Heathwood's commitment to nurturing the whole child means we place a strong emphasis on emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing as well as on intellectual growth. Our Counseling team, made up of dedicated School Counselors for each division (EC/LS, MS, US) as well as our two School Chaplains, works with students of all ages to help them problem-solve around the social and emotional issues that are common at each age level and cope with the stressors--such as learning differences, anxiety, and grief--that many children will confront at some point in their lives.
In addition to working one-on-one with students as needed, our counselors teach classes, support parents and families, create programming for both students and parents to address issues such as navigating social media and peer pressure, and coordinate with faculty to help create optimum environments in which students can learn. Our chaplains are also available to provide pastoral care and support.
Counseling by Division
Early Childhood & Lower School
EC/LS Counselor Jenny Holder '00 supports our youngest Highlanders by
Teaching classroom guidance lessons to EC2 - 4th grade that emphasize skills for learning, empathy development, emotional management, and problem-solving
Working with 3rd-4th grade students on bullying prevention
Providing one-on-one and small-group services based on students' needs in areas such as emotion management and social conflict
Partnering with faculty and parents to support student growth and development
Middle School Counselor Stacy Gross '95 supports students in grades 5 - 8 by
Teaching adolescent skills classes, with an emphasis on developing a greater sense of self and community awareness and on lifelong skills such as conflict resolution, stress management, and self-advocacy
Helping students attain academic success and overall wellbeing through the Middle School's Mindful in the Hall program
Supporting students and families as they navigate the unique challenges of adolescence
Upper School Counselor Elizabeth Grove '95 supports students in grades 9-12 by
Teaching counseling lessons during Advisory time
Offering small-group counseling lessons
Creating programming on topics like social media safety, wellbeing in romantic relationships, and avoiding substance abuse
Jenny Cathcart Holder is a local product, having lived in Columbia all of her life. She is a graduate of Heathwood Hall, Class of 2000, where she was involved in several programs, participated in various sports, and earned the Headmaster's Award. As a Heathwood student, Jenny was always fond of the school counselor, enjoyed being a peer counselor, and made it her goal to one day hold a similar post. After earning a double major in Psychology and Spanish from Auburn University, she came back to Heathwood and began working as a teacher in the Afternoon Express program. She has served in several other roles at the school, including Spanish/Study Skills teacher in the Middle School and Associate teacher and Spanish teacher in the Lower School. While working in those various roles, she completed her Education Specialist degree in Counselor Education, School Counseling from the University of South Carolina in 2010. As the Early Childhood and Lower School Counselor, Jenny is doing what she has desired since her Heathwood student days: helping to foster and support the community that she loves. Her current professional affiliations include the American Counseling Association, American School Counseling Association, and the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Stacy Gross returned to the Heathwood faculty in the spring of 2015 following a period of several years in which she ran her family’s flooring business. Upon graduating as a “lifer” from Heathwood in 1995, Stacy completed her B.A. in Psychology with a Concentration in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1999. She received an Ed.S and M.Ed in School Counseling from USC in 2002 while working as an ECLC Associate and Afternoon Express teacher. Following completion of her graduate degree, Stacy served as a School Counselor at E.L. Wright Middle School in Columbia 4 years, then remained a stay-at-home-mom to her children until 2011.
A member of Heathwood's class of '95, Elizabeth was excited to join our faculty in 2018 as the Upper School Counselor, PEAK Associate, and Psychology teacher. Elizabeth attributes her love for learning and teaching to the hard work and dedication of her beloved Heathwood teachers from 4k through the 12th grade. As an upper school student, she was selected to participate in a peer counseling program that first piqued her interest in a counseling profession. The strong sense of community, the relationships between students and faculty, and the creative experiential learning that happens on and off this campus are some of the things Elizabeth loves most about Heathwood. After earning a B.A. in Secondary Education from Clemson University, she then completed her Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree Counseling at the University of South Carolina. Her life has come full circle now as she is also the proud parent of two teenage Highlanders.