Academics
Student Support

Counselors

To Support and Advocate for Our Students

Our student support network includes the entire community and our counselors are a vital part of our education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, career, and social/emotional development. Our counselors strive to make each student feel known, understood and valued and serve as a resource for students when they need help outside of the classroom.

COUNSELING PHILOSOPHY

Severn School Counselors believe that
  • every child can succeed under the right circumstances;
  • every child has the potential to learn;
  • every child has the right to be recognized for his or her personal strengths;
  • academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being are interrelated.
Furthermore, we believe that an effective counseling program
  • benefits all students, not just those with acute needs; and
  • anticipates concerns and provides interventions ahead of time and responds to concerns as they happen.

COUNSELING MISSION

The mission of the Severn School counseling program reflects the mission of the school. We seek to provide a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate program founded on emotional wellness and healthy choices. This helps to ensure that every child meets his or her full potential as a student, a leader, and a community member. By partnering with students, families, and the school community, Counselors aim to help every student feel known and valued.


COUNSELORS' ROLES

Severn’s Counselors take concrete steps to meet the school’s and department’s philosophy and mission and to deliver a school-wide and cross-divisional counseling program.

Counselors meet with students individually and in small groups for short-term counseling. In addition to helping students manage common stressors, counselors screen students for symptoms consistent with clinical disorders. When necessary, they help parents find appropriate outside mental health providers and serve as the liaison between the school and provider.

Parent education and support is a priority. The counseling department hosts both daytime parent forums and evening events focusing on topics relevant to children and adolescents. These gatherings feature an outside expert on the topic at hand and provide an opportunity for both education and Q&A. Previous topics include anxiety, resilience, talking with your child about sexuality, internet safety, and developing a healthy body image. Parent connections are further strengthened through grade-level coffees which are also attended by the respective division head and dean of students. These gatherings serve as an opportunity to address grade-specific parent questions and concerns.

Counselors consult with teachers and administrators to enhance their work with adolescents. When indicated, counselors act as a conduit between students and faculty to help mediate problems. In times of crisis, the counselors coordinate with the school and community to bring together resources. As the foundation of their work, the counselors are members of and adhere to ASCA and ACA professional and legal standards.

In addition to maintaining school-wide counseling initiatives, the Lower, Middle and Upper School counselors carry out specific roles to meet the unique needs of their respective division and student population.

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School Counselor

    The Lower School counselor teaches the Heartstrings Program which is a social-emotional curriculum designed to strengthen social responsibility by building a foundation of understanding and respect for others. The program celebrates and appreciates people and their perspectives, addresses the social-emotional needs of the individual student, and educates the whole child by furthering important social skills. Focused grade-level activities teach age-appropriate strategies for areas such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, conflict resolution, mindfulness, and bullying prevention. 

    The Lower School counselor also provides individual and group counseling to students as well as parental support, as needs arise among students and families. The counselor regularly consults with learning specialists, teachers, and administrators to ensure the needs of students are being met. Lastly, she co-leads Student Council meetings monthly with student representatives in grades 2-5.

  • Middle School Counselor

    The Middle School counselor teaches extensive Life Skills classes to each grade. The grade-specific curriculum is designed to address the developmental needs of each age group. Held in small groups, these classes ensure that individual students have an opportunity to express their thoughts, questions, and concerns in a personal and safe environment. 

    In addition, the Middle School counselor co teaches academic classes when the content overlaps with her area of expertise. These opportunities serve as a forum for the counselor to develop a strong rapport with each student. Beyond the students, much of the Middle School counselor’s role focuses on supporting parents as they navigate the middle school years.
  • Upper School Counselor

    The Upper School counselor meets with students individually and in small groups for short-term counseling and personal coaching. In addition to helping students manage common stressors, the counselor is a resource in the community to support the adults who work with and care for Upper School students. 

    The Upper School counselor also coordinates the US Advisory and Peer Counseling programs; coordinates school-wide, counseling-based initiatives, such as the annual Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) program; co-teaches grade level seminars and ninth grade Health and Wellness; helps plan the new-student orientation, and teams with teachers and administrators to enhance their work with Upper School students.

Counseling Team

List of 3 members.

  • Mrs. Samantha Straub 

    Upper School Counselor; US Advisory Coordinator; US Health & Wellness; Advisor, US Umbrella Club
    410.647.7701 x2242
    Villanova University - MS
    Swarthmore College - BA
  • Ms. Mary Foard 

    Middle School Counselor
    (410) 647-7700 Ext 2238
    Loyola University of Maryland - MS in Clinical Psychology
    Johns Hopkins University - MA in Teaching
    University of Maryland, College Park - BA in Counseling Psychology
  • Mrs. Karin Mitchell 

    Early/Lower School Counselor and Character Education Coordinator
    (410) 647-7701 x2030
    Loyola College of Maryland - M.A.
    Central Michigan University - B.S.

Parenting Resources

Anxiety in Kids: How to Turn it Around and Protect Them For Life
This article offers a clear and concise explanation for why anxiety happens, what it feels like for kids and teens, and some practical steps for combating it.  A great read for any kid or parent of a kid who deals with anxiety.

Transition to College: articles and parenting websites

Building Competence Through Chores

Kids in the House: parenting resources for children of all ages. Topics are broken down by age & category.  

Sex and Sensibility: the website of author and sexuality educator, Debbie Roffman, who visited Severn’s campus in January 2014 to speak with parents. Offers info on how and when to talk to your children about issues pertaining to sexuality.

Monitoring the Future: Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation.

Lower School

Preschool-Grade 5
Chesapeake Campus
1185 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Arnold, MD 21012

Middle/Upper School

Grade 6-12
Teel Campus
Severna Park, MD 21146