Counseling Program

Welcome to Gerstell Academy's Counseling Program. Our program is designed to provide every student with a challenging academic course of study and the leadership skills necessary to have a positive impact and compete in an ever-changing world.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Gerstell Academy Counseling Program is to provide a Pre-K - grade 12 developmentally appropriate student service of school guidance; one that is specifically designed to enhance student leadership through academic, social, and emotional development. The role of the school counselor is to assist, guide, and consult with students of the Gerstell Academy community by fostering an atmosphere of positive regard. As an integral part of the total Gerstell Academy experience, counseling objectives will focus on student academic development, including personal Leadership decision-making by improving self-awareness and critical thinking.  Through a nurturing and mentoring environment and a partnership with parents and staff, students will acquire a greater understanding and responsibility of themselves and others, as well as their role in their community in a diverse and ever-changing world.

Vision Statement:  The Gerstell Academy Counseling Program aims to empower all students to reach their full potential as leaders and learners while strengthening their ability to courageously persevere and improving their social-emotional aptitude.  The counseling program will promote student leaders with strong self-awareness who have a greater understanding of their strengths, tendencies, and capabilities.  Each student at Gerstell is seen as a unique individual. The counseling program, in conjunction with our teachers, advisors, and administrators, strives to support students as they work to reach their full potential as leaders, learners, and citizens. 

Motto:  Trust in the Process of Hope and Perseverance

  • Children need and benefit from warmth, consistency, positive regard, safety, and structure.
  • Students need effective social-emotional skills to reach their full potential.  All leaders must first understand themselves as well as understanding others in order to be effective leaders. The study of psychology and human development is the foundation to achieve these goals and allows students to explore and understand who they are and how they develop, as well as gain an understanding of group dynamics.
  • All children are unique and must be treated with respect, with primary focus on Leadership Principle # 3 - treating others as you want to be treated. 
  • All children can achieve a sense of competence in their academic and social endeavors striving to reach their full potential. 
  • It is essential that the school counseling program strives to understand the diverse needs of all students and respect others’ beliefs and viewpoints.  Diversity is to be celebrated and embraced as each student brings with them a unique combination of backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Cultivating positive student self-image and promoting healthy behaviors is the collaborative effort of the school, home, and community, which leads to responsible citizenship. 
  • Gain an understanding of the values and respect in terms of diversity in culture, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, family configurations, socio-economic status, abilities, age, affinities and learning strengths. 
  • Young people can be guided into leadership roles where they can make a positive difference in their community to help provide a nurturing and mentoring environment where leadership development and self-awareness are infused in our counseling program.
  • Students can be aided in the process of thinking critically, becoming self-confident, and finding a healthy balance of mind and body with total wellness in mind while exploring opportunities for spiritual awareness via our study of the five major world religions.
Direct Services Provided On Campus
  • provides short-term individual counseling and group counseling to students.
  • provides proactive classroom lessons regarding relevant topics (i.e. mental health, positive cell phone use, self-awareness, social skills, conflict resolution, bullying, etc.).
  • assists with Leadership Assemblies in presenting pertinent topics to students.
  • provides assistance with parent coffee hours when appropriate.
  • implements conflict mediation and resolution with students.
  • assists with crisis intervention.
  • helps educate staff on child neglect, abuse laws and confidentiality in situations that can occur within and outside of the Gerstell community.
  • informally assesses student behavior and well-being through observation during structured and unstructured times during the school day.
Indirect Services Available Off Campus

  • conducts outside referrals for student support.
  • consults and collaborates with administration, teachers, advisors, families, community organizations and other stakeholders.
  • participates as a member of the educational team (i.e. administration, nurse, academic support specialist, advisors, etc.)
  • assists with activities that fall in-line with the appropriate duties of a school counselor.
  • fosters an understanding of confidentiality between students, parents, staff and community.
2500 Old Westminster Pike
Finksburg, MD 21048-1823