By Rylie Young
The Charter News – 10/31/18
This school year, ACA has undergone major staff changes with staff leaving and new staff joining. Last year’s counselor, Megan Coggins, left to spend time with her new baby. In her place, this year is Mark Silverman.
Mark Silverman, ACA’s new counselor, states “I really value diversity and inclusive environments where people regardless of where they come from, what their race is, what their sexual orientation is, what their religion is, feel like they have a safe place to learn, and that they know they are valued.”
You may have seen Silverman in the hallway, trying to meet everyone and familiarize himself with the staff, students, and parents of our school. He hopes for everyone will know who he is, what he does, and where to find him. He says his goal is that by winter break everyone will know that he’s another resource in the building for people to talk to. “I’m getting closer every week,” he says.
“He’s great because he’s tried to introduce himself to everybody, which allows more people to trust him. I think more people are willing to talk to him because they talk outside of his office,” says Miriam Lee.
Seeing school counselor, Mark Silverman has multiple advantages, you don’t just have to talk to him when you’re sad. Silverman has things to help kids regulate who are stressed out such as, kinetic sand, color sheets, silly putty, meditation tapes, and more. He has several posters on how to work through your feelings, and hotline cards for kids who need someone to talk to. He also has dozens of books on parenting and kids that he hopes to lend to parents.
“I told my kids that it is really important that he’s here,” says Ericka Lute “I like him all around.”
“You know I really like my space in here, it’s a new space for me after being somewhere for 27 years, but I like it…People can find me easily because I’m right by the office.” Says Silverman
As you walk into Silverman’s office, you will see a rubber chicken named Captain Cluck. Captain Cluck is a metaphor for when you mess up or have a “rubber chicken” moment.
Mark has several hobbies and interests, reading, hiking, and watching football and movies to name a few.
For 35 years, Mark has been working in schools, both as a teacher and a counselor. This past year, he decided he needed a flexible part-time job and heard from a friend about ACA’s counselor job opening. Wanting to give it a try, Mark emailed Barbara Gaines his resume, and a few minutes later received a response asking when he could come in and talk to them.
“So, I came in the next week and met with the administrative team, and I had probably as many questions for them as they did for me…But by the end of the meeting, I felt really comfortable, and I love the fact that it’s K-12 because I really love working with teenagers.” Says Mark Silverman. He says it seemed to be a terrific fit, and thus far he loves it. In addition, Silverman is working at Lewis and Clark College, where he supervises students that want to become counselors themselves.
Wake Crum, a third grader who has been meeting with Mark Silverman for several weeks now to start an anti-bullying campaign says “He’s really nice, probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of people— like 20 people.”
Crum, Wake. Personal Interview. October 24th, 2018.
Lee, Miriam. Personal Interview. October 24th, 2018.
Lute, Ericka. Personal Interview. October 18th, 2018.
Silverman, Mark. Personal Interview. September 6th and October 16th, 2018.