Saying "Thanks!" to Our School Counselors

Saying "Thanks!" to Our School Counselors
Posted on 02/11/2022

February 7-11, 2022, is National School Counseling Week!

Just like teachers, counselors are essential parts of schools as they help students navigate the complex waters of growing up. Thank you, school counselors, for the amazing work you do every day all year round!

Take a peek into some counselors' perspectives.

Clark Wilhelm

Rocky Heights Middle School
School Counselor for 29 years

"I love it when a student comes back to visit and tells me about what their "adult" life is or when I receive a wedding invitation of a former student. l love my job because every day is different. I can never plan for the unanticipated smiles or trashcan full of Kleenex. Regardless, each day I go home exhausted knowing that I did make a difference."

Angela Anderson

Douglas County High School
School Counselor for 12 years

"To be able to collaborate with students on their academics and post-secondary plans is so rewarding. I also love sitting with them in their emotions and seeing them turn the corner, that is the best part of my job. This has been a very tough year with so many students struggling, I am so glad they all have the support in school to deal with these emotions."

Heather Wiidakas

Cresthill Middle School
School Counselor for 16 years

"I'm a counselor because middle school was hard for me. I wanted to make it less hard for kids going through the same things I did as a kid. Middle school kids are the best ever, and my day every day is a great day when I get to hang out with them and share in story of their worlds. I can't imagine doing anything different."

Crystal Metzger

Mountain Ridge Middle School
School Counselor for 7 years

"I became a school counselor because I love connecting with kids. I love reminding them of their greatness and what makes them unique, then empowering them to use those strengths to change the world. It is a privilege to be a trusted adult that students reach out to in their darkest moments, trusting that we can help. And it is an honor to be the voice that reminds students of all the good in the world."

Kayla Knoll

Franktown Elementary
School Counselor for 9 years


"If I can teach my students social-emotional skills like the importance of kindness and coping strategies to help with their emotions, then I feel like I am making the world a better place. This type of education is something that will help these kids their entire lives. It makes me feel special that I can educate my students and build a foundation of life-long skills."

Alexandra (Lexi) Garcia Kohntopp

Saddle Ranch Elementary
School Counselor for 8 years

"I love building strong relationships with students and families and watching students grow in their self-confidence! I'm grateful for the admin and staff I work with! Grateful for the overwhelming support we get as counselors from the district!"

Michael Sullivan

Rock Canyon High School
School Counselor for 10 years

"There is no other job that gives me the daily opportunity to positively impact the youth in our society. Sometimes that is just supporting the one student who desperately needs it. Sometimes the impact is for the student and their family. Sometimes it is just encouraging a student to step into the potential that I see, but they cannot. I can only hope that when I can make a positive difference in the life of one student or family that will start a chain reaction that will positively impact our society and our future."

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.