Counselor Corner

The Guidance and Counseling Program at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School is designed to meet the developmental needs of high school students. Realizing the unique giftedness of each student, the school’s qualified counselors dedicate their time and expertise to help students reach their potential. With sensitivity to the changing needs of adolescents, innovative services are carefully investigated and implemented when appropriate. Available services are organized by class level and include academic, student/teacher relationships, personal, family and college advising.

Important Dates for Seniors

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Laura O'Hara

Laura O'Hara

Freshman Counselor

Megan Schafer

Megan Schafer

Sophomore Counselor

Rebecca Damron-Whitehead

Rebecca Damron-Whitehead

Junior Counselor

Sandy Nedbalek

Sandy Nedbalek

Senior Counselor

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Contact the Counseling Department

What’s Happening This Month

Welcome back students and families! We have spent a lot of time with students at the beginning of the year reviewing and making changes to course schedules. Now that you have settled into your classes and have adjusted to your busy schedule, remember that we are here for anything you want to accomplish here at Bishop McGuinness and beyond! We have begun meeting with students and parents to discuss future course selections, college plans, scholarships, and opportunities for academic and personal enrichment. We know that planning for your future can be a daunting task, so we are here to walk you through the process of planning for the future while also helping you navigate your current needs as a member of the Bishop McGuinness community. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your grade level counselor to ensure you are on the path that is the best fit for your personal and academic success!

Study Hall

The guidance department will offer study hall sessions after the first six week grading period. Students who need a structured hour each day to focus on school work are encouraged to attend these sessions. Study hall will take place Monday thru Thursday of each week, 3:00 – 4:00pm. Students will need to check in with their grade level counselor before each session and will then be directed to the designated session location. Room location may vary based on number of students in attendance.

Strategies for Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is the experience of extreme distress that some students have in testing situations. This goes beyond the expected stress that comes with test taking and in some cases can impair performance. Below we have gathered a few tips to help in dealing with test anxiety. Please visit your counselor for more information and further guidance in applying these techniques.

Test Prep is Key

  • Start preparing weeks instead of days in advance. This prevents the worry that can come with “cramming” for a big test.
  • Plan your study so that you still have time for enjoyable activities including socializing, physical activity, etc. These serve as great outlets for managing stress and anxiety.
  • Pace yourself and aim for quality over quantity with your study time. Shorter periods of study with regular breaks allows for better focus and retention.
  • Determine how you learn best. Do you understand and retain information more easily from visual or auditory materials? Incorporate your preference into your study routine.
  • Communicate with teachers-they can offer valuable insight to enhance your understanding of the material.

Coping with Anxiety

  • Breathing, whether it’s taking a few deep breaths or using a breathing technique, this can be done before and during tests to ease symptoms of anxiety.
  • Again, don’t cram! Spend some time before the test listening to music, talking with a friend or reading a book. This offers the opportunity to clear your mind and relax.
  • Be aware of negative thoughts. Turn “I always do poorly on tests” into “I have a better study plan for this test and have worked hard to prepare.”
  • Find time to eat, sleep and participate in any physical activity you enjoy. Meeting these needs will help your body and mind to function at their best.
  • Consider starting a consistent mindfulness practice. Regular meditation, yoga and grounding techniques help to lessen symptoms of anxiety over time and can be used during moments of intense stress or anxiety to cope.