Introducing Christy Norment, a valued VASC member, School Counselor at Harrisonburg High School, VCA presenter, and all around neat person! Read on to learn more about Christy:
We’d love to hear a little about your journey into Counseling:
I started my career as a social worker in shelters working with homeless children & families. I taught first grade for a few years and even worked as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. As a teacher, I found myself loving the social/emotional learning opportunities, such as my daily morning meeting. I felt like I could spend all day working with the topics that came up there! Therefore, I decided school counseling was for me.
Share a story of one of your most rewarding counseling experiences:
I have been running a group for some of the students in night school here at HHS. I had one student in the group who had been telling everyone that he was planning on dropping out of high school as soon as he turned 18. It turns out that his 18th birthday happened to be on our group meeting day. We were all holding our breaths, wondering if he would be there. I’ll never forget the joy that I felt when I went to gather my group and saw his smiling face in the classroom. He proudly shared with our group how he had decided to get his diploma and we all got to celebrate together. I hope that he got how much his presence meant to us that day!
Besides VASC (smirk), who has been your biggest advocate since entering the field?
I have to say – it felt like the VDOE has pulled through as an advocate this year when they formally announced our title “School Counselor” instead of “Guidance Counselor.” I’ve found that this small symbol has sparked some big conversations in our school about the school counselor’s evolving role.
What do you find to be one of the most challenging issues you face professionally?
TIME! I wish I had more time to meet the needs of my many, many students.
Outside of counseling, what activities/persons/ give you great joy?
I know that it sounds like nothing exciting, but running, cooking, gardening & spending time with my family brings me enough joy & excitement to keep me going forever.
If you could give one piece of advice to new or aspiring school counselors, what would it be?
One.Day.At.A.Time. (Maybe even one minute at a time!) It is a HUGE learning curve the first year!