Niskayuna Schools > Student Services > Counseling > Middle School Counseling Center

picture of student art work

School Counselors


(518) 377-2361

Mrs. Carroll, Grades 6 (A-L) & Grade 8 (ALL)

Mr. McAllister, Grade 6 (M-Z) & Grade 7 (ALL)

Van Antwerp

(518) 370-1243, choice #2

Kevin McFerran, Grades 6 (M-Z) & Grade 7 (ALL)

Meghan McCarthy, Grades 6 (A-L) & Grade 8 (ALL)

Liz Kramer, Secretary

middle school counseling

The Niskayuna K-12 Counseling Department is committed to providing a caring and supportive program. We inspire our students to develop academically, socially, and emotionally to become strong and responsible citizens who are well prepared for a diverse and ever changing world.

  • The Whole Child - emotionally, socially and academically
  • The Whole Time - kindergarten through graduation
  • The Whole Way - integrating effectively into adulthood

The Counseling Department for the Niskayuna Central School District advocates for each student through transitions. We strive to provide continuity through academic, career, personal, and social development.

School Counselors have a wealth of knowledge and experience which allows us to collaborate with families to holistically meet the needs of our school community in order to maximize student potential.

School Counselors have an appreciation for the dignity and worth of each person we encounter. We advocate a philosophy of acceptance and compassion for all by inspiring our school communities to create an environment of self- discovery.


Presentation from 8th Grade Parent night at nhs, January 2017

An orientation program for the parents of students who will enter 9th grade in September 2017 was held at the High School on Thursday, Jan. 5. View the presentation from the orientation program [PDF]

Counseling center staff

Each Counseling Center is staffed by two school counselors, a psychologist, and a secretary. The counselors assist students in every way possible to meet success while in middle school. Counseling is a service designed to help all students to identify and achieve personal goals. The activities of the counseling program focus on six basic areas:

  • Academic Success
  • Personal and Social Growth
  • Intervention and Prevention
  • Transition and Orientation
  • Career Education
  • Parent/Teacher Support and Consultation
What do school counselors do?
  • Help students deal with issues brought into school from home and outside the classroom;
  • Serve as a source of knowledge on student's developmental needs for parents, teachers and administrators;
  • Provide guidance to students for academics, career and social/emotional issues;
  • Work to promote positive relationships and learning environments;
  •  Offer a variety of programs to help students in their adjustment and positive feelings about themselves, such as Banana Splits, Loss Group, Career Day, Lunch Group and Homework Help; and
  •  Help students transition to middle school and high school.

All students meet with their school counselor at least once a year, either individually or in a group. Students remain with the same counselor throughout middle school to allow for development of a close and supportive relationship.

Counselors also supervise the orientation programs for all incoming sixth grade students and assist in organizing programs for all eighth grade students transitioning to the high school. The seventh grade Career Day is coordinated by the counselor of the seventh grade students for that year.

Counselors serve as both a resource and a support for parents and teachers, facilitate parent and team conferences, initiate referrals to outside resources and promote communication between home and school.

In addition, the Counseling Center manages student records, issues working papers, and coordinates orientation activities for student new to the district. Any middle school student who has moved into the district is requested to register at the Counseling Center. Additionally, families who are experiencing financial hardship this year and are having trouble buying school supplies or paying for student field trips should contact a school counselor to help to work it out.

Individual appointments may be made to discuss any school related or personal issues. Students are encouraged to visit the Counseling Center any time. The counseling staff looks forward to seeing you!

Student Resources

Making Friends

Study Habits

Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) Program

6th Grade Transition

Parent Resources

Ask the Counselor

The Teen Brain - Presentation from January 2017 VA Parent Forum

Community-Based Activities

Peaceful Living in Middle School

Advice for Parents Regarding the Media

Study Skills

Study Ideas from Students

Doctor's Advice: Limit Online Use

Parenting Strategies

Grief/Loss: Talking to Children About Funerals