We have a number of Randolph employees whose roles are unique to our school and whose work makes a difference to the quality of the student experience. Leslie Shelor, 5th-12th Grade Counselor, is one of Randolph's Difference-Makers.
What do you do?
I am the 5-12 Counselor, providing support services to middle and upper school students. My role at Randolph includes helping students address mental health and other concerns. Vanessa Robinson, our K-8 Counselor, and I co-teach our 5th grade students in “Learning to Lead Yourself” and I teach our 8th grade students in “Leading & Succeeding."
With regard to academics, I am the SSD [Services for Students with Disabilities] Coordinator and work with deans and administrators to identify students who may benefit from psycho educational testing. If a student is diagnosed with a learning difference, I coordinate extra time for Randolph purposes as well as through College Board/ACT and explore additional accommodations that might benefit the student as recommended by testing.
At school, I’m never without…
My phone! Spending time on both campuses makes having my phone a necessity, allowing administrators, faculty, staff and students a quick way to reach me and schedule time together.
What’s different about your work here?
My primary role is that of student support – I very much appreciate Randolph’s focus on the well-being of the student and their trust in me to provide that care.
When you tell people what you do, what kinds of things do they ask?
People often ask if students seek me out on their own – yes, absolutely they do. I continually work to build relationships with our students so that they see me as a trusted adult, someone that they can go to when they are having difficulties or want to celebrate their successes.
What’s your philosophy of working with the age group of kids you work with?
Be genuine! Middle and upper school students connect much more easily with people they feel are being themselves and are sincere in their approach. I always applaud students for speaking with me, whether they sought me out on their own or were encouraged to see me by an administrator, teacher or parent. Being able to ask for help is a great life skill.
What are some important things to acknowledge to be effective in your role or with that age group?
If young people come to you with a concern or problem, truly listen to them. It likely took a lot for them to seek you out. I think as an adult it can be easy to dismiss their problems or minimize their struggles, and in doing so, we miss the opportunity to make that connection… to really hear what they are saying, validate their feelings and give them guidance.
What are some things you love about your job/ working at Randolph?
We have an extraordinary community at Randolph. I am continually impressed with the care and concern shown to our students, families and employees. I very much enjoy building relationships with students, advocating for them and empowering them to advocate for themselves.
Where can you be found most days?
On either campus, having conversations with students, administrators, faculty, or families in support of our students.