When it comes to helping every APS student shape a successful future, there is a special group of people in the district who not only support students academically, but also tend to their social and emotional needs—our school counselors. These unsung heroes ensure students overcome challenges that may interfere with their ability to implement their plans for the future.
This week, Feb. 6-10, APS joins districts across the U.S. to celebrate National School Counseling Week! The observation is a time to honor the vital role school counselors play in our students’ lives.
Below, we highlight just a few of the many counselors in APS who go above and beyond to help students realize their full potential, upholding the APS 2020 core belief that student achievement and growth are driven by a highly-effective and respected staff working as a team.
Melissa Seigle, LPC, Boston P-8
“I think being a school counselor has to be one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs out there! I am inspired each day by my students’ incredible energy, strength, resilience and creativity. Our hilarious, amazing kiddos teach me something every day. I am also privileged to work with such a strong, supportive staff here at Boston. Together, we make a difference!” - Melissa Seigle
Erin Graves, Aurora Quest K-8
“I have the privilege of working with gifted and high-achieving students and families in a unique capacity as a school counselor at Aurora Quest. I am able to help students grow and change academically, socially and emotionally from kindergarten to eighth grade. There are so many exciting and challenging times for students throughout this portion of their education! What I enjoy most is the variety of methods school counselors utilize to engage students in positive social and emotional growth. You can find me in a classroom teaching a lesson about stress or goal setting; facilitating a group for students struggling with underachievement or friendship skills; counseling a student individually about mood management; or meeting with parents, teachers or administrators to make plans for students who are learning prosocial behaviors. Every day is different and I am continuously inspired by the needs of my students to develop my skills as an effective counselor. In my eighth year of counseling, I hear from students who I knew as young children who experienced the death of a parent, depression or bullying who are now entering college as capable young adults who have the potential to change the world for the better. There is no greater reward than being part of one of their stories!” - Erin Graves
Chance Siegele, Gateway High School
“The thing I love most about this job is that it is never boring. Our students have such a wide spectrum of needs that as a counselor, the breadth of skills and expertise required of us every single day is huge. Whether counselors are helping all school members through personal/social issues or assisting students with their postsecondary plans, school counselors are contributing to student success every minute of the day. I am fortunate to work with a very experienced and cohesive team, and the relationships this job allows us to build with our students and colleagues is extremely rewarding.” - Chance Siegele
Christa Hopkins, North Middle School
“As a school counselor, you laugh, you cry and you work harder than you ever thought you would. Some days you’re trying to change the world and some days you’re just trying to make it through the day. Your wallet is empty, your heart is full and your mind is packed with memories of students who have changed your life.” - Christa Hopkins
Melissa Wells, MA, LPC, Aurora Hills Middle School
“I feel very lucky to be able to work every day with students on such a unique and personal level as a counselor. Not only do I get to see students grow academically through the years, but I get to share in their personal and social development and support students as they start to create life-long goals that will take them far beyond their school years. Working with my students every day has encouraged me to continue to learn and grow as a person. I look forward to watching them do the same.” - Melissa Wells