International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit


Elementary School Counseling Program Overview

The Elementary School Counseling aims at fostering students’ social, emotional and personal growth at each stage of their development along with essential learning in school. It is achieved by providing individual consultation and counseling, classroom guidance, assessment and crisis intervention and by coordinating student services and providing support for both teachers and parents. The Counselors maintain an open-door policy and are often able to accommodate individuals on a drop-in basis.

The role of the Elementary School Counselor at ISM is varied:


The Counselor is the first contact new students and families have with the elementary school during the initial interview when applying to ISM. This meeting is an opportunity for the Counselors to get to know the student better before placing them in their new class. It is also an opportunity for parents to share useful information about their child, and to ask any questions about the Elementary School Program.

Working with Students

Over the course of the school year Counselors interact with students in a variety of settings. The main focus of the Counselor is to support the social, emotional and behavioral needs of children in collaboration with parents, teachers, and other related professionals. Counselors are involved in individual counseling aimed at assisting students with problems arising from academic, social, personal, or family conflicts. Group and classroom sessions intend to help students gain insight into behaviors, understand attitudes, interests and capabilities, and learn how to make intelligent decisions. The Elementary Counselors are also members of the Learning Support Resource Team which works to assists students with special learning needs.

Working with Teachers and Parents

Counselors work with teachers and parents in a collaborative approach to find the most effective methods to help each child reach his/her personal potential. Always operating with the best interest of the student in mind, we work together to help each child achieve academic and social success.

Parent Presentations and Workshops

Parent presentations and workshops are given on a wide array of educational and developmental issues designed to help parents become familiar with special topics of interest, and our programs and services, all with the aim of better serving each child and strengthening the bond between home and school.

Meet the Counselors

Cecilia Unite joined the ISM community in August 2011. Cecilia works with individuals or groups of students, parents and teachers. She can be found co-facilitating parenting groups and workshops and is involved in other areas of student life such as the Student Council. Cecilia’s previous guidance counseling experience was at the United Nations International School, Hanoi. Prior to her work as a Counselor, she worked on life skills and public health and education projects for disadvantaged groups for various UN agencies and International Non-Governmental Organizations. Cecilia holds a Graduate Certificate of Counseling and an MA in International Development Studies. Her husband and two children join her in Manila. She can be reached at
Steve Ayling returns to Elementary School to begin his 15th year here at ISM. Steve hails originally from Birmingham, U.K., and earned his B.Ed. (Hons) in 1999 from Exeter University and his Master's (MSc) from the State University of New York in 2010. Steve brings eleven years of teaching experience with him to the Counseling Department. He began teaching at ISM in 2002 in the Elementary School where he established the ES Student Council and was Program Leader in Grade 3. Moving on to Middle School, he taught for a further three years in Grades 6 and 7 Math prior to beginning his counseling career in HS for six years. Steve has worked with his colleagues on Student Ambassador initiatives, has run the SPECS-TECC Service Club and coaches the Varsity Boys soccer team. Steve's wife Natalya, teaches early childhood P.E. and their two daughters are also both enrolled at ISM. Steve has earned his Certification of International School Counseling through the Counselor Training Center (CTC) and has recently led his first CTC training course in Miami. He is a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Steve enjoys playing football and tennis, splashing around in the pool with his daughters and traveling to new places. Steve's office is in Room 1019 just inside the ES Guidance Area. He can be reached at

Contact Us

Please contact Ms. Myrna Perez for transcripts, appointments and any other pertinent guidance request. She can be reached at 840-8455 or

Counseling Events

IS Manila's Counseling Department hosts several activites and events throughout the year. Watch out for some of the workshops offered to ISM parents this school year.