International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit

Counseling

Our Middle School Counselors provide a proactive and collaborative program that promotes the overall well-being of each student, ensuring that they learn in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. Students are assigned alphabetically between the three Counselors for the duration of their Middle School years; however all the Counselors are available for consultation for personal or academic concerns.

The following services are provided by our Counselors:

  • Welcome of new students and their families to ISM, by facilitating the orientation programs which include academic scheduling and other transition concerns
  • Provide confidential personal and small-group counseling services
  • Offer parent workshops throughout the year which address various issues that relate to adolescent students
  • Collaborate with teachers, parents, administrators and other educators to discuss, design and implement specific interventions based on students individual needs
  • Represent student's well-being in school-wide program planning in collaboration with the Middle School Administration
  • Work with Grade Level Leaders to provide specific guidance lessons or initiatives through the Advisory program
  • Encourage Leadership development through programs such as Student Council and Student Ambassadors
  • Facilitate the High School Tutoring program, that offers academic and mentorship support for our students by High School volunteers

Availability - Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 4:00 by calling 840 8555,  or simply stopping by. You can also schedule an appointment with our wonderful Counseling Assistant, Ms. Grace Gabay in the Middle School Office or email us at MSGuidance@ismanila.org.

 

Meet the Counselors

Marc St. Laurent has been at ISM for the past fifteen years, serving in all three divisions in various capacities. In the Elementary and High School he worked as a Learning Specialist and focused on developing literacy in students that experienced some learning challenges. He has served as a Middle School Counselor for the past six years. He works with a variety of student groups and coaches a few sports. Marc believes in taking a holistic approach to help support individuals and believes in the philosophy of positive psychology. Marc has a Master's Degree in Special Education and obtained his Counseling Certificate from Lehigh University. He has received additional training in a variety of settings. He is an active member of the American School's Counselor Association (ASCA). He previously worked as a middle school classroom teacher and learning specialist in Pennsylvania, USA. Marc was also a counselor with psychiatric patients in a group home as well as a group home for adults with intellectual disabilities. Outside of work, Marc is a proud father of a daughter and two sons. He enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors. 

 

Diana van der Merwe is from sunny South Africa where she taught art, physical education and wellness for nine years at the International School of Johannesburg. She began teaching at ISM six years ago as the Middle School Wellness teacher and also enjoyed being the Grade Level Coordinator for Grade 6 and 8 for two years before she started as Middle School Counselor. Diana is a member of the American School's Counselor Association (ASCA). She obtained her Lehigh Counseling Certificate in 2007 and completed her Certificate of International School Counseling through the Principals' Training Center.

As a Middle School Counselor she is passionate about proactively supporting and promoting the emotional, social and academic growth of all students and enjoys getting to know students outside the classroom as a Middle School Touch Rugby coach.

Outside of school Diana likes to spend her time listening to music, decorating, watching movies and sports as well as entertaining friends and visiting family at home. She loves being outdoors, scuba diving and traveling to new places. She is a proud aunt of nephew Oliver and niece Jessica back home in South Africa.

 

Charlotte Bliss has recently joined the team from England, where she has spent the past 8 years teaching psychology, philosophy and ethics and personal, social, health education to students aged 11-18 years old. She has recently completed a Certificate in Counseling Children in Schools and a Masters in Psychology, where she was able to investigate the benefits of mindfulness in a school setting for her final thesis. She is a member of the American School’s Counselor Association (ASCA) and has also done training on Counseling across Cultures in International Schools with the Principals’ Training Center. She is passionate about the role of educators in nurturing the whole child and is delighted to be joining ISM and such a welcoming community of students, teachers and fellow educators. As a former student of an international school in Germany, and a keen sportswoman she is also involved in the many extra curricular activities and coaching opportunities available at the school.
She is joined by her son who loves swimming. Much of their leisure time is therefore spent by the pool, but they also love going to the cinema, travelling, reading and hanging out with friends and family.

 

Cecilia Unite also known as Ms. Ce, has been part of the ISM community since 2011 and joins the Middle School after 6 wonderful years in the Elementary School. Prior to her work at ISM, Ce worked as a Middle School counsellor at the United Nations International School, Hanoi. She also has extensive experience in life skills, public health and education projects for disadvantaged groups for various UN agencies and International Non-Governmental Organizations. Cecilia holds an M.A, PGDipCouns and M.C (c) and is in the process of completing her psychology supervision hours here in the Philippines. Cecilia is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), International School Counseling Association (ISCA) and American School Counseling Association (ASCA). Ce loves spending time with her husband and two children, running, going to the beach and practicing yoga.

 

Counseling Events

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