This year at ASA, we have started using our blog space to introduce you to our wonderful educators and campus staff. This month’s focus is on Ms. Nadine Maxwell-Henry. Ms. Max (as she is fondly referred to by our students and parents) is the school counselor at All Saints Academy, and her talents are used in many different ways within our staff and student body. She brings with her an extensive background full of experience and education in order to serve our ASA community.
Ms. Max has always enjoyed helping her peers with problem solving. Even as a young child, she discovered that she was the one her friends turned to when they needed someone to listen — someone with whom they could discuss problems or concerns. This experience led her to pursue a degree in Social Sciences and Spanish at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and propelled her to complete graduate studies in Counseling Psychology at Howard University in Washington, D.C. A variety of practical opportunities were incorporated into her counseling educational journey. She worked at a Women’s Crisis Center in Jamaica, followed by a mental health facility where she continued to work for several more years. Here, she worked with a wide range of mental health issues spanning all age groups from children to the elderly. She also completed graduate studies in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, before finally finding her true passion in school counseling. Working in mental health counseling prepared her for the variety of issues that she encounters as a school counselor. Ms. Max believes in practicing a holistic manner of counseling in the school environment; she believes in including parents/family, educators, and other adults involved in the child or adolescent’s life during assessments and interventions. By evaluating and offering support to all of these individuals — not just the single student — she believes counselors are better able to help the child. This holistic approach is how she has practiced counseling from ages Pre-K to grade 12 for the last 22 years, and it’s one of the many reasons we are so thankful to have her as part of the ASA family. She also is a champion of diversity and feels this helps her better assist students, families, and teachers regardless of background or circumstances.
Ms. Max’s daily work here on campus is multi-faceted, but her main areas of work at ASA include:
Individual Counseling. Students come to her for “in the moment” issues, either as walk-ins, or through teacher, parent, or Administration referrals. Crisis management is a big part Ms. Max’s day-to-day work in this area of counseling.
Group Counseling. Ms. Max uses her expertise to group like-minded students (dealing with the same issue) to emphasize they are not alone in their struggles and can overcome any challenge by working alongside one another. Occasionally, Advisors are included in these sessions, which are less clinical in nature and focus more on problem solving, guidance, and life skills related to social and emotional issues. Parental permission is required for this type of counseling.
Peer Mediation. This leadership opportunity is an area of counseling that is near to Ms. Max’s heart. In peer mediation, she selects 8th grade students and Seniors who receive training on how to work with peers and help serve the student body (with supervision). They also have the opportunity to use their acquired training and skills to assist in the Lower School. Ms. Max looks forward to seeing how this growing program will train our ASA students to do extraordinary work on our campus and beyond.
Teacher and Administrative Consulting. This portion of Ms. Max’s job includes working alongside our ASA faculty to create intervention plans for classrooms and for individual students. Ms. Max along with teachers and Administration have regular “Student Success Meetings” where the group brainstorms techniques and ideas to help with current challenges to better serve the students.
As you can see, Ms. Max is a huge asset to our staff, and she provides a wide array of services to our students, faculty, and parents at All Saints. While she is obviously very busy with her job, she also has quite a busy life outside of campus as well! So what does Ms. Max do when she’s not busy on campus?
- She has two sons, Jazz a Junior and Kobi in the 8th grade, who keep her busy with club sports. Weekends are spent traveling throughout Florida and the Southeast to various athletic games. If you ask her about free time, she’ll tell you she has none (but she loves spending time with her sons).
- She enjoys going for a run (especially around Lake Hollingsworth!) or participating in Zumba classes.
- She enjoys being outdoors and attending Festivals.
- She loves Latin and Caribbean dancing, and hopes to pick it back up one day when she is less busy driving to sports games and practices. For now, she is devoted to being there for her boys at home and on the field.
Ms. Max really enjoys the work she does. If you ask her where she sees herself in 10 years, she says: “I am genuinely a support-service person, so I would say continuing on this track. This type of work is one where you go home and feel good about how you spent your day, and I want to continue feeling like that.”
We are so glad to have Mrs. Max as part of All Saints Academy. We all appreciate her service to our school and our ASA families!