SPUSD Expands Counseling Services for Elementary, Middle and High School Students

Responding to an increased need for deeper mental health services for students, South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) will kick off the 2018-2019 school year with a larger counseling team and additional group counseling opportunities for students, funded through restricted supplemental state resources.

Natasha Prime, the previous part-time Train Your Brain intervention counselor will now be working full-time with students at the middle and high school level. As part of the Train Your Brain program, Prime delivers targeted, short-term therapy in areas such as anger-stress management, coping skills, social skills, and organizational/study skills.  In her new role, she will provide expanded Train Your Brain support while also providing crisis intervention support to students struggling with significant anxiety, depression, and potential self-harm.   As such, she will work in tandem with the existing counselors to ensure that students access needed services. Prime also oversees several interns who are available to students on a part-time basis every week at each campus.

Additionally, counselor Marina Thompson, who previously split time between Arroyo Vista Elementary and Monterey Hills, will continue half-time at Monterey Hills and will add District-wide child welfare and attendance responsibilities. The District hired Kimberly Woo to fill the vacated counseling position at Arroyo Vista. With the increased staffing, all elementary counselors will be prioritizing group counseling opportunities to support the social and emotional health and well-being of our students.

“We’re seeing a greater need for social-emotional support throughout students’ educational journeys to keep them safe and healthy,” said Superintendent Geoff Yantz, SPUSD. “These new staff members will join a District-wide team of talented school psychologists and counselors whose focus is on the welfare of our students.”

If you know of any student in need of counseling services, please first contact the student’s academic counselor who will be able refer the family to needed support personnel or agencies.

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.


For more information, contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, scarroll@spusd.net.