Counselor's Corner 

Charles E. Brown Middle School 

 Brown Counseling Department 

Counselor Support

The counselor’s role is to help students to understand themselves, accept themselves, and to help them to problem solve. At Brown, the counselor is your point person for accessing resources and providing support with academic and social/emotional issues. If the counselor cannot take care of the issue at hand, most of the time they can point you to the right person or resource that can. 

Counselors can help monitor academic progress, help with friendship issues, and a host of other issues. Counselors frequently consult with teachers, the school psychologist, administrators, outside therapists, and community resources. Students utilize our offices frequently. They meet with us individually, in groups, eat lunch with us, or just come by to say hello. Counselors help students with the transition from 5th to 6th grade and from 8th to 9th grade. 

To help student’s transition to Brown in 6th grade, counselors run developmental guidance groups with their respective teams, which involve small group meetings during the year. Other counseling topics will be covered throughout seventh and eighth grades.

Making an Appointment

Parents can call or email to make an appointment to talk with their child’s counselor at any time during the school day. Please call or email before coming in. Very often, a counselor can see a parent within a reasonable amount of time.

Students can make appointments during the school day by stopping by to see their counselor between classes,  during extension time or by emailing their counselor. While extension time is often the best time of day to have appointments, counselors can be busy during that time (running groups and having individual appointments). When students make appointments during class time, counselors usually meet with them for half the block so a full class is not missed. Counselors may pull students from classes if/when needed.

Scheduling a Meeting

Parent/teacher meetings are set up a bit differently at Brown. Teachers have upwards of 90 students on their caseloads, so traditional monthly conferences are not possible. The school sets aside specific days for formal parent/teacher conferences. Team meetings involving the team of teachers are also available for parents and teachers when there are issues in a number of classes. Of course sometimes issues arise when it is not the official conference schedule time. When there is an issue in a particular class, you should try to call or email that teacher directly.  The counselor may or may not join that conversation depending on the nature of the concern.  Depending on the issue at hand, it may be more appropriate or more comfortable to begin the conversation with the counselor.  You and your student's counselor can determine if a meeting with teachers is necessary, or if the counselor can communicate your concerns to other school staff. 

Common Middle School Issues

Friendships in Middle School

If you were to ask most middle schoolers, they would say that their friends mean more to them than almost anything else right now. Middle school is a social place. Negotiating friendships can be difficult for some children, and can be a major factor with regard to the transition to middle school. Because there are four different feeder elementary schools coming together, it is natural that students’ friendships will shift, sometimes dramatically, during this time. This can be somewhat tumultuous for some students. Counselors and teachers are aware of this phenomenon, and are willing to help with this.

Social Networking Sites

Many students use social media or texting to chat with friends. While for older adolescents it can be a great way for kids to communicate with each other, there are obvious pitfalls. It can be a disruption to evening homework, as the phone and television can be. Conflicts between kids can also be magnified online. Many kids feel more comfortable confronting each other in cyberspace than in person or on the phone. It is important to monitor Internet use as much as possible. There are many ways for kids to avoid talking to kids and people who are not desirable. One way is to “block” others from seeing you online. Your internet provider can explain your options to you. Often, middle school students cannot control their impulses online and are not cognitively ready for the responsibility of using some of these modes of communication; they need adult guidance to utilize these tools successfully. 

Brown Counseling Teams

Sharon Finelli

7th grade - Blue and Green Teams

Sam Schneider

6th grade - Purple and Magenta Teams

Michele Shin

6th grade - Coral Team; 8th grade Violet and Indigo Teams

Kevin Travers

7th grade - Teal Team; 8th grade Emerald Team

Korrey Lacey-Buggs

METCO Counselor

Cameron Mathieu

MTSS Counselor/Adjustment Counselor

Kathryn Tomasetti 

School Psychologist

Shana Gleason

School Psychologist

Dianne O'Sullivan Gard

Administrative Assistant

Charles E. Brown Middle School125 Meadowbrook RoadNewton, MA 02459(617) 559-6900