School counselor advocates continuing education advice before high school

By Diamond Henry
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — At the Nov. 9 DeWitt Public Schools Board of Trustees meeting, Herbison Woods Elementary School counselor Teri Severy discussed her attendance at the Strengthening School Counseling and College Advising conference, held in Florida. “It was one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my professional life,” said Severy, discussing her trip. The program’s goal is to try to prepare school counselors to help kids figure out different ways they can continue their education, be it a four-year university or a trade program. “I think many of us have changed careers or added into our careers, educators included, but we want to expose students to career and college opportunities,” said Severy.

New evaluation system overlooks school counselors

By STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ McGAVIN
Capital News Service
LANSING — A new law creating a statewide teacher evaluation system was a win for many educators because it limits the effect of standardized tests, but it left out a group of important players — school counselors. Although counselors have expanded their role in schools, many find it difficult to receive an appropriate progress report, which is essential to continued improvement, according to the Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA). Shawn Bultsma, MSCA director of headquarters in Grand Rapids, said he worked as a school counselor for 10 years and administration assessed him with ill-fitting teacher evaluations. It started in 1995 when he was in New Jersey. “I was evaluated with a teacher’s evaluation that took, probably, 50 percent of ‘the variables do not apply,’” Bultsma said.