about Mrs. Kennedy:
  • I went to graduate school with Mrs. Callahan
  • I’m a military brat.
  • I love to paddle board, jet ski, hike, and roller skate!

Morgan Callahan – Counselor

I was born and raised in upstate New York, but after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2011, I decided to stay in the great state of North Carolina permanently! I completed UNC-Chapel Hill’s Master of School Counseling program in 2012 (with Mrs. Kennedy!) and joined the Elementary school in its first year of operation, teaching first grade for three years before joining the Middle School as their grades 6-8 counselor. I currently hold licensure as both a K-6 Elementary School Teacher and an Advanced Graduate (Specialist) K-12 School Counselor, as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor certification. I am also a professional member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). I currently live in Durham with my husband and our two dogs, Tucker and Jasper. I am excited about working with middle schoolers in a time of exciting personal, social, emotional, and academic growth!
Fun Facts about Mrs. Callahan:
  • My dogs’ full registered names are Tucker, Prince of the Mountains and King Jasper Daniels.
  • I love to read, run, hike, watch movies, and work in my garden!
  • I love the UNC Tar Heels and Boston Red Sox!
Mrs. Kennedy:
Email: kennedy@kestrelheights.org
Phone: 919-484-1300 X 325
Referral Form: ES Referral Form
 
Mrs. Callahan
Email: callahan@kestrelheights.org
Phone: 919-484-1300 X 204
Referral Form: MS Referral Form

What is your confidentiality/privacy policy?

Privacy is a very important piece of the counseling relationship. However, counselors are required by law to act, including to disclose information, when they suspect that a child may hurt themselves or someone else, or if someone else is hurting the child. In addition, we often encourage students to advocate for themselves by sharing information with parents and other staff members when pertinent, and students often give their permission for counselors to share information discussed.

Do parents/guardians need to give special permission for their child to see the school counselor?

The school counseling program is part of Kestrel’s regular educational program, the counselors do not need special permission to meet with a student. However, we highly value parent collaboration and welcome parents to contact us with concerns or questions. Additionally, we will send home notification letters and information for students who wish to participate in counseling small groups.

Who sees the school counselor?

EVERYONE! The school counselor works with teachers and staff to serve ALL of Kestrel’s students through a comprehensive school counseling program.

How can I refer my child for counseling services?

You are welcome to call or email your child’s counselor, or use their online referral form if applicable. We would be happy to answer any questions about our counseling programs at your child’s school level.

Can you see my child for counseling all year?

School counselors are not mental health counselors and cannot diagnose or treat any mental health disorders. We can help students with issues that interfere with their education, like friendship issues, academic concerns, bullying, anxiety, dealing with family changes, how to handle feelings, and developing coping skills. Because counselors need to be available for all students, we are here to assist with short-term counseling (less than 4-6 sessions). We will be happy to help you in finding outside counseling if needed.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law passed to help families who are homeless keep their children in school.
Definition of homelessness: The law defines a child or youth as homeless as one who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate residence. They may be in the following situations:
  • Living with a friend, relative or someone else because they lost their home.
  • Staying in a motel or hotel.
  • Living in an emergency or transitional shelter or domestic violence shelter.
  • Staying in substandard housing.
  • Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station.
  • Awaiting foster care placement.
  • Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home.
  • Abandoned in a hospital.
  • Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter.
 
Click below for additional information:
McKinney-Vento Liason:
Crissy Schmieder, MSW,LCSWA,LCAS
School Social Worker (K-12)
schmieder@kestrelheights.org
919.484.1300 x331

Mission Statement for the Elementary School Counseling Program 

The Elementary School Counseling Program helps students demonstrate a positive attitude towards self, gain life-planning skills, and develop responsible social skills. School success is increased as children use these skills to understand and appreciate the life-long process of learning, growing, and changing.  The mission statement of the School Counseling Program is an integral part of the total school program.

INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

Students can be seen on an individual basis as needed.  Usually, the student and the counselor work together to establish an individual goal related to the student’s initial concern.  Parents, teachers, and students can make referrals for individual counseling services by completing our electronic referral form. School counselors are not mental health counselors. We are here to assist with short-term counseling (4-6 sessions or less). We will be happy to help you in finding outside counseling if needed.

To refer a student to the elementary school counselor, please fill out the following form: ES Referral Form

 GROUP COUNSELING

Small group counseling provides a supportive environment where students can explore their ideas and feelings about a certain topic with their peers.  These short-term groups are usually comprised of 5-7 students.  Students may be referred by themselves, teachers, or parents.

CLASSROOM GUIDANCE

Classroom guidance is a preventative approach which allows the counselor to focus on developmental topics and skill-building. Kimochis (KEY-MO-ChEE) which means “feeling” in Japanese is our social-emotional curriculum. Our Kimochi friends help our students identify, understand, and manage their feelings as well as teach communication skills that develop tolerance and respect as we learn to get along with each other.

CONSULTATION AND COLLABORATION

The counselor is available to consult with parents, faculty, or community agencies in order to best meet the individual needs of students.  Parent consultations can focus on concerns at school or home, parenting strategies, or developmental needs.

Kestrel Heights Middle School Counseling Program: Counseling Services

School counseling has changed over the years, and it is definitely not the “guidance counseling” many of us remember from our school days! The American School Counselor Association says that a modern, comprehensive school counseling program should be “comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature”.

At Kestrel Heights Middle School, this is achieved through individual counseling, small group counseling, and classroom guidance as well as school-wide initiatives. The three main areas of focus for the middle school counseling program are: personal/social development, academic achievement, and college/career exploration.

Individual Counseling

At times, students need a little more one-on-one help and attention to learn, grow, develop, and overcome a specific obstacle or problem. This is when a student would meet with the counselor for individual counseling sessions. Sessions are typically focused on helping a student achieve a goal or overcome a problem in a specific area. Sessions are short-term (4-6 sessions or fewer) and solution-focused. 
 
To refer your child for counseling services, please use this form: MS Referral Form
 
Please remember that a school counselor is not a mental health counselor, and due to the constraints of the school day, cannot do the same scope of work as a mental health counselor. Mrs. Callahan is happy to help you locate and secure outside counseling services if necessary.

Group Counseling

Small group counseling is an opportunity for students to explore their ideas and feelings about a specific topic in a safe, supportive environment. 
 
Planned Upcoming Groups: 
  • Student Success Skills (study skills and time management)
  • Peer Mentor Training (teacher and/or peer recommendation required)
  • CogMed Working Memory Training (please check back for eligibility criteria)
Please contact Mrs. Callahan to inquire about a group, request for your child to be placed in a group, or suggest a specific type of group. While I cannot guarantee I will be able to honor all requests, I do take requests into consideration when designing my programming and making group membership decisions.

Classroom Guidance

Occasionally I will “push in” to other electives to offer classroom guidance to an entire grade level on a specific topic. Some topics currently in the works are: bullying, academic goal setting, and career exploration.

Consultation and Collaboration

As the counselor, I support the entire academic program at Kestrel in various ways. I lead and participate in some school-wide initiatives such as character education, improving attendance, and increasing college awareness. I also work with parents and teachers on teams and in conferences to develop plans for struggling students and provide leadership within the school. I am always happy to meet with parents or chat on the phone about how I can best help meet the individual needs of students.