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Get to Know Our Counselors

Ginger Jones, Director of Counseling and Student Support Services

How long have you been a counselor? How much of that time has been in RCSD?

"I have been a counselor for 26 years. I am extremely blessed to be able to say that all of these years have been in RCSD."

What does your “day-in-the-life” look like in your position with RCSD? 

"Well one thing is for sure, "a day in the life" of my position is ALWAYS different than the one before! Whether I am in a school meeting with families, collaborating with coworkers to solve problems or programming for the future, things are always busy in the Student Support Services/Counseling Dept. Our department meets a vast array of student needs from school nurses, academic/ behavior tier, school counseling, 504, crisis & drug counseling, dyslexia, gifted, & dropout prevention. Therefore, my work day is usually made up of a little bit of all of these things. Whether working with RCSD employees, community agencies, students or families, doing what is best for students and teachers is the #1 priority. I am blessed to work in the Rankin County School District where I am provided the opportunity to make a difference for the future everyday."

Laura Anne Marshall, Student Support Services Specialist

How long have you been a counselor? How much of that time has been in RCSD?

"All of my experience as a school counselor has been with Rankin County School District. This is my 17th year as school counselor. I was a teacher with Rankin County School District for 4 1/2 years before becoming a school counselor."

What makes your job so rewarding for you?

"Seeing students be successful is one of the most rewarding things about being a school counselor. This can range from an elementary student being on green for the day to a senior walking across the stage to receive his/her diploma. When students stop to let me know they were accepted into their dream college, or they were chosen as scholarship recipient, or that they were able to work an issue out with their friend it is a great feeling."

"One of the most rewarding parts of working in Student Support Services are the connections made with students, parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators. It is very rewarding to see everyone come together and help students reach their full potential. I have seen some incredible students overcome obstacles and find success when all stakeholders have invested time into them. Seeing all students be successful in all areas of life is what it is all about!"

Jeri Lynn Rushing, Student Support Services Coordinator

How long have you been a counselor? How much of that time has been in RCSD?

"10 years – All in Rankin County School District"

Can you elaborate on the importance of your department and how it benefits our students?

"There are not enough words to describe the importance of the Student Support Services department. When I describe our department to someone who may not be familiar with it, I always say it’s a “one-stop-shop” for any service related to supporting ALL students. It involves multiple areas of support to help our students grow and succeed in order to become productive citizens of society. We house counseling, intervention, 504, dyslexia, gifted, and school nurses. I always say, “If we can’t help you, we can always point you in the right direction to someone who can!”

"The Student Support Services department supports 28 schools, roughly 20,000 students, and 48 amazing counselors each and every day! Our district counseling program provides a unified and compassionate foundation upon which the counseling program addresses each student’s academic, personal, social, emotional and career needs. When a student is struggling in any area whether it's academically, behaviorally, or emotionally, we provide the services to help them overcome the many obstacles that could hinder the student from learning, growing, and succeeding. We are a department that anyone can call and get immediate help. The Student Support Services department focuses on meeting everyone’s needs. We are a TEAM whose primary goal is to always do what’s right for ALL (students, parents, employees, etc.)!"

"In the Student Support Services department, we always say, “We are only as good as the team that surrounds us,” and our department is truly an amazing group of individuals who continuously advocates for ALL students in Rankin County School District!"

Pattie Harmon, District Counselor

How long have you been a counselor? How much of that time has been in RCSD?

"I've been a RCSD Counselor since 1993 (28 years); 3 years as an elementary counselor, 5 years as a middle school counselor, and the rest have been at the District level as Assistant Director of Counselors, Director of Counselors, and District Test Coordinator. Since my retirement in 2011, I have been working as a District Counselor in the Student Support Services Department."

Can you elaborate on the importance of your department and how it benefits our students?

"I've had the privilege to work with some amazing fellow counselors, teachers and administrators over all these years in the Rankin County School District. I am constantly awed by their level of genuine care and concern for the students and their parents of this district as well as their fellow educators. They don't hesitate to go the extra mile whenever the need arises!"

"When it comes to the Student Support Services Department, these 8 women are no exception! It's a joy to be surrounded by them! The Student Support Services Department is involved not only with the 53 Rankin County School District School Counselors, but the Rankin County School District Nurses, the Juvenile Detention Center, the Venture Program, The Instructional Interventionists, and the 504 and Dyslexia Programs."

"My job is varied, depending on the needs of my Department. I conduct grade placement testing (for students coming to RCSD from non-accredited schools and non-accredited home schools), Dyslexia screeners, and Venture screeners. I serve on the Attendance Team for 5 District schools, and provide student records materials and support to each of our school Records Clerks. I'm available to assist any of the Student Support Services team when needed."

"Throughout my years in RCSD, I've observed other districts in our state and how their counseling department function. I always am humbled by how our counseling department is perceived in our state."

"We are seen as the gold standard that other counseling departments strive to be. We are on the cutting edge when it comes to counseling program innovation, technology, and professional development."

"Our District-level support is envied by all. It is, and always has been, an honor to be called a Rankin County School District Counselor."