Principals and other staff members work hard to run a functioning school, so everyone they hire is fundamental to the school. That includes school counselors.
At MJHS there are a total of six counselors, and Denise Bergin is one of them.
One thing Bergin likes about her job is, “There’s a lot of variety. It’s never the same thing every day. I can come in one day and have a schedule of what I’m supposed to be doing, but it can change in a minute due to a situation with a student.”
School counselors have a variety of jobs, which includes creating schedules, resolving conflicts, helping students in general and helping students prepare for college.
“We attend meetings with students and parents, we attend meetings with teachers as well, regarding students, we meet with students. Then there’s the administrative part of it, like scheduling, and making sure students are in the right classes to get the right credits to graduate,” Bergin said.
When most people think of school counselors, the first thing that comes to mind is someone that helps students with mental health issues. While that may be a big part of their job, they help students with many other things as well.
Students often go to their guidance counselors for schedule changes or for advice about the future.
“At the beginning of the school year it’s always schedule changes, career advice...” said Bergin.
For students struggling mentally, counselors are always there to help.
Bergin said, “If a student is suffering from a mental issue, we talk with them. Sometimes that’s all the student needs and they’re good. If it’s something that’s long term, then we refer them up to the Star’s counselor. Depending on the situation, we call the parents. We don’t call the parents because what we talk about with the students is confidential, unless they tell us they’re going to harm themselves or someone else.”