Lovejoy Middle School counselor Lindsey McDaniel and registrar Shonna Frazier take care of the school’s day-to-day needs in attendance, enrollment, academic scheduling and behavioral counseling. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)
HAMPTON — Lindsey McDaniel stood tall near the school’s front lobby with his sights aimed in the glow of the laptop screen.
It sat atop a media cart — the same as school librarians used 30 years ago to erect large tube television sets and video players for students to watch movies and documentaries.
McDaniel, a counselor at Lovejoy Middle School, has added a purpose to those four-wheel carts. His is not only a four-wheel wireless media cart, it is a rolling counseling center for 662 students and their teachers.
“I try to be accessible,” said McDaniel, who came up with the idea in August.
His idea is to be available to students and teachers throughout the school.
Principal Dr. April Madden said she is encouraged by the idea and its potential long-term affects on students.
“The mobile counselor is a good way for the kids to see who the counselor is,” said Madden.
McDaniel is another eye and an increased presence in the hallways. He said he has been able to help resolve unexpected issues that arise during his three-to-four-hours daily tours down the school’s hallways.
“I’m just trying to find a good balance where I can be accessible,” said McDaniel. “We also have a lot of administrative duties.”
He said the school’s wireless technology allows him to change and print student schedules away from his desk. He can also receive emails and voicemails from his mobile cart.
He has done some classroom observations as well, he said as he tapped on Sylvia Swain’s classroom door.
Swain had been teaching a sixth-grade Earth science lesson on weather — types of weather and what causes different weather patterns — when he arrived. She embraces McDaniel’s visits.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Swain. “It’s getting kids ready for the 21st century.”
Swain pointed out that McDaniel also conducts in-class college and career readiness lessons.
McDaniel said teachers and students at Lovejoy participate in counseling-advisement sessions for about 30 minutes each Monday morning. The sessions cover a range of topics related to preparing for life and training beyond middle school.
Mobile counseling also increases the efficiency of McDaniel’s office, said registrar Shonna Frazier. She said he is able to communicate directly with students and teachers at the same time he is getting his work done with the mobile cart.
“It’s hard to sit in this office with so many people whose needs have to be addressed,” said Frazier. “Now he actually has a chance to get out and interact with the students.”