School Counseling

La Salle Academy’s School Counseling Department promotes the personal growth of students and provides them with the strategies necessary to develop academically, professionally, and socially. 
Working Together

Preventive and developmental counseling helps students cope with the stresses and pressures that affect their personal development and academic performance.

In theory, the School Counseling Department does distinguish between counseling (dealing with such personal matters as emotional issues or social adjustment problems) and advising (academic matters). In practice, our approach is more holistic.

Although each counselor’s primary responsibility is counseling and advising, the department works collaboratively with the principal, vice-principal for academics, vice-principal for student life, deans, teachers, parents, and other school personnel to ensure continuity and effectiveness in dealing with the whole student.

The Role of School Counselors

Counseling is a process of helping in which the school counselor provides a safe, nurturing environment. By establishing a trusting, confidential working relationship, students can share their feelings and develop positive solutions to personal issues. Often, the focus is on problem-solving, decision-making, and discovering personal meaning related to learning and development. Parents, teachers, administrators, and students can initiate a referral to the school counselor.

The school counselor is an advocate for students. This advocacy takes many forms, including:

  • Listening to students, assessing their needs, and developing realistic interventions.
  • Helping students cope with emotional pressures, set goals, and become responsible young adults.
  • Helping students understand and accept their capabilities and limitations.
  • Assisting students with transition issues and helping them get acclimated to La Salle Academy.
  • Making appropriate internal and external referrals.


An important obligation of school counselors is to maintain the confidentiality of their students. School counselors are obliged not to disclose information that a student has shared, within the context of the counseling relationship, unless such disclosures are necessary to protect the student from posing a serious threat to him/herself or others.

Commonly Asked Questions

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Do I need an appointment to see my counselor?

    Yes and no. The Counseling Department has an open-door policy. Although we invite our students to visit their counselors as needed, there are times when counselors will be in meetings or be otherwise engaged. If it is not an emergency, you may need to make an appointment for a future time.

    There are several ways to make an appointment with your counselor. 
    • Stop by the office and speak directly with your counselor.
    • Leave your counselor a note requesting a meeting.
    • Email or call your counselor directly. 
    • Your counselor may schedule an appointment and send your pass through your homeroom teacher.
  • Q: What if I receive a pass from my counselor but have a test/quiz scheduled?

    Academics always come first. When you receive the pass, please stop by to let your counselor know that you won’t be able to keep the appointment. If you can, reschedule with them at that time.
  • Q: Do my parents need an appointment to meet with my counselor?

    Yes. We are happy to meet with your parents, but we request they make an appointment. They can do this by calling or emailing your counselor directly. A counselor’s day is tightly scheduled; they need advanced notice to reserve time for your parent and to properly prepare for the meeting.
  • Q: What are La Salle Academy’s graduation requirements?

    Every student needs 25.5 credits to graduate, including four credits of Religious Studies and English, three credits of math; two and one half credits of social studies; two credits of a lab science and world language; one semester each of arts and computer science; and four years of Physical Education. The particular courses needed in each department are listed in the Course Catalog.

    Any class in which a student has received an F must be made up in summer school. All students must pass all courses and achieve 25.5 credits.
  • Q: What happens if I fail a class?

    Classes may only be made up in summer school, never during the school year. All failed courses must be made up in order to graduate.
  • Q: What is a transcript?

    Your transcript is an accurate depiction of your high school academic record. It shows each class you have taken throughout your high school career by grade level, with the final grade you received for the year. A transcript does not show quarter grades or exam grades. The transcript will show your grade point average for each year, as well as the weighted cumulative total.

    If you would like to see an unofficial copy of your transcript, contact your counselor.
  • Q: Can I talk to my counselor about non-academic issues?

    Of course. Counselors are specifically trained to handle a variety of issues. We are happy to talk with you about family, friends, emotional concerns, and anything else that might be on your mind. As school counselors, we cannot provide psychotherapy or regular one-on-one counseling that might be needed in some situations. We can, however, offer referrals to outside professionals who can provide appropriate services.
  • Q: What is your policy on confidentiality?

    Meetings with students are confidential; however, there are legal exceptions that require us to break confidentiality. If we have reason to believe that there is a clear and imminent threat (student harming him/herself or another person), we are required by law to disclose information or take other actions to protect those in danger. If we have reason to believe that a student is being abused, we are required to report this information immediately. Lastly, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if a court issues a legitimate subpoena and determines that confidentiality is not privileged.

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of ConiSue King

    ConiSue King 

    Director of School and College Counseling
    (401) 351-7750 ext 124
  • Photo of Lisa Buehne

    Lisa Buehne 98

    School Counselor
    (401) 351-7750 ext 187
  • Photo of Timothy Finnegan

    Timothy Finnegan 

    School Counselor
    (401) 351-7750 ext 126
  • Photo of Lee Matteson

    Lee Matteson 

    School and College Counseling Administrative Assistant
    (401) 351-7750 ext 128

Counselor Assignments

List of 3 items.

List of 2 items.

  • Freshman Counseling

    Welcome to La Salle Academy. During your freshman year, our goal is to help you transition and adjust, both academically and socially. We encourage all 9th-graders to ask questions, get involved in the community, and seek out a school counselor when needed.
    Although we work with the freshman class on academics, personal/social life, and college/career planning, the school counseling office is a resource for students, regardless of their issue.

    A sampling of topics we address:
    • Setting and reaching academic goals.
    • Improving organizational skills.
    • Building self-confidence.
    • Improving time management.
    • Developing decision-making strategies.
    • Conflict resolution.
    The La Salle Academy School Counseling Office takes pride in assisting all students in their development. Students are always welcome, and parents are encouraged to call with any questions or concerns. School Counselors can be reached through the office secretary, Mrs. Matteson, at (401) 351-7750, ext 128.
  • Sophomore Counseling

    Welcome to sophomore year. Throughout this year, you'll continue building upon skills developed as a freshman, including organization, time management, and conflict resolution. This is the year students begin to better understand and internalize the concept of self, especially as it pertains to the La Salle community and beyond.
    Whether it's working with individuals, small group, or the larger school community, our approach to helping students develop into well-rounded, lifelong learners includes:
    • Advancing study habits. 
    • Preparing for the PSAT.
    • Guiding with course selection.  
    • Developing self-advocacy skills.
    • Expanding social networks.
    • Exploring career/college paths.
    • Learning test-taking strategies.
    • Handling stress.
    The School Counseling Office continues to be a place of encouragement and guidance; one that offers students a safe place to cope with the issues they face.

    Committed to our mission, the counseling center plays a vital role in creating partnerships with the families of our students. In addition, the school fosters a community where students from different socioeconomic, ethnic, and family backgrounds educate one another through mutual understanding, respect, and acceptance.

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