• Hello ! Welcome to the Counselors' Corner!

    Mrs. Polly Birkhead  (A-L) and Mrs. Lisa Williams (M-Z)
    Email Addresses: pbirkhead@wfisd.net and lmwilliams@wfisd.net
    Phone numbers: Birkhead - (940) 235-1118 ext. 42016
                                      Williams - (940) 235-1118 ext. 42013
    Fax number: (940) 235-1119



    Meet your counselors:

    Polly Birkhead:  This is Mrs. Birkhead’s second year at McNiel Middle School.  She came to us from Rider High School, where she was an English teacher for ten years.  She and her husband have two kids who keep them busy.   She enjoys watching her kids participate in their activities, running obstacle races with her husband (ex. T.H.O.R.), reading, and photography.  She is the counselor for students with the last name A-L. 

    Lisa Williams: This is Mrs. William’s first full year at McNiel Middle School.  She has 16 years of teaching experience, and also came to us from Rider High School, where she was a Spanish teacher for 8 years.  She and her husband have three grown children and seven grandchildren.    She enjoys spending time with family, traveling the world, shopping, and having coffee with friends.  She is the counselor for students with the last name M-Z. 

    Parent tip of the month: 
    Happy May!  
    This is a busy month for staff and students as everyone is finishing up the school year.  STARR tests, End Of Course exams, 8th grade Disney trip, field trips, Field Day, banquets, and final performances.   Everyone has worked hard and will enjoy a couple of months to decompress!
    We hope all of you have a safe summer and spend some good quality time together.  No need to venture too far away from home to create wonderful memories.... hanging out at the pool, camping, picnicking, baking, cooking, trips to grandparents, visiting parks, museums, or just playing board games can be lots of fun and mean the world to children!   
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     Announcement:  Incoming 6th grade orientation for 2017-2018 is scheduled for August 15th at McNiel from 6-7:30.  

    Counseling Program Mission Statement: 
    The counselors of McNiel Middle School are committed to creating a comprehensive counseling program that empowers all students to become lifelong learners and to reach their fullest potential through the development of academic, personal, and social skills. 
    Counselor Role and Philosophy:
    The counselor is an advocate for all students in helping them get what they need to succeed in and out of school.  Counseling can happen in a preventative manner or as an intervention.  A preventative manner allows a counselor to address topics that are particular to that age group such as bullying, goal-setting, test-taking tips, college/career planning, developmental stages, healthy routines, etc.  The most important part of  a counselor's role is to empower students.  If a child feels empowered to make positive decisions and believes the future is bright, then many road blocks will be removed that could have been path changers beforehand.  A counselor is not a universal problem solver, but she does play an integral part in helping students become more confident and successful in navigating our ever-changing world.  The counselor is involved in both direct and indirect services that aid the students in being successful. 

    Middle School Counselors

    • Provide transition activities between elementary and middle school and middle and high school.

    • Counsel students in groups and individually, depending upon the nature of the concern.

    • Participate with school staff as members of interdisciplinary teams.

    • Serve as consultants to teachers and parents by providing information which assists in meeting student academic and emotional needs.

    • Implement appropriate classroom lessons which target the academic, career and personal/social development needs of middle school students.

    • Serve as liaisons between the school and community resources.

    • Review educational records and plan appropriate student academic programs.

    • Make appropriate referrals for social services within the school and the community.

    • Disseminate information to parents/guardians via individual conferences, large-group meetings and newsletters.

    • Uphold ASCA national and ethical standards.  Click here for more information on Ethical standards.  Click here for more information on the National Standards. 



    What is a Comprehensive Counseling Program?

    The ultimate goal of a comprehensive school counseling program is student success. The program's design, delivery, and content are dedicated to enhancing the ability of all students to fully utilize the educational opportunities available to them. The PreK-12 program is delivered through direct and indirect services designed to address three domains of student development: academic, personal/social, and career.


    Comprehensive school counseling programs are integral to the school's educational environment and partner with other academic and behavioral initiatives to effect positive changes in student achievement and behavior. Professional school counselors plan the comprehensive school counseling program and facilitate its delivery in collaboration with school administrators, other professional educators, and community members to produce measurable results. In a comprehensive program, the school counselor serves as a leader, advocate, and collaborator working to recognize and remove systemic barriers to student success. Resulting positive changes include increased student achievement, an improved graduation rate, consistent attendance, reduced disciplinary referrals, completed individual learning plans, and increased student participation in the community.
    WFISD follows the Texas Model for a comprehensive, developmental, guidance and counseling program.  Click here for more information.  Guidance lessons at McNiel Middle School focus on goal-setting, bullying, character building, organization, time-management, study skills, and teen safety.