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Counselor's Corner
  • Counselor's Corner
Elise Banks, School Counselor

Spring 2020 Speaker Recaps!

Over the last 10 days, St. Mark’s has been blessed to have three incredible speakers meet with our students, our faculty, and families.  Our speaker tour started with Dr. Diego Estrada, who spent time with our middle school parents and students talking about emotional intelligence. As more research proves EQ (emotional intelligence) is as important, if not more important, than your IQ, we are thankful Dr. Estrada was able to provide more insight into helping our students understand and acknowledge their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Dr. Estrada was gracious in providing two resources that will help parents and families:

Book Resources:

  • Permission to Feel by Marc Bracket
  • Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers 3rd ed. Michael Riera, PhD

Website Resource:

Therapist Patricia Hamilton came to speak to Lower School families about the importance of building agency in our young ones, the benefits for children that come with living in a household with unconditional acceptance, and the effects of oversubscribed parents on their oversubscribed children. Pat left us with wonderful reminders that although we want our kids to have experiences and be well-rounded, there is also importance in rest. She also spoke to how although it can be easier for parents to step in and help their child, fostering independence within a child will help with ownership and higher self-confidence.

Finally, therapist Erin Whitney returned to St. Mark’s to speak to our Lower School faculty. After speaking at a parent education event last school year, Bobbye Hicks and I thought her expertise on the Nurtured Heart approach would be a great addition to our teachers’ toolboxes. Erin came in August to help our teachers have a strong start to the school year with techniques in how to build stronger connections with students. She returned this week to do the second part of the Nurtured Heart approach. We are grateful to Erin for helping us foster new ideas to keep students engaged, connected, and thriving towards success!

Both Pat and Erin are incredible resources for parenting and have both extended their guidance and support to St. Mark’s families at their office located at The Conative Group.

Although it is only February, I am already working on the 2020-2021 school year. Student, faculty, and parent education is one of my top priorities as I think about what resources to bring on campus. If you have a topic of interest or speaker you feel would serve our students, faculty, or parents, please feel free to reach out to me. I am so excited to continue my partnership with the Parent Guild to provide incredible resources to St. Mark’s.

God Bless,

Elise N. Banks, M.S., LPC
School Counselor


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