What does a School Counselor Do?

A school counselor advocates for and supports students. My role is to work with students, teachers, parents, and outside agencies to best meet the individual needs of each student (both academic and social/emotional) so that students can be successful in and out of the classroom.

How might my child experience School Counseling services at AES and MGCS?

Classroom Lessons:

Each class receives 30-35 minutes of weekly guidance lessons. Each year we have a bullying prevention unit as well as a child protection unit. Throughout the year we focus on a variety of social and emotional topics. 

Small Group Counseling:

Throughout the year I facilitate small groups that last between 6-8 weeks. Some topics include friendship, leadership, following directions, self-regulation, anger management, self-esteem, coping skills, etc. These groups are intended to sharpen the skills the students already have. 

Individual Counseling:

A school counselor will work with a student in a safe, positive and confidential environment to address issues that might hinder school achievement. Students could come to a school counselor to discuss emotions, peer pressure, friends, change in family dynamic, stress, social skills, study skills, problem solving and decision making. Each student is different and has their own strengths. When I meet with a student individually, I tailor it to what they need. Some of the strategies and techniques I use during individual school counseling sessions include: Bibliotherapy, Creative Arts Activities, Role Playing, Games, and Sensory Activities.


If you are concerned and would like your student to see the school counselor, please contact me at and we can set up a time to talk about your concerns.

Difference Between School Individual Counseling and Clinical Counseling 

“School counselors mentor and counsel students on a range of issues from schoolwork to social, behavioral, psychological, and emotional problems, such as bullying and low self-esteem. They can also help with class scheduling as well as career and education goals and are trained to administer tests and identify and counsel students with special needs. Additionally, school counselors often work with parents, teachers, and school administration for the betterment of their students. 

In comparison, clinical counselors identify, assess the severity of, and treat a person’s symptoms and specific needs whether emotional, social, mental, or addiction related. They are also responsible for monitoring their client’s progress, collaborating with other staff members, creating and following treatment plans, and making referrals.

While both careers require a graduate degree and similar courses in basic counseling skills, the differences are in the coursework and focus. Students in school counseling may target specific issues—educational, developmental, and behavioral—appropriate and relevant to a specific age range while clinical counseling students may focus on varying therapy styles, methods, and techniques.”- 

New!  Mental Health School-Based Clinical Counseling

The School District of Athens is excited to partner with Bridge Community Health Clinic to provide private professional counseling services in the security and convenience of the school facilities. These services are available to any Athens/Maple Grove student desiring confidential, Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC) for any social, private, academic, physical, emotional, intellectual or vocational issue. If you are interested in more information, please contact me at

Cost: Billing is handled directly through the outside counseling agency. Agencies will work with families for whom insurance or fees are a barrier.


Easier access to professional services.

Parents do not have to leave work or juggle schedules to transport students.

Increased student time in the classroom.

Protections afforded by utilizing LPC.

Meet Mrs. Denton!

Hello! My name is Karissa Denton and I am the School Counselor at Athens Elementary School and Maple Grove Charter School. I am very thankful and excited to be working with amazing staff and students at both schools.

I grew up in Hazel Green, WI (about 4 hours southwest of here). I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Platteville with a Bachelors degree in Psychology.  I then went on to receive my Masters in School Counseling at Loras College in Dubuque, IA. This is my second year in the profession. I also recently became certified as a Health and Wellness Coach. Helping each person become the best they can be is very important to me. Throughout my college career I really enjoyed travel and going on mission trips. Some places I have been to include Uganda, Spain, Galapagos Islands, and El Salvador. I am very thankful for all the experiences and believe we can learn something from every encounter we have.

Contact Me!

On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday I am at AES. You can call me at  715-257-7571 ext.228. On Tuesday and Friday I am at MGCS and can be reached at 715-257-2199 ext. 317. I can also be reached at my email address: Feedback including ideas, suggestions or questions is always welcome!