The mission of the NCCS counseling department is to provide a Christ-centered, comprehensive, developmental counseling program that addresses academic support, personal and social skills development, and the exploration of natural gifts and career interests.
ASCA (American School Counselor Association) National Standards:
- Academic development: Implement strategies and activities to support and maximize each student’s ability to learn.
- Career development: Provide foundation for the acquisition of skills, attitudes, and knowledge that enable students to make a successful transition from school to the world of work.
- Personal/social development: Provide the foundation for personal and social growth as students progress through school and into adulthood.
SERVICES + PROGRAMS
Students are encouraged to visit and get to know their counselor throughout the year. We have an open-door policy, and students may visit at any time. Solution-focused sessions can be set up for students with experiences at home or school that significantly impact their ability to learn. School counselors do not provide long-term therapy. However, we are prepared to recognize and respond to student needs and assist students and families in seeking resources.
Many students have similar experiences and benefit from sharing with other students. Often, students who display strength in certain areas are called to join the small group as an example for their peers.
Classroom Counseling Curriculum
The Lower School counseling program is able to reach every student through regularly scheduled lessons presented during class. These lessons focus on personal/social development, good work habits, and planning for a successful future.
Timothy Mentor Program
The goal of the Timothy Program is to allow North Cobb Christian School students to use their God-given talents and abilities to impact others (neighbors) through mentoring, tutoring and encouraging a fellow student. Through the year we guide mentors through the Paul and Timothy relationship. We walk by them as we teach our Upper School students how to disciple our Middle and Lower School students.
At least twice a year we provide psychoeducational opportunities for parents to come and learn more about how to support their child. Examples of past parent academies are Whose you are, Preparing for Middle School, Navigating Technology.
Multi-cultural Awareness & Diversity
The purpose of the NCCS counseling effort to love our neighbor is to reflect the love of Christ throughout the entirety of our growing, diverse community. Diversity and multicultural awareness are explored and celebrated during counselor lessons, chapel, student programs, mentoring opportunities, clubs, and Spring Term local and global experiences.
With the Scriptures as our guide, we aim to embrace creativity, celebrate our diversity and differences, and deepen our respect for others while assessing curricular and co-curricular programs to ensure that they reflect the love of God. The result will be a deeper love for each other and those around us that models His Kingdom as we strive to impact the world for Christ.
IDENTITY EXPLORATION + CAREER FORMATION
To help students with the exploration of natural gifts, talent discovery, and career interests.
YouScience is an aptitude-based talent discovery platform that uncovers users’ natural talents and aligns them with their best-fit, high-demand pathways and careers.
Our goal is to help students learn through curriculum, assessments, and experiences how they are uniquely created and can become influencers in God’s kingdom. The Pathways Program is designed to assess and cultivate character in 5th grade, identity in 6th grade, leadership in 7th grade, and teamwork in 8th grade which sets them on a journey of self-discovery and career readiness as they move into upper school.
For students that are beginning to understand their God-given talents and abilities in the late middle school and early upper school years, we offer them the opportunity to enroll in our Upper School Academies Program.
Careers on Wheels
The American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) national standards for career development states the importance of “providing a foundation for the acquisition of skills, attitudes, and knowledge that enable students to make a successful transition from school to the world of work, and from job to job across the lifespan.” Careers on Wheels is a dynamic interactive event that helps careers come alive to the students and expand their worldview.
The annual College and Career Day at North Cobb Christian School provides all Upper School students with myriad future opportunities from our own campus. The morning offers a variety of professionals sharing glimpses of their careers and backgrounds in small session settings. The afternoon is reserved for a college fair of 60+ admissions representatives from colleges and universities nationwide, as well as military and missions-focused organizations.
Remember Whose You Are (Identity/Sexuality)
Remember Whose You Are is a Biblically-based, scientifically-accurate program designed to show middle school students (5th-8th grade) how human sexuality is rooted in Gospel identity. Building upon a developmentally appropriate year-by-year foundation, Remember Whose You Are combines a systematic study of Genesis 1-3 (integrated with other Scriptural texts when necessary) alongside evidence-based scientific research on identity & sexuality. Students will grasp an understanding of how being made in the image of the Creator God gives basis to what it means to be made as male/female as well as to the act of sex itself, and how the fall of man distorts (but does not destroy) God’s design for both. Students will subsequently explore how to navigate current culture in light of living out Biblical principles related to gospel identity & human sexuality thus preparing them to make holy choices that honor God & healthy choices that honor both themselves and others.
