This week, we’re excited to celebrate National School Counseling Week to help bring awareness to the important role that our K-12 school counselors have as they dedicate their professional lives to care for and support our students to help them achieve school success and plan for their futures. From providing safe and supportive areas for students to receive mental health or social help, to helping students remove barriers to academic success, to providing classroom lessons, to helping kids figure out “what they want to be when they grow up,” school counselors are celebrated not only this week–but every day–for the unique work they do to support all aspects of a student’s journey through school as they help each reach their potential to become his or her best. Today, we’re proud to highlight the Junior High's counseling team of Mrs. Autumn Rheaume (A-L) and Miss Kim Shaw (M-Z).
Q: How long have you been a school counselor? How long have you worked at Exeter?
A: Mrs. Rheaume: I have been a school counselor for 20 years. I have worked at Exeter for 15 years.
Miss Shaw: I have been a school counselor for 18 years. I have worked at Exeter for 8 years.
Q: Did you do anything prior to becoming a counselor? If so, what? Why did you change your career?
A: Mrs. Rheume: While in graduate school I worked as therapeutic support staff and as a prevention specialist with a local drug and alcohol commission.
Miss Shaw: While in graduate school I worked as therapeutic support staff and as a vocational disability evaluator.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
A: We enjoy being a part of the junior high community, not only because we work with great teachers, but also because this age is a time when kids go through multiple changes and together, as a team, we get to be a part of that journey.
Q: What's the most challenging part of your job?
A: We cannot keep to a strict schedule because every day is different. While this is challenging, it also makes our job very interesting, which we love.
Q: If you were talking to someone who knew nothing about your work, how would you complete this sentence? “People are surprised to learn that..."
A: ...We are no longer called guidance counselors. The term changed in 1990 when the American School Counseling Association decided the job encompassed much more than career guidance. Today's school counselors assist students not only in academics and post-high school planning, but also in the areas of emotional support, family intervention and social development. Our degrees and certifications are in school counseling, not guidance.
Q: The theme for this year’s School Counseling Week is “Better Together.” What does that mean to you?
A: Collaboration with all constituents is the key to success for all students. We value the coordination with principals, teachers, parents and community members. We are also very happy to work together because we make a great team!
Q: When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Mrs. Rheume: I wanted to be a teacher.
Miss Shaw: My uncle was the town fire chief so I thought I'd be a firefighter.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: We went to the same college together during the same years, but didn't know each other back then.