NHS School Counseling Department Philosophy/Mission Statement

The Needham High Counseling Department is committed to advocating for all students and to being an integral part of the NHS community.  Counselors assist, guide, and direct students and families with academic planning, social/emotional issues, post-secondary planning, and many other areas relevant in a student's high school experience.  Counselors help students develop a strong sense of self, a respect for others, and offer guidance in making good decisions and helping students achieve their aspirations.

NHS Counseling Core Values

News to know

Last edited 12/7/23

The "Holiday Season" is upon us.  As many of you know, for many years the NHS faculty and staff have shared some of that holiday cheer, in part by contributing to the "NHS Holiday Fund".  We are embarking on this wonderful annual tradition again this year. 

If you are willing and able, please consider contributing to the NHS Holiday Fund.  Your contribution augments generous contributions from our PTC and the Needham High School staff.  Last year we were able to provide 122 Needham families with over $10,000 worth of gift cards. The Counseling Department discretely distributes gift cards to students and families who have been identified as those who would benefit from some financial assistance this time of year.  

If you would like to contribute to the fund, please drop off gift cards (MasterCard/Visa, Target, Sudbury Farms, Walgreens) to Danielle Doherty, in the Main Office.  Your contribution will be very appreciated.  

We are officially opening the NHS Holiday Fund today (11-27), and will collect until Wednesday, December 13th.   I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, and I'll send out reminders and updates periodically. 

While this season's holidays and family traditions may differ, for many of us, it is nevertheless a fun and celebratory time of the year.  Thank you, in advance, for contributing, and brightening the holidays for our Needham families in need. 

Best wishes for your own celebration. 

Dana Plunkett

Director of Counseling, 7-12

Seniors & Senior Parent/Guardians

We invite you to read the attached letters from the NHS Counselors. 

Happy Holidays.

Senior Parents/Guardians 


Lane Lyceum Speaker Series

Raising Resilient Children in a Stress-Filled World

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 7:30pm

In Person- First Parish in Needham, 23 Dedham Ave.

Zoom link: bit.ly/ResilientChildrenLyceum

The role of a parent has always been a gratifying and challenging responsibility.  The challenges have intensified in today’s world given the ramifications of COVID, political divisiveness, and the impact of social media.  In his presentation Dr. Brooks will offer realistic strategies for nurturing self-worth, caring, responsibility, and resilience in our children.  Many illustrations of these strategies will be offered.

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty (part-time) of Harvard Medical School and former Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about such themes as resilience across the lifespan, education, parenting, and creating positive school and work environments.  He is the author or co-author of 21 books including Raising Resilient Children; The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life; and Tenacity in Children: Nurturing the Seven Instincts for Lifetime Success.  Dr. Brooks has received many awards for his work, most recently, The Mental Health Humanitarian Award from William James College in Massachusetts for his contributions as an educator, clinician, and author.  He has also served as a consultant for Sesame Street Parents Magazine.


Naval Academy Admissions Information Forum:


These events are a great opportunity for current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to learn more about the Service Academies. 


First Meeting Monday Nov. 6th, 2023 @ Needham Public Library Community Room (7:30 - 8:30 PM)

We invite all Needham parents and caregivers of children/teens in Special Education to come together for a monthly, in-person support group. Our goal is to offer a supportive environment where parents and caregivers can come together to connect, find emotional support, and share experiences. We hope to enhance our sense of community connection and promote parental well being. The group will be facilitated by SEPAC parents Becca Kahane, Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Carrie Galhouse, Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.

For more information contact supportgroup@needhamsepac.org

This is an open group. We welcome you to join any or all meetings. We ask all participants to respect confidentiality and to refrain from discussing the content of our meetings outside of this context. Participate in whatever way works for you, share as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Please note this is not a therapeutic group and no formal clinical treatment or recommendations will be given. Meetings will typically be held at the Library, the first Monday of the month. Visit the support group page for more information. 

Plugged In Band Program's fall session starts the week of September 18th and is open to any youth, teen, 20-something or adult.  Bands are grouped by age, skill level and musical interest.

Fall Session Dates
September 18, 2023 - January 11, 2024

Programs Offered
Rock Band Class
Media Scoring Class
Private Lessons

Youth, Teens, 20-Somethings & Adults

Plugged In Website

Facebook Post
Instagram Post

CDEP Final Flyer Spring 24 -11-30-23.pdf

Questions?? Stop by or email  Ms Plunkett in the Counseling Department (dana_plunkett@needham.k12.ma.us) . 

CDEP Print Flyer Spring 24 -11-30-23.pdf
Photovoice Recruitment Flier.pdf
Naval Academy Forum Boston.pdf
Coffee Talk 2023-2024.pdf

For students

RRK and RRT Flyer Fall 2023 Final.pdf

Upcoming Family Presentations 2023-2024

GAP Year Night

Wednesday, January 10th, 7:00pm

Zoom presentation hosted by Wellesley High School.

Join area schools to hear Jason & Jane Sarouhan of J2 Guides share their expertise on why students should consider taking a GAP year and how to plan a meaningful experience. 

Postsecondary Planning Junior Parent Night via Zoom 

Thursday, January 18th, 6:30-8:00PM

Zoom link will be provided prior to the event.

We hope all junior parents/guardians will be able to attend the Junior Parent Night.  To officially kick off the postsecondary planning process, we will share information we presented to the students and welcome college admissions representatives for advice/insight about the process, including a question and answer period.  

Grade 8 Transition Night for Parents

Wednesday, February 7th, 6:30pm-8:00pm

NHS Auditorium

New Student Ambassadors will lead small group tours of the building prior to the presentation. Sign up is required for tours. Tours will begin promptly at 6:00pm in the Main Entrance Lobby.

Post-Secondary planning for students with Learning Differences

Thursday, March 7th, 9:00AM-10:30AM

NHS Cafeteria Extension 

The College Athlete - How to navigate the college recruitment process

Wednesday, March 20th, 6:30-8:00pm

Zoom link to be posted prior to the event

Join Kim Penney, founder of  One-on-One College Consulting, as well as college coaches from DI & DII colleges athletic programs  in a decision aimed at demystifying the college recruitment process. 

PTC Evening Conversation with the Dana Plunkett, Director of Counseling, 7-12

Thursday, November 16th, 6:30-7:30pm: Counseling Resources at NHS

Thursday, January 11th, 6:30-7:30pm: Course Selection Process

Thursday, March 7th, 6:30-7:30pm: TBD

(zoom link provided by PTC in advance of the evening)