Students at Jacksboro Middle School will once again have a guidance counselor. Counselor Shirley Peel has been off work since March due to an on-the-job injury.
“I think she was getting ready to sit down at her desk and her seat kind of slipped back and she fell in the floor, hurt her arm,” said Campbell County Director of Schools, Donnie Poston.
There has not been a guidance counselor present at the school since Peel was injured, according to Principal Steve Rutherford.
“We really are missing that person, because we got kids who need some help,” Rutherford said.
While Camelot, a mental health counseling service, has been in to meet with some of the students, a guidance counselor for day-to-day issues hasn’t been available.
“There’s some situations that none of us have the proper training to deal with,” Rutherford said.
Martha Wells, a retired Campbell County educator, will step in to fill Peel’s position until she’s able to return to work. Wells has a Pre K – 12 counseling license.
Counselors are “so needed,” Poston said.
In schools, a guidance counselor deals with everything from class scheduling to emotion and personal issues.
“A lot of times kids will open up to a counselor when they won’t talk to a friend or teacher,” Poston said.
Wells is eligible to work for 100 days on a temporary basis. She’ll have the ability to be present in the school each day from now until the end of this academic year, if she chooses.