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Guidance and Counseling Locker

Counselors

Services

Welcome to Stephens County Middle School’s Counseling Connection

At SCMS, our school counseling program offers a variety of services to all students.   Academic success for everyone is extremely important, therefore, the services provided are geared toward enhancing each student’s educational achievement.   Parental involvement in their student’s educational experience is desired and welcomed.  Counselors strive to provide services that assist students in developing academic, personal/social and career development and success. 

Specific services available include:

                Personal/Social development through Individual and Group Counseling

            Classroom Guidance

            Advocacy        

            Advisement Training

            Consultation through conferencing

            Coordination/Collaboration with students, parents, administrators, staff and community.

            Crisis Counseling

            Assessment/testing and use of data

            Career Guidance and Counseling

            Academic Development

 

As SCMS school counselors, we invite you to use our services.  We are always mindful of confidentiality issues, legal and ethical concerns and we strive to perform our duties to a high standard of excellence.    Student success depends upon many factors and we are uniquely equipped to assist your student and your family for many different reasons.  Our doors are always open; all children have equal access to our counseling and guidance services and will be treated with respect and dignity.  Our goal is to develop and enhance a positive relationship between school, home and community.  Please contact us if we can be of support and assistance to you and your family in any way.  It is our pleasure to be of service to our SCMS family and our community.

 

Pat Withers serves all students 5 th through 8 th grade with last names A – G.  Mrs. Withers received her M Ed. In School Counseling from UGA, she also holds an M Ed. In Gifted Education from UGA and a B.S. in English Education from the University of Southern Connecticut.   Mrs. Withers has 19 years’ experience as a school counselor, 10 in high school, 4 in elementary school and 5 in middle school.  She also has 9 years teaching experience, 6 in

middle school English/ Language Arts and 3 in gifted education. Pat Withers and her husband Paul have been married for 38 years and they have 3 grown

children – David, Ben and Sara and two grandsons – Richmond who is 14, Hudson who is 2½ and Hayleigh who is 4 months. She enjoys gardening, living on the lake, boating, traveling and being a community volunteer. 

You may contact Mrs. Withers by telephone at 706-886- 2880 ext.2021 or 706-898- 5126 or by email at pat.withers@stephenscountyschools.org. 

 

Kathy Thomas serves all students 5th through 8th grade with last names P-Z.  Mrs. Thomas received her Education Specialist degree in School Counseling from Argosy University, a Master of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Mrs. Thomas has 6 years of counseling experience at SCMS. Mrs. Thomas and her husband Chris have been married for 29 years and have two daughters, Kristin who is a senior in college and Kathryn who is in the 9th grade.  She enjoys walking, spending time with her family, singing in the church choir and being outside.

Mrs. Thomas can be reached by phone at 706-886- 2880 ext. 2023 or 706-898- 5124 or by email at kathy.thomas@stephenscountyschools.org.

 

Emily Sprowls serves 5th-8th grade students with last names H-O. Mrs. Sprowls received her M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University, and her B.S. in Family and Children’s Ministry from Toccoa Falls College. Mrs. Sprowls previously worked at Toccoa Falls College as dean of students, and is beginning her first year as a counselor with SCMS.  Emily Sprowls and her husband Chris have been married for 9 years and have two children: Luke, 3, and Nathan 2 months. Mrs. Sprowls enjoys the beach, hiking, drinking coffee, riding roller coasters, and spending time with her family.

You may contact Mrs. Sprowls by telephone at 706-886-2880 ext. 2025 or by email at emily.sprowls@stephenscountyschools.org.

