Spotlight on Jupiter High’s counselors

Jupiter High School’s counselors offer it all, from mental health consultation to career planning to scheduling advice. School counselors dedicate their services to helping students make the best academic and personal decisions. 

JHS counselors are best known for college guidance. They provide information on college events, goal-setting and career-planning. Cindy Ferrara, a JHS counselor for students whose last names fall within the Dib-Go range, has noticed a high demand for college guidance this school year. 

“I have to evaluate where [the student is] in terms of their rigor, their GPA, their test scores and the type of courses that they’ve taken because most colleges do a holistic review,” Ferrara said.

Asking for college guidance is important for students, as it allows school counselors to tell students which classes are best to take for their preferred college while sticking to their skill zone. 

“I push more than anything else to pick what is right for you,” Bruce Wasserman, a JHS counselor for students with last names in the A-Br range, said. ”[I help] support and try to get [students] to know themselves because not everybody is meant to take five AP classes.”

School counselors can also schedule classes outside of school, like dual enrollment courses at local community colleges. Ferrara believes dual enrollment is a great opportunity for students.

“The Palm Beach County School District actually pays for students to take courses at Palm Beach State, so you’re really earning college credit for free,” Ferrara said.

Another educational program school counselors can help students arrange is Florida Virtual School.

“We also have to go onto the portal on FLVS, and we download all the grades,” Ferrara said.

Counselors also take care of new students and their schedules. They work to make sure students are taking the courses they need to be successful in high school.

“We find that there’s a huge influx like in January [of new students],” Ferrara said.

Counselors not only provide academic support but also mental support. Meghan Thornton is a counselor for students with the last names in the Kir-Me range, and she explained she wants to be accessible for any student to talk to about any topic that is troubling them.

“I would say the most difficult part of the job is seeing students upset or when difficult things come about,” Thornton said. “It’s heartbreaking to see at times but it’s also rewarding knowing that you can provide assistance to them.”

Building relationships with school counselors can also be beneficial for letters of recommendation.

“When students become seniors, if I know them really well, I can provide a letter of recommendation that really is personable,” Thornton said.

In the midst of a pandemic, it’s important for students to open up to their counselor.

“The more [students] share with us, the easier it is for us to help them and find them resources and to guide them and to offer them services,” Heather Woeber, the counselor for students with the last names in the Mi-Rei range, said.

When students struggle mentally, they can always go to their school counselor for help.

“Obviously this year has been extremely difficult and we recognize that, so we just want [students] to know we’re here to support you anyway we can,” Thornton said.

To figure out your JHS school counselor, click the link for more information.