Meet Our School Counselors: Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2022
It’s National School Counseling Week, and to celebrate, honor and thank our wonderful school counselors, we’re spotlighting them each day this week! Today, we’re featuring Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School’s Guidance Counselors Jennifer Goggin and Nicky King.
Jennifer Goggin got a degree in school psychology, and she worked as a school psychologist for three years before realizing she wanted to spend more time with students and be more involved in their lives at school.
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Now, she’s worked as a school counselor for Danville Independent Schools for 23 years.
“My motivation for being a school counselor has never changed,” she said. “I love our students. When I can feel myself getting discouraged, I know I need to spend more time with the kids. They truly brighten my day. There is no better time of the day than the morning when I have the opportunity to greet them as they get out of their car. Rain, snow, or sunshine, they are there and ready to offer a hug, a good morning, a smile, a request to talk to me later or eat lunch, or just a wave. Whatever it is, they make my day. No matter how I begin my day, I feel better after my morning with the students.”
She said establishing relationships and being visible in the school are key aspects of her role, to show she cares and she is invested in the students.
“It is always good to know that there is someone to talk to and listen,” she said. “Everyone faces challenges in life, and we all need that person that will listen without judgment and help us navigate life. Hopefully I have been that person for our students.”
She said with Danville Schools, she has a great group of friends, coworkers, and administrators.
“I must also add that working with Nicky King has been a blessing,” she said. “I can’t imagine being in this with anyone else. She is definitely the peanut butter to my jelly, which is how the students … described us — peanut butter and jelly. Students can be so insightful.”
Before Nicky King became a school counselor, she was a music teacher at Stanford Elementary School.
“While I loved teaching music, I found that I was much more concerned about the students’ well-being than if they knew the difference between quarter notes and eighth notes,” she said.
She’s been a school counselor with Danville Schools for 16 years now.
In her role, she said, “I think what is unique about serving the younger students is that you often have to be creative and use activities when working with a student. I also think students this age may have difficulty putting into words what they are feeling or what is going on, so you have to use your deciphering skills to get to the real problems.”
She said most of her interactions with students are fun and loving, and she loves welcoming students to school in the mornings.
“I try to make my guidance classes fun and give the students information that can help them socially, personally, and academically,” she said. “I love to cut up with the students and make them smile or laugh. What drives me to help with their mental and academic well-being is first my love for our students, and second the desire to see all students succeed to be productive, kind members of society.”
Like Goggin, she said she loves the staff, and also like Goggin, she expressed huge appreciation for her co-counselor.
“I am also so fortunate to work with my co-counselor Jenni Goggin,” she said. “I absolutely couldn’t ask for a better person to work so closely with. I am so thankful for her and couldn’t do what I do without her.”
She added, “There can be so much negativity about teachers and staff in public schools, but I am telling you, teachers and staff of Danville Schools love their students and work hard every day for them!”