 

Mrs. Withers, Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Sprowls believe that counseling offers students (and adults) an opportunity to be listened to and heard. It is important to be supported while figuring out where you are and to look at alternatives for future actions. They hope that students will gain insight, learn new skills, and make positive decisions for their life. Middle school students face so many unique challenges and our counseling program is structured to provide the academic, emotional and behavioral support that students need in order to be successful. Please feel free to contact your counselor anytime with any questions or concerns have. We look forward to working with you and your student this year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How Can I see my counselor?  Students may request to see their counselor after instruction time unless there is an emergency.  If a counselor is unavailable, you may leave your name outside the counseling office in a mailbox that has been provided for that purpose.  The counselor will see you as soon as they are able. 
  2. What are some reasons I may want to see my counselor?  Your counselor can offer you guidance/counseling with any situation concerning academics, personal/social issues or about careers.

Is everything that I say in the counselor’s office confidential?  Yes, with the exception of information that may result in harm to you, others or the school.

 

 

10 Parenting Tips for Teaching Respect and Curbing Disrespect:

(1) Model it:  If you want them to do it, you have to do it too.

(2) Expect it:  When your expectations are reasonably high, children rise to the occasion.

(3) Teach it:   Give children the tools they need to show you respect.

(4) Praise it:   When you see or hear your children using respectful language and making respectful choices, recognize it and praise them for making positive, respectful decisions.

(5) Discuss it:   Pick out times when you see other children using respectful or disrespectful language or behavior and discuss with it your children.

(6) Correct it:   Be strong, firm and direct when teaching respect. At the same time, be sure you are being respectful yourself while correcting the behavior.

(7) Acknowledge it:   Don’t just let things slide! Be sure to notice when respectful behavior is being exhibited and make sure to call them on disrespectful behavior!

(8) Understand it: Your children are growing and learning. Sometimes word choice and behavioral decisions are made because they do not have the correct words or behavior to relay “I’m tired,” “I’m frustrated,” or “I’m angry.”

(9) Reinforce it:   Remind children of their good decisions so that they remember how it felt, the praise they received, and the overall experience of being respectful.

(10) Reward it Respectful behavior should be something that children want to do without overindulgent rewards. However, it is good to associate respectful behavior with intangible rewards such as praise, recognition, extra responsibility, and privileges.

Teaching respect takes patience, time, and a willingness to do as you preach. Time isn’t everything though, is it? It takes years to rear a respectful child and only moments to fill one with anger and disrespect. Which one do you choose?

 

ETIQUETTE

Manners and etiquette are about knowing what it takes to feel comfortable in unfamiliar situations and behaving in a way to make others feel comfortable, too. Knowing a little something about proper etiquette and good manners makes it easier to be around others, and it makes others want to be around YOU!

The following sampling of proper etiquette is NOT meant to be a complete list.

The Basics

Young people should know the importance of showing respect, and, therefore, should do the following:

• Stand when being introduced to someone.

• Pass the food first to guests and his or her parents.

• Wait to begin eating until everyone has been served.

• Do not interrupt others while they are talking, but wait until there is a pause to say what he or she wants to say.

• Offer to serve as “an extra pair of arms and legs”: “Would you like me to reach that for you?” “Excuse me, but you dropped your gloves.”

• Realize that in public places (in the mall, at the movies, on the bus, on the street) it is rude to make a lot of noise with friends that upset other people.

• Never yell at others in the house (with hope that the parents don’t yell either!).

• Remove hat or cap when entering a home, school, or any public building.

• Speak when spoken to, and don’t maintain a sullen silence.

• Show respect at all times. Respect for parents, grandparents, teachers, the pastor, police officers, and anyone else in position of authority should be instinctive.

• Follow house rules regarding curfew and telephone use

• Chew gum quietly with your lips closed.

• Say “thank you” whenever anyone steps back to allow you through or holds a door for you. Do the same for them.

• Say “excuse me” if you accidentally brush against anyone.

• Write thank-you notes for every gift (including any gift from grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends of any age), after every meal at a friend’s house, or as a friend’s guest at a restaurant

• Do not litter on the street, school yard, or ANYWHERE!

• Respect our environment.

Adapted from Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times, Karen Grigsby Bates and Karyn Elyse Hudson, Doubleday (publisher)