The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms. There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Cassandra Daniels!
Each month we will feature one special mom as the Mom of the Month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!
Meet our October Mom of the Month: Cassandra Daniels
Cassandra Daniels is a Professional School Counselor in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Cassandra earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Studies and Master of Education in School Counseling from Bowie State University. As a Professional School Counselor, Cassandra works to remove barriers to students’ education by addressing academic, behavioral, social, and emotional concerns. Community outreach is worth gold to Cassandra, as she is always developing community partnerships to build a village of resources for her school community. Cassandra curates creative experiences that will positively enhance the lives of students and their families.
Cassandra is also an Experience Enthusiast and creator of Gallivant D(M)V. Gallivant means to go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment. Cassandra caters to family & friend groups who are seeking local gems, “know before you go” tips, & information to maximize the experience! Cassandra creates authentic and relatable content using the art of storytelling to build community. Cassandra and her 9-year son are fall festival fanatics, nature lovers, & all things kid FUN!
Here is our Q&A with Cassandra Daniels:
1. Tell us about a typical day for you.
As a Professional School Counselor, my role requires much giving, pouring into others, and extreme flexibility. Students can always find me in the front lobby with the brightest shirts, skirts, slouch socks, and sneakers! I purposely dress like joy and fun for my students.
Once all students are in class and instruction starts, my planning time begins. Planning is huge because I am one school counselor to 500 students. Planning for college and career week, 504 meetings, IEP meetings, family conferences, sending community partnership pitches, completing field trip packets, creating batch content for the morning announcements, reviewing student referrals from teachers and families, analyzing student truancy data, and plugging in monthly awareness activities on the school master calendar.
Once I hear little footsteps headed to the cafeteria, I know that it is the first lunch shift. Yes, school counselors are assigned to lunch duty! Once lunch duty is over, I carve out 30 mins for lunch and fellowship with my colleagues. The remainder of the day is filled with crisis intervention, lunch bunches, meetings, school-wide events, and individual counseling sessions.
During dismissal, you can find me in the front office with students who have missed their bus, answering phones, and assisting families that walk in. Finally, I close out my day by reflecting on incidents that occurred with both administrators and strategizing on ways to continually improve for the next day!
2. What excites you most about serving as an Elementary School Counselor?
Elementary School Counseling provides the opportunity to be as creative as possible! Elementary school is the first six years of a child’s education and it should be marked as the most fun, memorable, and progressive six years. I love witnessing many of the students’ first experiences like the first field trip, awards ceremony, spirit week, school dance, field day, music recital, etc.
Serving as an Elementary School Counselor allows me to have a huge impact on first-time parents and caregivers who are raising children under unique circumstances. I have a special advantage in building students’ toolboxes with skills to equip them for a successful future! I love each day as a Professional School Counselor. I wake up each day with gratitude to God for the important role that I play in the lives of students, families, and staff members.
3. In What Ways Can and Should Parents Reach out to you for Support?
Parents and caregivers can reach out to their school’s Professional School Counselor for support with:
Identifying and recommending community resources
Academic, behavioral, social, and emotional concerns
Questions to ask during quarterly conferences with teachers
Navigating the procedures, policies, and opportunities within your school district
Request to serve as an advocate for students in meetings
Information on social and emotional development
Coordinate support with school specialists
Tips on starting developmentally appropriate conversations on important topics
Homelessness, attendance, and health concerns
Request for individual counseling sessions
At DC Area Moms, we are grateful for all that Cassandra Daniels, our Mom of the Month, does for the community of moms and children she encounters. And thankful for ALL school counselors!
Do you know an amazing mom? Nominate a mom of the month here!