picture of MaKenzie Rupert

MaKenzie Rupert


Working as a School Counselor

I am currently in my second year at Manassas Park Elementary (3rd to 5th grade) in Manassas Park, VA. We are located about 40 minutes from Washington, D.C. My district consists of 68% of students who are low SES and 66% Hispanic we are also a title I school. Unlike other schools in Virginia, we are not a county school and only consist of 4 schools! I love how small our district is. I work primarily with the 4th graders and half of the 5th graders. Luckily, I have a co-counselor and we both have a caseload of about 400 students. I truly love my job since I am able to be active in many different areas within my school. Every day, I am in at least two classrooms teaching classroom guidance (I am in a rotation as a special). Prior to March 13th and being closed for the 2019-2020 school year, I completed 7 small lunch bunch groups on self-control, mindfulness, leadership, and self-esteem. Of course, I love actively working individually with students. I assist in coordinating Nourishing Ninjas (weekend backpack program for 100 students), Cougars 4 Christmas (staff adopting students for Christmas) and various school-wide programs (Olweus Bullying Prevention, The Great Kindness Challenge, and Pawsitive Paws). Of course, there is more that Manassas Park Elementary School's counseling department does! I also continue my love for professional development! I am currently taking more graduate classes at George Mason University to complete coursework to prepare myself for my ESOL certification and continue to work on my Spanish! Up to COVID-19, I had received a scholarship to attend ASCA2020 in Seattle, WA but to stay safe I am (probably) going to postpone attending till 2021. I love that every day I go into my job and it is something new! I love when kiddos come into my office and say "I really haven't needed to talk since I've been solving my problems myself." When they have the light bulb moment and I say "that's my main goal kiddo, is for you not to need me" is what I love about my job. School counseling is not an easy job, but it sure is rewarding! The connections and relationships that you make with students, families, staff make all the difficult times COMPLETELY worth it. I'm so grateful for my Marywood family for evolving me into the professional school counselor I am today.