St. Joseph Catholic School

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The Team Approach to Educating the Whole Child

Welcome to the 2023 -24 school year!  We look forward to a productive, successful year for students, teachers, and parents!
My background and credentials:
  • 46 years as an educator - 23 years as a language arts teacher, the majority in middle school but also 5th grade and high school; 25 years as a school counselor
  • BA in Linguistics; MA in counseling
  • IllinoisType 09(middle-secondary teaching) and 73(support personnel) educator's licenses
  • NCC - National Certified Counselor as conferred by the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Certified Trauma and Loss School Specialist as conferred by the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children
  • Active member of the American School Counselor Association and the Illinois School Counselor Association
School counselor's role and program:
I'd like to take this opportunity to elaborate on my role as the school counselor here at St. Joseph Catholic School. I hope this can serve as a reminder for returning families and provide information for new ones.
A school counselor’s job is to provide service to all students, incorporating both prevention of problems when possible and intervention when necessary. I am prepared to help students, staff, and parents address the social, emotional, and academic issues that can arise during the school year. I have a Master’s degree in counseling with all the appropriate credentials and certificates to allow me to practice as a school counselor.
In order to effectively provide counseling services, it is important for me to develop something of a relationship with every student in our school. It is good for me to know them and how they operate in the context of their classrooms, and, more importantly, it is vital that they know me as well. That way, should we have to conduct more individual business, I am a known quantity. Thus, I visit every classroom in the building, kindergarten through eighth grade, every month to teach a group guidance lesson. The topics vary by grade level and the issues that arise in each room. I have found this to be a most enjoyable part of my job and hope the students think so too.
I also work with some students in groups, the nature of which is dictated by need. For example, we have a Peer Helpers group for older students and Friendship Circle, a social skills group for first graders.  In addition, I often work with individual students to help them with problem solving, develop coping skills, or address academic issues. Sometimes students themselves seek me out, in other cases teachers, or parents may request that I meet with a student. The duration of our professional relationship varies, sometimes a session or two, sometimes more on-going.
Finally, I serve as a consultant to teachers and parents regarding the academic, social, and emotional lives of students. We work as a team, with the student, to develop strategies we hope will increase success in targeted areas. Frequently, if a student and/or family is working with an outside agency or therapist, I serve as the liaison between the school and the therapist. We collaborate to foster the child’s greatest possible growth and development. Should you wish to contact me regarding your child, my confidential voice mail is available at the school number, extension 324 or via email at [email protected]
Nancy Hanrahan
School Counselor