An inside look into the Counseling Department


Ashu Ebot-Tabi

Magnet counselor Dr. Linda Shealy continues to assist students in selecting and registering for next year’s elective classes.

Ashu Ebot-Tabi, Reporter

While the majority of the school seems overwhelmed by the new year and all it brings, for the Counseling Department, changes to the NC Counseling Department seem rather meager. The environment of the office, for example, appears no less cheerful than last year or even last semester.

“We get along great. We have a lot of fun people here,” Magnet counselor Dr. Shealy said.

In addition to the interpersonal relationships at the office, the adversities that the problems students need counseling for seem to remain the same, mostly circulating around stress, anxiety, and boyfriend and girlfriend issues.

“I thinks it’s just pressure, especially for Magnet students, who suffer a lot of pressure to have a perfect resume and get into a school. Expectations are one thing, but some of it is normal teenage development,” Magnet counselor Brie Perozzi said.

So while much of the status quo remains unchanged, the transition into the new year did change the Department; their ability to better shape the future of students, for example, saw an increase this year.

“We’re doing more dual enrollment and also planning for the College and Career Fair,” fellow counselor Nicole Blalock said.

In addition to more student aid this year, a hectic workload also shaped the ways the Counseling Department operates.

“It’s busy. We don’t have a lot of flexibility to see students in the first ten days of the year,” Mrs Perozzi said.

However, counselors actually do see students, just not necessarily North Cobb students.

“This semester is always very busy for me because I spend the day at each of our feeder schools so I can do a presentation and help them register for electives at NCHS. Each school also comes for a half day tour of NCHS,” Mrs. Blalock said.

During the times when counselors can see students, the students seem just as stressed, if not more so, than the counselors.

“Every year, the 9th graders get overwhelmed or just need to talk about what’s going on in their lives. I am seeing more students that are very anxious and nervous about the school workload or family or friend issues. Those number of students keeps rising every year,” freshman counselor Michelle Perlin said.

Beyond reflection on years past, the Department also plans on focusing on the future students of NC, making their transition from middle to high school as smooth as possible.

“This year, we are having a 9th grade Parents Night so parents understand [high school] credits and graduation requirements. Mr. Moody and I decided to combine the rising 9th grade Parent Night with an elective night. I’m hoping this will result in less students asking for an elective change once school begins next year,” Mrs. Perlin said.

Current students of NC need not worry, though, considering the work currently underway to aid in their success.

“We’ve increased availability for students in the Future Shop, like for Financial Aid. We’re also providing YouScience for sophomores,” Mrs. Blalock said.

But the Counseling Department plans to do more than just focus on the workload this year; they also plan on reflecting on previous decisions, most predominantly why they chose to pursue a counseling career in the first place.

“[I like] to talk with students and help them grow from freshman to graduation,” Dr. Shealy said.

This same sentiment applies to Ms. Damico, the newest addition to the Counseling Department.

“I became a counselor to help people and support others. I’ve always enjoyed supporting children and other individuals,” Mrs. Damico said.