Craig Konchak, Director of Counseling
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Professional Counseling, both from Liberty University. He is currently working on his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Craig has maintained his licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida for the past 23 years which requires the maintenance of 30 CEU’s every biennium to keep LMHC licensure status current. Craig is currently responsible for the planning, organization, and coordination of the lower, middle and upper school crisis intervention counseling teams at NCCS. Craig has been tasked with the development of innovative Christian psychoeducational programs like “Pathways” and the “Timothy Program”. Mission: Craig is dedicated to the development of the “whole” student by facilitating curriculum, assessments and experiences used to help students identify their “unique Genius” and cultivate character, identity, leadership and teamwork. Favorite Scripture: “Above all else…guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it.”
Favorite thing to do: Anything promoting the family quest to have an adventure.
Carol Ribeiro, Lower School Counselor
Carol Ribeiro holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from Georgia State University, is a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and an Associate Professional Counselor under the supervision of Mary Teresa Freeman, MS, MAC, LPC, CPCS and Beth Palumbo, LCSW, RPT/S. She is currently pursuing licensure as a registered play therapist and an Ed.S. in counseling. She is also trained in play therapy, Restorative Practices, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST), and Stewards of Children. She has presented at the Cobb County Counselors mini-conferences for two consecutive years.
Carol came to NCCS in 2018 as the Lower School Counselor. Before joining the staff at NCCS, she worked as an intern school counselor at Clarkdale and Dowell Elementary where she created curriculum, taught classroom lessons, ran small groups, and delivered teacher trainings. She has three years experience as a school counselor and three years teaching experience. She also has six years experience providing personal and spiritual guidance to adolescents and young adults at her home church as a youth leader.
Carol and her husband, Lucas, have three children who attend NCCS. They are currently active members of the Valor Center where Carol is heavily involved in inner healing and outreach. In her spare time, Carol enjoys spending time with her family, dance, reading, running, and traveling.
Scripture: One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 16:8
Personal mission: Carol is passionate about awakening a generation, calling them into their individual purpose and corporate responsibility as the hands and feet of Christ. I believe in students, wholly given to God, living in His divine realities and living out their personal callings in their daily walk.
Kara Mawdesley, Middle School Counselor
Kara Mawdesley holds a master’s degree in school counseling from Liberty University. She has been married to her college sweetheart, Aric, since 2000; they were wed just prior to graduating from Warner University, in Lake Wales, FL. Aric is the NCCS varsity head basketball coach; their two children, Mekhi, 16, and Amara, 12, also attend NCCS.
Kara was raised by a loving Christian family in the sunshine state near Tampa, where they worked together at the family business, Red’s Sporting Goods. She grew to love sports due to her family’s involvement in the many aspects of team sports, but her real passion was singing. She has been involved in many choirs and praise team groups throughout her life. Currently, Aric and Kara help lead worship at their local church.
Due to her husband’s career in coaching, their family has lived in several places throughout the South, and the common theme of their communities has always been their role in working with youth. Kara has served youth for over 20 years in various capacities, including a career in social work. She has also mentored, tutored, fostered, cheered on basketball players, been involved in local youth groups, and, most recently, transitioned from social work to a career in school counseling. She credits her upbringing alongside inner city students in Tampa, who were bused to her elementary school, for her passion for helping youth. Even at a young age, Kara found herself becoming a constant advocate for these students. Twenty years later, she is still doing the same wherever she sees a need.
Emily Siller, Upper School Counselor
Emily graduated in 1999 from Lee University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and minors in Bible and Social Services. She completed a Masters of Science in School Counseling in 2004 also from Lee University.
Emily came to NCCS in 2001 as the Middle and Lower School Counselor. Before joining the staff of NCCS she worked as the lead case manager in a program that served teenage girls. She also worked as a therapeutic specialist at a children’s home in Tennessee.
Emily and her husband Aaron have four children who attend NCCS. They are members of Trinity Anglican Church and serve as small group leaders and mentors in the Adoption/Foster Care ministry.
Emily enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, and time outdoors.
Emily’s favorite Bible verse is Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Why I love my job:
I cherish the opportunity to walk alongside our students, families, faculty and staff. There are times that involves cheering them on and dreaming of the future. There are other times that means walking beside them through the hard times. Either way, I have the chance to remind them that they aren’t alone. Most importantly because the God of all creation is with them.
Counseling resources, helpful links, hotlines and more.
Topics + Articles
- Self-Harm & What to look for
- Identity Formation
- Interpersonal Skills
- Personal Wellness (nutrition, exercise)
- Families in Transition/ Divorce
- Coordinating Academic Support
- Navigating Technology in a healthy way
- Insensitivity Form
- Body Safety
- Students with sick family members
- Learning Differences
- Anger Management
- Sex Respect
Right Now Media
Right Now Media — link & instructions on how to access