Jane Metcalf- Vice-President of K-12 Counseling
I am Jane Metcalf, PreK-12 counselor at Central Community Schools in Elkader and ISCA K-12 Vice-President. I received my undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Science and my MAE in K-12 Counseling from University of Northern Iowa. My work history includes 15 years as a Family and Consumer Science (FCS) teacher at Garnavillo Community Schools (now Clayton Ridge) with 10 of those years being shared with Central Community Schools in Elkader as K-6th elementary counselor. For the past 11 years I have been fully employed by Central as the elementary counselor and curriculum director. Due to changes in enrollment, I have been the one and only counselor at Central for the past two years J.
I have surprisingly found that I enjoy being the counselor in the building! Being the ongoing support person in our small district, as well facilitating “teacher-counseling” contacts with students at all levels, strengthens Central’s counseling program. The key for doing it all for me has been to listen to staff needs, use American School Counselor Association (ASCA) guidelines, and collaborate with teachers and associates to bring programs and support to students. I work with a marvelous staff that values both social and emotional counseling, and gives me generous time to provide career and social skills guidance in their classrooms. Planning and good communication are key to making this happen.
My involvement in ISCA came through the recommendation of a friend. It is a rich experience to sit at table with a group of counselors that are so committed to the advancement of counseling in Iowa. As K-12 VP I facilitate sharing sessions with counselors at the state meeting and offer communication via an email group. I am also on our professional development committee that is working to plan a series of webinars. My FCS ties led me to volunteer to be an ISCA liaison to the Iowa Association of Career Technical Education, another committed group of Iowa educators.
To balance my personal and professional life I most enjoy traveling to visit my adult children and grandchildren in Des Moines and Chicago, mini weekend vacations! At home it’s movies, gardening, biking, swimming, reading, cooking, sewing, and crocheting (FCS at heart J). A real treat is seeing national parks with family, especially my nieces and nephews!
Counselors today are challenged to provide a wide variety of services, respond professionally to crisis situations, and simply care about students and their families. As an ISCA board member, I look forward to working on these challenges with Iowa counselors.