National School Counseling Week Being Observed

National School Counseling Week is being observed this week. The theme is “School Counselors All In for All Students.”

National School
Counseling Week
WHEREAS, school counselors are employed in public and private schools to help students reach their full potential; and
WHEREAS, school counselors are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development; and
WHEREAS, school counselors help parents focus on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children; and
WHEREAS, school counselors work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves; and
WHEREAS, school counselors seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs and help students become productive members of society; and
WHEREAS, comprehensive developmental school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process that enables all students to achieve success in school;
Therefore, Dillon County, does hereby proclaim February1-5, 2021, as National School Counseling Week.

Rebekah Grice Baker began her career in education at Gordon Elementary School in 1988. After 10 years as a 4th grade classroom teacher attended Winthrop University to receive her Master of Education degree for School Guidance Counseling. This will be Mrs. Baker‘s 33rd year in education. She is married to Levern Baker and they have four boys and two grandchildren. Mrs. Baker believes “A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge; But a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help”.

Melanie Blanchard is the new school counselor at Latta High School. Before becoming a school counselor, Melanie taught history for thirteen years in Latta, SC.
She currently teaches Theory of Knowledge while also serving students as a school counselor.
Melanie earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree from Winthrop University.
She is currently enrolled at Liberty University.
Melanie lives in Sellers, SC with her husband and two children.
Melanie often says, “It is never a dull moment, and I am truly blessed.”

Jenise Bracey received her School Counseling degree from Winthrop University. She has been a school counselor for 14 years in Dillon District 4. She lives in Dillon with her husband, Kent Bracey and their two boys, Ron and Reese Bracey.

Carolyn Crawford currently works as a School Counselor at Dillon County Technology Center. She has been a School Counselor for 16 years. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from Limestone College, Master of Education in School Guidance and Counseling from Cambridge College, and her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College. Carolyn’s greatest joy of being a School Counselor is knowing she is building strong relationships students and showing them important life lessons that will help them succeed beyond the four walls of the school building.

Jane Crawford has been working in Dillon School District Four for 24 years. She has been a school counselor at J. V. Martin/Dillon Middle School for 14 years. Ms. Crawford’s mission as a school counselor is to help students engage, focus, evoke positive change and plan for their future.

Kimberley Garris is a certified professional school counselor who serves as the school counselor of Lake View High School. She earned her M.Ed. in K-12 School Counseling from Lamar University in 2014. Her education and training are based on the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Model and the Strengths-Based School Counseling framework. Along with her master’s degree, Kimberley also has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Francis Marion University. Before becoming Lake View’s school counselor, she was a fifth-grade math teacher for ten years. Growing up in Lake View and being a Lake View High School graduate herself, Kimberley has a special affinity to the community and the students of Lake View. She strives to help students overcome various obstacles and encourages them to become self-reliant, productive members of society.

Jasmine Hamilton is the School Counselor at Stewart Heights and South Elementary School. She has four years teaching experience, which have taken place at East Elementary School. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Francis Marion University in December 2016. She earned her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Walden University in August 2020. Miss Hamilton states, “I am so blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives each day.” Miss Hamilton has one daughter, Peyton. She is the daughter of James and Barbara Hamilton of Lake View, SC. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Larece Hunt is the school counselor at Lake View Elementary School for seven years. He previously worked in North Carolina for 39 years, J. V. Martin Jr. High for five years and at Dillon High School for one year. This is Mr. Hunt’s 52nd year in education. He is married to Audrey Hunt and they have a blended family of six children and a grandson. The hope of making a difference in a students’ lives, to see them grow and become productive citizens. Many of our students lacks the experience and exposure to different types of cultures and environments. Mr. Hunt sees his role as to bring about situations that would enlighten their exposure. It is all about the students.

Dr. Harriet Jackson has been employed with the Dillon District Four as a school counselor for 10 years. Dr. Jackson is a lifelong educator who has worked as a teacher, counselor, and elementary, middle and high school principal. After retiring from she always wanted to return to one of her first loves, of being a high school guidance counselor. She is thankful to District Four for allowing her the opportunity to serve the students and families at Dillon High School. Dr. Jackson’s greatest joy is seeing seniors graduate each year and going on to college to pursue their goals while receiving millions of dollars in scholarships. Kudos to our wildcats!

Kimberly Jackson has been an employee of Dillon School District Four for 19 years. She had various jobs in the district from 2002 – 2010. Kim has been a School Counselor for 10 years, at Gordon Elementary during 2011-2012 and at Dillon High School since 2012. She enjoys working with children. She started out with two- and three-year old’s, however working with the high school students is just as rewarding. Mrs. Jackson, or Ms. Kim as her students call her, loves when the student’s hard work and dedication pays off. When they have reached their goal of either, college, military, or the workforce. She has been married to Jasper Jackson Jr. for 36 years and together, they have 7 children, 14 grandchildren with a new addition due in May, and 8 great-grandchildren.

Virginia Foreman Melton has been the School Counselor for the past five years at Latta Middle School. Prior to becoming a school counselor, Virginia taught 5th grade ELA and Social Studies at Latta’s Elementary and Middle School. She is a graduate of Francis Marion University and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition to school counseling, Virginia also serves as a FCA co-leader, and Latta High School Head Varsity Softball Coach. Virginia currently lives in Wallace, SC with her husband, Curtis, and two ‘fur babies’ Creighton and Chloe.

Dr. Miranda E. Page has been a School Counselor in Dillon School District Four since 1996. She has been at East Elementary School for 16 years and previously worked at South Elementary and Stewart Heights Elementary as a School Counselor for 8 years. This is Dr. Page’s 32nd year in the field of education. She feels there is no greater excitement or reward in the world than the feeling of knowing that she has touched the life of at least one child every day. Knowing that she can and do make a difference is the ultimate reward. Dr. Page received her Bachelor of Science Degree and Master’s Degree from South Carolina State University. She received her Education Specialist Degree and Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University. Dr. Page is married to Cedric Page and they have two adult children, Cequordric and Laterrin.

Chris Ray has been a school counselor at Dillon High School since 2015. He previously taught math at JV Martin/Dillon Middle School from 2009-2015. He has been a Football Coach since 2011. Chris loves working for the young people of Dillon. He enjoys helping students realize that their dreams are attainable is the best part of his job. Mr. Ray wants them to make an impact on the world by implementing a strong work ethic, paying close attention to detail, and representing themselves as high character people.

Leigh Darby Sloan is the school counselor at Latta Elementary and the Latta Schools’ District Career Coordinator. She has returned to her love of counseling after serving as an assistant principal for instruction and principal at Latta High School.
Mrs. Sloan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Master’s Degree in Secondary Counseling, and Educational Specialist Degree in Elementary Counseling, all from the University of South Carolina. She received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University, as well. Mrs. Sloan is pleased to again serve as a counselor as she feels the counseling program is at the heart of the school system and exists to create a well-rounded program to support student learning.