Impact Stories

  • Anite Embleton

Supporting Middle School Students Mental Health

Maintaining mental health has come to the forefront of all our minds since the pandemic. But it’s always been an integral piece of middle school, where kids are managing the process of growing up as their brains are shaped by the hormonal changes of puberty.

Margo Waldron, Mary Nolan, and Tiffany Sullivan

LafSD maintains 2.8 full-time professional counselors and an intern at Stanley Middle School to help our children navigate the tricky world of growth in academics, social issues, and personal and family issues while their brains and executive function skills develop.

“We love students. We love our jobs,” Stanley Counselor, Tiffany Sullivan, explained. That is the ethos that drives all their work.

LPIE has been proud to help fund the counselors’ work, which involves everything from coordinating Student Study Teams for assisting students with academic challenges, to group meetings with students to discuss social and interpersonal issues, to individual support and referral services for families struggling with any kind of mental health issue.

While we all navigate the new world of daily Zoom calls, working from home, and distance learning, our counselors – Margo Waldron (A-F), Mary Nolan (G-O), and Tiffany Sullivan (P-Z) – along with School Psychologist Melodi Deweym, have developed a whole new curriculum of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which includes 30 minutes per week of lessons that have been introduced to our kids in their new 8th period Student Support class. This program is designed to supplement and complement the services already provided and to help kids learn techniques, much like study skills in academic classes, which will serve them throughout their lives.

For more information about SEL and the other services our counselors provide or if anyone needs to contact a counselor, check out their Stanley Counseling Services page on the Stanley MS website and listen to the LPIE Podcast. For more information on LPIE and how it helps our schools fund vital services, please visit LPIE.