Finding Her Calling

As Brooke King (MA ’20) prepares for her second year as a middle school counselor in Pecatonica, Ill., she is excited about the variety of experiences she meets every day.

“No two days are the same,” she explained.

The diversity in her job duties and the ever-changing list of ways to help students are the aspects that appeal to King the most in her early career. She works closely with the school social worker, principal, parents, area school counselors, and outside agencies to make sure students have all the necessary referrals and resources available to them.

“Whether it is providing individual counseling, group counseling, classroom lessons, or collaborating with my social and emotional learning team, administrators, and co-workers,” she said. “There is no better feeling than enjoying what you do and seeing the growth in your students.”

While earning her undergraduate degree in psychology at Clarke University, she was introduced to school counseling, which was not something she had familiarity with during her academic career.

Her advisor at Clarke, Tim Boffeli encouraged her to reach out to Kim Tuescher, PhD, school counseling program director at Loras College.

“I met with Dr. Tuescher and instantly knew that school counseling was my calling,” she said.

For her first year as a school counselor, King found the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of concerns facing students.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive increase in social and emotional concerns within our student population. The data I collected last year was in the thousands for student contacts, which broke down into 300-400 student contacts each quarter. I was extremely busy,” she recalled.

With her career off to a good start, King feels confident moving forward, due in part to the foundation of knowledge she gained in the master’s of school counseling program at Loras “Dr. Tuescher and Paula Baumann were wonderful instructors that provided us with the best materials and resources to take forth into the school counseling world. They provided us with real-life scenarios and experiences that we could relate to. I felt beyond prepared as a first year school counselor and I could not speak more highly of Dr. Tuescher and the master’s of school counseling program she has created,” she said.