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Director of Counseling - Fall 2021

Student Life | Santa Rosa, CA | Full Time

Job Description


Overview of School:

Sonoma Academy is an independent high school located in Santa Rosa, CA on a 34-acre campus, surrounded by 1,000 acres of protected open space, at the base of Taylor Mountain. Founded in 2001, it provides an engaging, challenging, and innovative college preparatory education and a supportive community for motivated learners from Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, and Mendocino counties. Of our 330 students, 31% self-identify as students of color and 6% of our students are international students. Our students come from 80+ middle schools, ensuring a broad mixture of students from all over the greater North Bay Area.

Our Mission:  Sonoma Academy calls its students to be creative, ethical, and committed to learning. The school nurtures inspiring teachers and engages with the surrounding community, and its students communicate across cultures as they prepare to become leaders in a dynamic world.     

Sonoma Academy’s Commitment to Diversity: We believe that learning occurs best in a connected community. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are essential to an education in which all members of our community thrive. We are committed to cultivating a diverse community that is conscious and welcoming of difference, dedicated to investigating and advancing equity, and engages with our local and global community. If you would like to join us in our work, we would welcome your application. As we are deeply committed to having a staffulty (staff and faculty) and student body which reflects the rich diversity within the North Bay, we strongly encourage candidates from BIPOC and/or educators from communities that are historically underrepresented to apply.

Position Overview:  

The School Counselor collaborates with students, parents, faculty, the Dean of Student Life, and the Student Support Team (SST)  in order to support the social emotional well being for a diverse student body of approximately 330 students. The counselor meets with community members one-on-one, leads evening events with parents, and leads the Health and Wellness curriculum. The counselor will spearhead the reenvisioning of the Sonoma Academy Health and Wellness program, and work in collaboration with the Dean of Student Life to make this vision a reality. This is a full time position.

Key Responsibilities


  • Provide culturally competent short-term individual counseling with staff-referred, parent referred, and self-referred students

  • Assess and refer out when students require ongoing psychotherapy or mental health services outside of school

  • Manage referral list for outside therapists and psychiatrists

  • Act as liaison between psychologists, therapists, and doctors when a student is in need of a treatment plan and accommodations for mental health reasons 

  • Maintain records in accordance with professional practices and needs of the school

  • Serves as case manager for students with mental health diagnoses, including writing, updating, and ensuring proper implementation of mental health learning plans

  • Follows-up with students with mental health diagnoses on a regular basis to make sure they are getting the support they need as well as learning to be strong self-advocates

  • Uphold a policy of confidentiality in order to protect the students who seek help from the counselor as well as clearly conveying the confidentiality policy to students when they first utilize counseling services

  • Attend a designated grade-level student overnight retreat at the beginning of the school year as well as a mid-year sophomore overnight retreat

Faculty and Staff

  • Provide training to teachers and staff in mandated reporting of child abuse and appropriate boundaries as educators before classes begin in August

  • Consult with faculty on an as needed basis regarding issues that arise in and out of the classroom


  • Counsel and consult with parents when appropriate regarding issues with their students

  • Plan parent education events with the Dean of Student Life 

  • Lead Freshman Parent Evening and Sophomore Parent Evening with the Dean of Student Life

  • Collaborate with College Counselors on an event for senior parents on launching seniors

  • Provide 4 Conversations w/ Counselor parent coffees throughout year

  • Contribute to Wellness Corner in the Sonoma Academy bi-monthly newsletter


  • Utilize expert knowledge to consult and serve as a resource within the SA community regarding topics related to mental health, adolescent development, and well being

  • Attend BAISHA (Bay Area Independent School Heads Association) meetings, when possible

  • Seek outside consultation when unsure on how to support a student or handle a crisis 

  • Participate in professional development opportunities to ensure optimal support and best practices as a school counselor

Health and Wellness Program

  • Reenvision, design, and implement the Sonoma Academy Health and Wellness curriculum for all grade levels

  • Teach and train others (teachers and 12th grade Teaching Assistants) to deliver the Health and Wellness curriculum

  • Lead a Health and Wellness TA training program for 12th grade students prior to the beginning of the school year

Student Support Team (SST)

  • Attend weekly Student Review meetings and SST meetings

  • Collaborate with members of SST to design and implement student support

  • Collaborate with SST during moments of crisis and major events which impact the community

  • Read, interpret, and translate educational testing into appropriate accommodations and/or interventions for students with mental health diagnoses

  • Consult with admissions in relation to all applicants and incoming students with socioemotional issues and needs

  • Lead crisis intervention including follow-through on all CPS protocol in collaboration with the Dean of Student Life

Supervisory responsibilities

  • This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities of employees.

Work Environment

  • This position operates in a professional, collaborative, office environment at a private, independent high school. This position requires limited evening work. 

Required Education and Experience 

  • Experience working in a school setting as a school counselor for 4 years or more

  • Hold a credential (PPSC), license (MFT, LCSW, PsyD, PhD, LPCC)

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Experience developing and implementing health and wellness programming in a high school setting

Competencies Required

  • Experience and/or enthusiasm for working within a diverse community and a commitment to create inclusive programming and activities

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

  • Willingness to be part of a collaborative environment and work closely with colleagues and students

  • Ability to maintain appropriate boundaries with teenagers, while having fun and truly enjoying working with young people

  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, with a professional and empathetic approach

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, verbally and in writing

  • Calm under pressure with the ability to adapt and improvise when obstacles or crisis present themselves

  • Positive attitude, enthusiasm, flexible approach, and a sense of humor

Physical Demands

The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an individual to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of the job, the individual is regularly required to talk or hear. The individual is frequently required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel, and reach with hands and arms. The individual is occasionally required to stand, stoop or kneel. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close and distance vision.

Sonoma Academy is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. For more information about Sonoma Academy, please visit our website (