At MICDS, we recognize that the social-emotional lives of our students are inextricably linked to their academic lives. Therefore, each division is served by a counselor, learning specialist, and nurse who support the MICDS mission to prepare students to think critically, act responsibly, and live virtuously and compassionately. They work to create a culture recognizing the importance of both an appreciation for learning and the continued development of strong moral character and personal responsibility. The learning specialists, counselors, and nurses work in close consultation with each other as well as with other faculty members, administration, and parents to help all students reach their true potential in intellectual character and responsibility.
Highlights from our programming and education with parents, students, and faculty in these areas within the past year include:
  • Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
  • Dr. David Walsh, author of Why Do They Act That Way? and Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids
  • Partnership with NCADA to provide drug and alcohol awareness and education at each division
  • Online safety and digital citizenship education
  • Prevention and intervention for relational aggression and other social issues
Current MICDS parents can refer to the Student Services Community Group on the portal for further information and resources available from all student services areas.  

MICDS Counselors

By forming a team with parents, MICDS faculty and administration, the Counselor provides a support system for dealing with issues that affect the emotional well-being and academic success of the students in our community. The Counselor is committed to the promotion of positive personal growth in all students, and will remain devoted to serving as an effective catalyst for the realization of each student’s potential and for the consequent positive development of the MICDS educational community.

What is the role of the Counselor?
The Counselor is committed to the promotion of positive personal growth, emotional wellness and healthy development among students, families, and faculty in the MICDS community.   Each division has a School Counselor . At the Upper School, this person is in addition to the College Counselor. If you have any concerns about your child’s social, emotional, or psychological development, your divisional Counselor is an appropriate person to contact.

The School Counselors:
  • implement developmentally appropriate counseling programs to educate all students about emotional health and wellness;
  • meet individually with students to address concerns or challenges in their personal, social, or academic lives;
  • respond to school concerns or crises affecting the psychological well- being of students;
  • refer to resources on campus and in the community for specialized support of students’ developmental or mental health needs;
  • consult with teachers, parents, and school staff on topics related to the emotional development and mental health of youth;
  • develop nurturing, trusting relationships with students which provide a basis for support, advocacy and guidance.


List of 4 members.

  • Victoria Thurman 

    Director of Student Support Services
  • Kara Friedman 

  • David Hotaling 

  • Ashley O'Toole M.S., S.S.P., NCSP 

    Lower School Learning Specialist/Counselor