Philosophy and Mission Statement
Our mission as school counselors is to provide a comprehensive guidance program that will assist all students in acquiring the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to become lifelong learners. Recognizing individual differences, our program addresses the personal, social, academic and career needs of all students. Our goal is to provide graduates with the competencies necessary to make self-directed, realistic and responsible decisions, and foster individuals who will be contributors in a changing society.
All students have dignity and worth.
All students should have access to counseling assistance for addressing their social and emotional needs.
All students can achieve and be successful.
A quality school counseling program is comprehensive in scope and developmental in nature.
A comprehensive guidance program supports a district-wide academic curriculum that seeks to address the educational needs of a diverse population
Our Counseling Team
Animal Assisted Intervention
FMRHS is pleased to announce our newest staff member, Pemi, who will part of the school counseling team in the coming weeks.
Pemi is a four-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Her name comes from the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she regularly hikes.
Pemi and her mom, school counselor Kim Chandler, work together as certified animal assisted intervention team (AAI). Pemi and her Mom are trained and certified through Pet Partners, Inc. Pemi has visited with people in nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers for the past year and is the official therapy dog for a local funeral home. She is kind and intuitive and enjoys meeting new people.
“As the field of Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) rapidly grows in practice and public awareness, the body of empirical evidence supporting work with therapy animals has also become increasingly robust. The existing research on AAI is varied in its focus on populations and specific applications, but it all rests on the assumption that the human animal bond is a powerful tool capable of impacting wellness.
Beyond assisting people who are addressing physical health concerns, AAI also supports mental wellness. While we can all share stories of how our pets have helped us feel better, research has given us precise language to describe just what our animals are doing to improve mental health. AAI has been shown to do the following:
• Increase perceptions of social support
• Support people during times of crisis
• Assist professionals in providing trauma recovery
• Decrease levels of general anxiety
• Alleviate symptoms of depression
• Assist in formalized mental health treatment
We now know that therapy animals can help us feel better, but can they also help us learn? The findings from research on AAI in educational settings give us plenty of evidence to suggest the positive impacts of incorporating therapy animals in the classroom. Research on AAI in learning environments has shown that therapy animals may help with the following aspects:
• Foster reading abilities, such as reading rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension
• Enhance primary skills such as object recognition and categorization
• Mitigate stress levels, especially surrounding events like final exams
• Provide a source of motivation, stimulation, and focus in learning”
- From Empirical Support for Therapy Animal Interventions, PetPartners, Inc. 2020.