Position Summary: Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) in San Antonio, TX, a coeducational college preparatory school of nearly 800 Pre-K (3-years old) through grade 12 students, seeks an Upper School Counselor who has initiative, creativity, and ability to be a self-starter and to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. The Upper School Counselor will be committed to the whole student with a deep focus on connection and belonging among the student body. The Upper School Counselor will be responsible for providing social and emotional support, crisis intervention, consultation, mental health outreach and educational services to enhance the psychological and emotional wellness of Saint Mary’s Hall Upper School students. This position will provide culturally affirming support and ensure sensitivity to individuals from all backgrounds. With new leadership ushering in a dynamic, ambitious, and innovative new era, SMH aims to educate the whole person with a rich, rigorous, liberal arts curriculum; passionate, expert faculty, extensive fine arts; and a competitive athletic program.
Essential Job Duties
Counseling and Life Skills Support
Provide social and emotional support for self-referred and school-referred students using evidence-based methodologies.
Provide crisis counseling to students, as necessary.
Coach individual or groups of students on ways to effectively manage life stress.
Refer students to specialized care as necessary and appropriate.
Coordinate and consult with outside professionals to support students (e.g. tutors, physical therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, chaplains, etc.)
Maintain and update referral list of health professionals and community resources.
Serve on the Saint Mary’s Hall wellness team, the Upper School Pastoral Action and Care Team (PACT), and consult with team members regarding individual students.
Consult with and provide support to faculty, staff, and parents regarding individual students.
Provide culturally affirming counseling to historically marginalized groups including students of color, LGBTQ+ and gender expansive populations, and students of all abilities.
Ensure that, consultative, and educational practices are sensitive to the needs and experiences of the SMH community, including socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin.
Assist students in learning and demonstrating appropriate school behavior and in developing self-understanding and social skills including but not limited to problem solving, coping skills, and social skills through individual and group guidance and counseling activities.
Initiate communication with all Form 9-12 teachers four times per quarter to elicit student concerns and develop action plans with PACT team.
Provide guidance and transition information to parents and students, as students move forward from one division to the next particularly from Middle School to Upper School
Collaborate with Division Heads regarding students’ classes, programming, and parent education.
Prepare and implement parent education programs.
Meet individually and weekly with students on academic probation to provide academic support and communicate with their teachers and families regularly.
Coordinate and attend student/teacher/parent consultations regarding academic and/or personal needs.
Serve as primary student wellness coordinator within the upper school.
Present at upper school parent events regarding student wellness.
Meet with new SMH students to assess progress and needs.
Coordinate Form 12 specific programming to help prepare students for college.
Meet with advisory groups throughout the year.
Coordinate upper school advisory program.
Complete proctoring duties for make-up tests.
Consult with health and wellness teacher regarding health and wellness classes.
Teach upper school health and wellness classes as determined by the Head of School. .
Monitor nurse sign outs and visits.
Assist with lockdown and fire drills.
Maintain clear, accurate, and timely documentation.
Maintain records on all counseling/support encounters.
Engage in mandating reporting.
Degree of Independent Action Performed
Each member of the Saint Mary’s Hall wellness team works with a high level of independence and autonomy and exercise a high degree of initiative and judgment in decisions affecting students, staff, and department operations.
Counselors are expected to assist in resolving problems or address issues that require immediate attention, but we always expect collaboration and consultation, especially in issues of safety and reporting obligations.
Internal and External Contacts
Frequent contact with students, other divisional counselors, administrators, faculty, and staff.
External contacts may include parents, outside organizations, local clinicians, visitors, and alumni.
Master’s or graduate degree in school counseling, social work, or a related field required.
Texas counselor certification through the State Board for Education Certification preferred
Five or more years of full-time, post-licensure school or experience working with an adolescent and/or young adult population.
Experience working with diverse groups of people with understanding that racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual identities interact with one’s beliefs and behavior.
Five years’ experience in counseling a diverse population with a strong knowledge and understanding of normal child development, mental health disorders and learning disabilities.
Experience with Wellness and Life Skills Education curriculum and an understanding of a wide variety of intervention skills, methods and strategies to meet individual student needs
Experience and skill responding to suspected child abuse and/or neglect and alleged assault.
Experience and skill working collaboratively to develop, facilitate, and coordinate prevention programs for adolescents.
Experience and skill working collaboratively to develop, facilitate, and coordinate professional development and training programs for faculty and staff in secondary education.
Must possess a record of service that demonstrates concern for the safety and well-being of others.
Experience teaching in a classroom environment is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Outstanding counseling skills, including the use of evidence-based practices for supporting students with mental health difficulties.
Ability to work independently, handle multiple tasks, and meet deadlines while simultaneously maintaining accurate records and consulting with colleagues as appropriate.
Working knowledge of American School Counseling Association and LPC Board standards of practice preferred
Adherence to legal and ethical best practices, as articulated by Texas State Law, and those designated by one’s professional organization such as the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers. This includes the ability to maintain confidentiality and respect for clients’ privacy.
Respect for diversity of identities and experiences, an orientation toward equity and inclusion, and cultural competency in all aspects of school life.
Demonstrated ability to work with adolescents to build trust and credibility.
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and maintain collegial relationships and work under stress.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Ability to write concise, logical, and analytical reports to convey complex issues.
Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
Strong presentation skills and presence in front of small and large audiences.
Strong communication skills – works with empathy, compassion, and professionalism.
High degree of organizational skills with the ability to be flexible as needed.
Ability to follow verbal and written directions, maintain a professional demeanor, and receptivity to constructive feedback.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Willingness and ability to learn additional software applications as needed.
Physical Requirements and Work Environment
Work in a fast-paced environment dealing with a wide variety of challenges, deadlines, and a varied and diverse array of contacts.
May work at a desk and computer for extended periods.
Must be able to talk, hear, and visually interact with students, parents, coworkers.
Must be able to stoop, squat, bend, and reach.
Must be able to sit and stand for extended periods.
Be able to lift up to 25 lbs.
Work primarily in a traditional climate controlled classroom environment.
Work intermittently in outside weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.
This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.
Interested candidates should submit electronically a cover letter expressing the reasons for their interest in the position, a current résumé, and a copy of any relevant college transcripts (or other complete listing of college coursework undertaken as a student) to email@example.com.