School counselors in Randolph County object to changes in positions

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ELKINS, W.Va. – The Randolph County Board of Education is changing all the counselor positions in the county to be itinerant positions starting with the next school year.  

This means that any counselor in the county could be asked to spend their day at any school where they’re needed.  But Elkins Middle School counselors Jill Zurbuch and Roohi Khan said the change is a bad plan, and that having counselors stay in one building is too important.

“We need more counselors, not less.  While we appreciate and care for all kids in the county, we are advocating for them, as well by fighting to keep our jobs here,” said Zurbuch.

But Superintendent Gabe Devono said they shouldn’t be too worried about much in the way of movement.  He said Zurbuch and Khan will still spend most of their time at Elkins Middle School, where they have worked for years.  He said the change will make it easier for the county to provide for immediate needs.

“This doesn’t meant that they’ll be moved.  They’ll still be at their same school, but it gives the county the option, if something did come up that we need a counselor, that we have one,” said Devono.

But that’s not enough for Khan and Zurbuch.  They said a rising need for mental health care in students means they’re busier than before, and they want to provide the best care they can for those students.

“Counseling is based on relationships and availability and being there for the students, and even however big a chunk of time or a smaller one, when we are not here, I think it’s not good for our students, to not have that continuity and the confidence that they counselors are available when they need them,” said Khan.

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