Important info from your School Counselors

Career Exploration Lessons

It is so important to encourage your child to consider his/her interests and how those interest may turn into a career choice one day. It is my goal to help children explore their options and consider the importance of school in order to achieve their career aspirations one day. Here are a few pictures of students enjoying career centers during guidance.

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Questions to ask your child:

  • What are your interests/hobbies? Help your child relate those interests to possible careers.
  • Do you know what my career is? If your child doesn’t know what you do for a living, take the time to explain it to them.
  • What would you like to be when you grow up?
  • What is your career right now? We have talked about how school is their career now, and they must learn to read, write, and do math in order to have the career they want one day.

Helena Elementary School: New Peer Helper Program

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Helena High School students will be meeting with Helena Elementary and Helena Intermediate School students monthly to participate in a new peer helper program. High school students will serve as role models and mentors for students at both schools. Both the high school students and elementary students will learn leadership skills throughout the program through fun and engaging activities.

Helena Huskies Help Abandoned Puppies!



Yesterday, January 26th, Sarah Verser came to HES to cover the below story! It should air on Fox 6 news soon!

About a month ago, four puppies were abandoned at my mother’s house. After discussing the situation with my HES colleagues, I was encouraged to reach out to the local non-profit animal rescue -Two by Two Animal Rescue of Helena, Al.

Sonya King, the founder of Two by Two, was more than willing to help and immediately started her search for the perfect foster home for all four puppies! Students and HES parents caught wind of the situation and wanted to help too. Principal, Mary Cooper, allowed students to have a Helping Animals Helena Hat Day to help raise money for the puppies’ fostering fees.

All in all, HES families and faculty members raised $500.00, enough to cover medical care and fostering needs for all four puppies and $100 extra to help another animal!

I took the puppies to their foster home Sunday, January 11th. The four puppies are going to stay together with their foster mom until adopted. The lady who is fostering them, Anna Heflin, explained that the puppies would all get micro chipped, spayed/neutered, and receive their vaccinations before going on the website for adoption.  So the puppies and all animals fostered by Two by Two Animal Rescue are WELL taken care of!

Please consider donating to or adopting from Two by Two Animal Rescue. To learn more, visit their website:

Happy New Year- learning about goals


This month I’ll be working with students on learning how to set goals. I’ll be reading a story about planning ahead from Sean Covey’s The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. The story in this book (Goob and the Bug Collecting Kit) teaches the importance of goal setting and other important life skills. Encourage your child to plan ahead and set goals. Explain to your child that you can only reach your goals(s) with practice and persistence.


Age appropriate examples:

-Lay out your clothes the night before

– Learn to tie your shoes

-Learn to count to 100

Community Coffee Talk Update

Community Coffee Talk Update: Shelby County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks spoke with parents from Helena Elementary and Helena Intermediate schools this morning about instilling leadership qualities in children. He shared timeless, real world stories about how life lessons can be used to develop leaders among our youth. “Leadership is about serving, encouraging, inspiring and doing more,” he said.

Free Parent Workshop @ HES Dec. 10-Instilling Leadership Qualities in Children

Presenter: Dr. Lewis Brooks- Assistant Superintendant of Shelby County Schools

Location: Helena Elementary School Cafeteria Please sign in at the office and pick up a visitor’s sticker. Please be prepared to show a photo ID when you sign in.

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 (Held on the second Wednesday this month, due to the timing with our break)

Time: 8:30 – 9:30 AM Please do not enter the cafeteria before 8 AM, due to breakfast. Please feel free to leave prior to the end of the meeting, if necessary. 

Parent Workshop- Wed., Nov. 5th 8:30-9:30

Dear HES Parents,

Please join us for our second parenting workshop Wednesday, November 5, 2014.  Our guest speaker will be Vicky Joiner, Assistant Director of the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center. Vicky will be facilitating a parenting workshop on “Getting your Power Back and Two Magic Words Every Parent Needs to Know”. Her presentation will take place in the HES cafeteria from 8:30-9:30.


Vicky Joiner:

A graduate of the University of Eastern Kentucky, Vicky received her educational training in the fields of early childhood development and child psychology. Vicky Joiner spent the first part of her career in the field of early childhood development, teaching at and directing a 3K-5K program.

Currently, Vicky is the assistant director at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center. She has worked with teenagers at the detention center for the past 17 years. In addition, Vicky facilitates parent education classes for the Shelby County Court system. These classes are designed to present parenting skills and techniques in a clear and simple manner. Much of the class time is spent in group discussion and reinforcing the positive methods of parenting, while reviewing many commonly used methods that have not been successful for the family or well being of the child. Vicky’s goal in facilitating her parenting classes is to help parents feel confident and empowered to raise happy, healthy children.

First Parent Workshop- Huge Success

Helena Elementary and Helena Intermediate School’s first parenting workshop was a big success! Close to fifty HES and HIS parents attended Paul Johnson’s workshop  Parenting your Child’s Design: Improving Communication with your Child.  Paul, a Helena resident,  is a nationally certified licensed marriage and family counselor. Paul works in private practice counseling at LifePractical Counseling (  The feedback from parents who attended the workshop has been very positive. This is just the first of many parenting workshops Helena Elementary and Helena Intermediate School will host. This semester, workshops will be hosted at Helena Elementary School the first Wednesday of each month. Look for more information regarding our upcoming November workshop soon.




Paul Johnson ( presenter) and Claudia Baneulos (Spanish Interpreter)

Self-Control is Important!

The last two weeks in guidance were all about self-control. You may have seen a picture of a traffic light I gave your child during his/her guidance lesson. I taught students to use the visual as a strategy for self control. Here is the basic concept-

Red Light-Stop

Yellow Light-Slow Down and Think (Could someone get hurt? Could I get in trouble?)

Green-Go. After you think through your consequences, you are good to go!

We also played a game called “Don’t Pop the Bubble”. It’s a pretty simple game you can play at home, which teaches children to manage their impulsivity. Blow some bubbles and encourage your child to not pop the bubbles by using self-control. Then reward your child with a round of “Pop the Bubble”, if he/she demonstrated self-control.

You can also play dance/freeze at home to help children learn self-control. Play music and then stop it. When the music stops, your child must freeze until the music starts again. Have fun playing these games at home! 🙂

Thomas Washer receives Character in Action Award

Thomas Washer received the Character in Action Award for Helena Elementary School today. Read more by visiting the following website:

Character in Action Award winners, front row from left, Alex Tilton, Erin Atkinson, Thomas Washer and Libbey Dudley join Shelby County Drug Free Coalition members during a Sept. 18 meeting. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Character in Action Award winners, front row from left, Alex Tilton, Erin Atkinson, Thomas Washer and Libbey Dudley join Shelby County Drug Free Coalition members during a Sept. 18 meeting. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)