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National School Counseling Week celebrated
Alana Blessing
Alana Blessing

National School Counseling Week 2021, “School Counselors: All in for All Students,” sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be celebrated Feb. 1–5 to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. 

“This year’s theme really captures the positive and inclusive attitude our school counselors and family support workers exhibit in their support of students,” said John Popp, assistant superintendent for Great Bedn USD 428. “Each day they strive to serve the ‘whole child’ with a mix of social/emotional support, collaboration, and community connections.”

In Great Bend Public Schools, the continuum of support begins in the Pre-K or elementary setting with a Family Support Worker at each elementary building and continues at the middle school and high school with School Counselors. As a student moves through their educational career, family support workers and school counselors are present to support the student’s social/emotional and academic.

“They are champions, advocates, and trusted advisors in our buildings,” said Popp. “They often work in partnership with parents and also serve as a community connector for mental health services, medical services, and basic needs like food, shelter, and transportation.” 

Popp explained that each day presents new challenges and new opportunities for these professionals as they focus on positive ways to support students and families. A closer look at each building and the various programs and supports provided illustrates the ability for each school counselors or family support worker to adapt and respond to the changing needs of their students. 

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, postsecondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Jill Cook, ASCA executive director. “School counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

Great Bend students receive the support of five school counselors and five family support workers. As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, USD 428 encourages the community to reach out and offer encouraging words to the counselors who serve Great Bend’s students. Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their local schools. General information can also be found at

USD 428 School Counselors:

• Kathy Davis, Great Bend High School

• Kayla Meadows, Great Bend High School

• Rachel Thexton, Great Bend High School

• Sheryl Neeland, Great Bend Middle School

• Brian Williams, Great Bend Middle School

USD 428 Family Support Workers:

• Kelly McClure, Eisenhower Elementary

• Krystal Woodral, Jefferson Elementary

• Kylee Graves, Lincoln Elementary

• Alan Blessing, Park Elementary

• Michelle Daniel, Riley Elementary

For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit