Whitaker Elementary

Counseling

Mrs.Utley

Dear Whitaker Families,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! This is my third year as Whitaker counselor, and I am excited to continue to get to know you, your child, and connect with our community. I have 12 years of experience supporting and advocating for young people in a variety of settings, from foster care and juvenile court to a behavioral school and other public schools in Ohio. As a proud graduate of Finneytown High School & former student at Whitaker, I fully support the positive development of this small, diverse and service-oriented community.

My primary goal is to help ensure that your child feels welcome, safe, and excited about school so that they can be engaged in the classroom and with their peers. I greet students at the front door every morning, have an open door policy and am visible throughout the building during the school day. I have a locked mailbox outside my office so that students can leave me a message if an issue arises, like bullying. I work to connect peer leaders with students who may need some extra support to help build comfort & security. Once children have a sense of belonging to school, we can focus on life skills: social skills, self-regulation skills, coping skills and basic organizational skills, etc. to handle everyday situations, like how to make and keep friends, how to manage anger or worries in a healthy way, and how to prioritize assignments or study for a test. School counselors work on these skills in a variety of ways- Individual counseling, small group/lunch bunches, classroom guidance lessons, crisis intervention, mediation sessions, and through collaboration with our community partners. We reward and praise positive, respectful & responsible behavior (The Whitaker Way!) through fake money that students may use to buy items from our school store. 

I believe that parents/caregivers know their child best and that their involvement is necessary to help children be successful in school and life. I encourage you to communicate with me, teachers and admin on an ongoing basis so that we can collaborate and be consistent in teaching academic and social/emotional skills. Also, there are numerous opportunities throughout the year for parent involvement in school events and activities. We understand families are incredibly busy- volunteering at just one event would make a big difference! Ask about our Parent & Community Engagement Committee for more information. Please do not hesitate to email: butley@finneytown.org, call: (513) 728-3737, or stop by: Main Office during my scheduled office hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-3:30pm) to connect.

Sincerely,

Britany Utley