What is a Professional School Counselor?

Middle school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. 

At Saunders Middle School, the School Counselors:

  • Help resolve barriers that interfere with learning;
  • Teach classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, and individual counseling;
  • Facilitate in educational planning;
  • Provide career planning and vocational educational opportunities;
  • Support ALL students;
  • Offer crisis intervention and prevention;
  • Work collaboratively with all school personnel and educational stakeholders; and
  • Earned a Master's degree or higher.

Why Middle School Counselors?

Middle school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Through a comprehensive school counseling program, counselors work collaboratively with school staff, parents and the community to create a supportive climate and caring atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills, set appropriate career goals, and realize full academic potential in route to becoming productive, contributing members of society. The professional middle school counselor holds a master’s degree and state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with the latest educational strategies and challenges impacting students in today's educational environment.

Middle School Students’ Developmental Needs

Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students and their parents.  During this transition from childhood to adolescence, middle school students  are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning to real-world applications in preparation for college and the workforce, and discovering their unique identities as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation.  


American School Counselor Association

Virginia School Counselor Association