Academic & Personal counseling has your back

Andrew Carrere ‘19

The Academic & Personal Counseling Department is one of the most important departments at Strake Jesuit, but many people may not know how it operates day-to-day. These counselors play very important roles within the school community, assisting students in multiple ways, academically and personally.

Every grade level has its own counselor. Counselors follow their own grade level all the way from their freshman year to their senior year, getting to know each student individually.

Every week, each counselor meets with the students in his or her grade level in scheduled counseling groups. Here academic and personal counselors cover a variety of topics pertinent to student life at that individual grade level, educating students on a multitude of subjects, ranging from extracurricular activities, strategies for success in the classroom, standardized testing, substance abuse, course selection, mental health. The curriculum even involves journaling.

At Strake Jesuit, academic and personal counselors keep an eye on the mental-health needs of our students in addition to their wellness in other areas. Mrs. Malixi, head of the Academic & Personal Counseling Department, explained, “Our responsibilities include leading groups every week and meeting with students individually to help with mental health and wellness issues. We also provide help in getting them ready for life following high school, in addition to their college counselor.”

Although many students know what the counselors do in the classroom, some may not know much about what goes on behind the scenes. Mrs. Malixi said, “We conduct family meetings, we meet with students individually, we meet with the dean’s office, we meet with Mr. Norkus, and we meet with teachers when we’re not in groups.”

All students are encouraged to meet with their counselors with any issues they may have, from inside or outside the classroom. What if students want to meet with their counselor for any reason? “They can email us, use our scheduling link on ‘Acuity’, or can come to the offices and sign up on an iPad. Most counselors prefer to be emailed,” Mrs. Malixi said.

Sharing office space in Moran with our college counseling department, Academic & Personal Counseling has been its own distinct department for only about four years.

Previously there had been only one counseling department that handled both the college counseling and the personal and academic aspects of student life, but by splitting into different departments with their own specialties, they were able to shift to a better wellness approach. This way, the Academic & Personal Counseling department can have a deeper focus on the quality of life that students have in addition to college counseling.

Members of the Academic & Personal Counseling Department include Mrs. Malixi, Ms. Veazey, Ms. Simien, Ms. Rodriguez, Mr. Wrobel and Mr. Ayala.