National School Counseling Week: A Public School Counselor’s Story

February 6, 2014 |

Felicia Doyle is a school counselor at William P. Clements High School in Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas. She received the Coca Cola Educator of Distinction Award in May 2012 and the Mary McLeod Bethune Impact Service Award in 2013.

My journey to counseling began when I was growing up, as I realized that my friends trusted me as a confidante and often asked me for advice. I seemed to be more “mature” than my peers. Perhaps I was just a bit more “old-fashioned.” It has always been rewarding for me knowing that I have been able to help someone in some way, no matter how big or small.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in school psychology. My professional certifications are in education: teaching English and psychology (secondary), as well as counseling K-12. I have been a professional educator for 34 years (7 teaching high school English and 27 as an elementary school, middle school and high school counselor). I am currently the lead counselor at William P. Clements High School in Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, TX.

My career goal was to eventually open a private practice; however, I realized that if did, I would lose the experience of working with ALL students—those who are successful as well as those who are not. I was/am not ready to sacrifice that! I enjoy writing college letters of recommendation as well as working with students who have learning and emotional challenges. Nothing gives me more joy than when any of my students tells me how much he/she appreciates everything I have done for him/her and that I have made a difference in their lives.

As a counselor, I wear many hats. On any given day I can double as a mother, friend, nurse, therapist, cheerleader, headhunter, clerk, administrator, coordinator, director, adviser, motivator, etc., and it is usually all of the above! I never know what to expect when my day begins because I literally put out different fires and resolve various issues every day. I work after hours most days to complete necessary paperwork because I do not want to neglect my students during the day. It’s a good problem to have! I would never want any of my students to feel that the mountains of paperwork I must address is more important than their issue at the moment. I would rather sacrifice my time than theirs.

I have been teased as being the “pied piper” of children because they seem to cling to me for some reason, particularly the ones who seem to dance to the beat of a different drum. I have a special affinity for them, and perhaps they can sense that. Although this job isn’t at the top of the food chain when it comes to pay grades or financial compensation, what is does offer for people like me who genuinely want to help others, is the opportunity to reach the lives of many who may otherwise go untouched or unnoticed. So…if one asks why I do what I do, the simplest response is it’s my opportunity to be of service to others, and that, for me, is fulfilling.

Felicia Doyle, Lead Counselor
Clements High School
Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land, Texas

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