Anyone who remembers being an adolescent can relate to the struggles that teenagers face in middle school. Although these years are full of excitement and discovery, they also pose a variety of challenges, such as making friends, figuring out how to open a locker, navigating the hallways, and trying to focus in class while dealing with raging hormones.
The stress of adapting to such a fast-paced, high-pressure environment can really take a toll on students—socially, emotionally, physically and academically. Our school counselors are important because they make sure that students have the support they need to thrive in school and live healthy and happy lifestyles.
School counselors ease students’ worries and help to create positive learning environments for students.
“Our counselors play a very important role in our district, and we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the services and support they offer,” said SFSD Superintendent Andy Bellando.
At Silverton Middle School, we have an awesome counselor, Hillary Parksion, who has worked with the district for 10 years. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Western Oregon University, Parksion completed a Masters program in school counseling at Oregon State University.
“In middle school, kids are just trying to figure out who they are,” said Parksion. “Meeting with students to talk through their problems and help them make little positive changes can really have a huge impact.”
For Parksion, the most important piece of advice for students is, “Stick to who you are.” To parents, she advises, “Middle school is definitely a rough time for kids… It is a time of growth and transition, so be there for your kids during the changes they are dealing with and they will make it through.”
Seventh grader Grace Dover said, “Having a school counselor helps because you get good advice. When you feel a certain way, you go to Ms. Parksion and she makes you feel much better, like you have someone by your side.”
In honor of National School Counselors week, we would like to thank Parksion and all of our counseling staff for the excellent work they do.