Counseling Department Philosophy
The School Counselors are committed to facilitating academic, emotional and personal growth in every student at Mount St. Mary Academy. This is accomplished through individual and group counseling for various personal issues, classroom presentations, college and career counseling, and college and financial aid information for families.
The Counseling Department believes that all students have a right to and need of counseling services during their high school years. To that end, the counselors strive to deliver a comprehensive Counseling program that is proactive rather than reactive in nature.
2022-2023 Counseling Staff:
- Amy Perkins Owens – Director of Counseling
- Eden Coker – Freshman Counselor and Transition Coordinator
- Whitney Smotherman – College Counselor
To further the mission statement of Mount St. Mary Academy, the Counseling Department works to provide the environment that maximizes the spiritual, intellectual, and personal growth of the young women at MSM on both a group level and individual level. It is our privilege to make the school’s mission real in the life of students on a personal level.
- Students will experience the Counseling curriculum in the classroom so that all students may benefit.
- Students will grow in the knowledge of self and others in order to understand effective patterns of behavior and/or change patterns of behavior as necessary.
- Students will learn to strategize steps for academic success and identify academic and career goals that will take them beyond high school.
- Students will be able to integrate knowledge of self and others in the context of their personal relationship with God.
- There is a specific Counseling curriculum for each grade level that will be delivered through the classroom so that all students may benefit.
- All students will be seen individually by personal request and on requests from other students, teachers, and/or parents and on the initiative of the counselors.
- Students with academic problems will be seen individually so that a plan for success can be developed.
- Counselors will spend time with the students in informal settings in order to get to know the students and create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.
- Counselors deliver classroom units to each grade level. During freshman year the units are on study skills for MSM, understanding the MSM grading system and understanding their personality and that of others. During sophomore year the units are on Naviance and its uses, and matching personality with careers. During junior year the units are on college choice and getting prepared for the college process. Group lessons on aspects of college are paired with individual conferences with each junior.
- Counselors work individually with seniors to facilitate the entire college process. The topics cover writing essays, applications, campus visits, criteria for choice of colleges and looking for scholarships.
- College representatives also are able to visit with the students of any grade level during homeroom and lunch. This enables the students to gain information about individual colleges and ask any questions they may have. Parents are also encouraged to meet with counselors if they have questions about the process.
- One-on-one counseling happens at all levels. Counselors meet with all students individually or in small groups and students have access to the counselors at all times. Students can also be referred by teachers, parents, or other students.
- The Counselors also work with the Administration on the development and supervision of academic programs in accordance with the philosophy, mission, and values of the Sisters of Mercy.
We recognize how stressful the college search, application, and decision process can be! At Mount St. Mary Academy, we work individually with each student to create their college list, prepare applications, and answer any questions they may have. Our goal is to help our girls find the college that is the right academic, social, and financial fit for them.
In addition to the academic preparation they receive in the classroom, we prepare our students for college by offering an annual college trip, hosting an annual financial aid night, offering a summer college application workshop, providing application help during the school day, inviting college admission representatives to give presentations, creating college preparation workshop opportunities, and hosting an annual college fair with more than 100 colleges in attendance.