Our school counselors provide support to all students and help address their academic achievement, college and career readiness, and social and emotional development.
Indy School Counseling Mission:
Independence High School counselors, in collaboration with our families, staff, community, and other stakeholders, seek to empower and enable every student to focus on lifelong education that extends beyond the classroom, into the community and the world at large. Our goal, in addition to fostering relationships and advocacy for students, is to equip them with relevant skills needed to identify and achieve their individual goals.
Students are assigned School Counselors by last name:
McKenzie Yanek Students with last names A-CL
Xi "Justin" Zhang Students with last names CO-GO
MaryBeth Clary Students with last names GR-LA
Cassie Smith Students with last names LE-OR
Betsy Brown Students with last names OS-SL
Caitland Sharp Students with last names SM-Z
Students should see the Indy Counseling Schoology group to request an appointment with their School Counselor.
Keep up to date with Independence School Counseling information in the School Counseling group (accessible through WCS email accounts only and has a wealth of documents, forms, links, general information, and updates), The Declaration, Skyward emails, and our twitter account (@wcsIHScounselor).
School Counseling Interventionist
The School Counseling Interventionist is a second layer of strategic intervention in addition to the School Counselors. Students still receive core instruction/interventions but may need additional support to be successful in the school environment . Just like a math teacher will implement strategies to support students struggling to understand math concepts, students who struggle with social emotional learning or academic skills benefit from extra support.
The School Counseling Interventionist uses data to develop and assess preventive and responsive services as an integral part of a school counseling program to promote student success. Some of the interventions include:
- providing responsive services, including short-term individual and group counseling
- referring students and families to appropriate support services and community agencies
- collaborating with school staff to identify and assist students in crisis
- conducting staff development for school and district staff
- providing information, consultation and support to parents/guardians to increase familial involvement
- advocating for changes in the school and community to promote resilience, success and equitable access to needed resources
Please contact Dominique Hill for more information.
School Social Workers provide information for support services or agencies to help students deal with economic, emotional or physical challenges inside and outside the classroom. School social workers sometimes focus on needs assessments for specific groups of students with a great deal of challenges, such as those with disabilities/special needs and at-risk. Social Workers assist the schools when working with a child who has special needs to plan, connect with the family and to consult as needed. School Social Workers assist students and families in the district with:
Connections to outside agencies in the community that provide additional support beyond the schools (i.e. providing information for local child/adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists/counselors, support groups, food banks, mental health residential facilities) by communicating with parents, teachers and administrators which is essential in order to provide a full view of the issues facing an individual student, group or entire district.
Mental health needs (confirmation of diagnoses, support(s) needed at school, IEP/504 meetings, crisis plans/interventions)
Subsistence needs (i.e. food, housing, utility bills, clothing, shoes, school supplies)
Please contact Capri Lofaro for more information.
STARS Student Assistance Specialist is available as an additional social and emotional development support to students. STARS offers individual intervention, group intervention, as well as prevention and leadership activities. The STARS Student Assistance Specialist is available to help students with anything outside of academics, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, anger, bullying, self-esteem, body image issues, gender identity, family problems, peer relationships, etc. Students who participate in STARS receive support while at school, though the service does not take the place of therapeutic counseling out of the school for more intensive problems (trauma, severe anxiety/depression, etc.).
Please contact Dawn McGrath for more information.
Student Success Coach
The Office of Student Success strives to empower students to realize their potential as self-directed learners and their ability to thrive both inside and outside the classroom. The Success Coach is students’ connector, guide, and catalyst for accomplishing their academic and personal-social goals. Success coaching is customized to students’ individual interests, strengths, and needs.
The Student Success Office is located in the library. The best time to meet with the Success Coach is during your Study Hall. Simply walk-in or schedule an appointment through Schoology.
Please contact Sparkle Smith for more information.