Guidance and Counseling

  • Welcome to the Guidance Office!

    It is the mission of the Fort McCoy Guidance Department to provide a school counseling program that will lead to student excellence in academics, career awareness, and social/personal development.

    To achieve this goal, the school counselors utilize a comprehensive guidance program that is preventative in nature. Students at Fort McCoy are provided with instructional lessons that help ensure that ALL students are on the road to success in school and in life.

     The Big 3



    Guidance Counselors

    • PreK – 5th Grade : Mary Taschenberger
    • 6th Grade – 8th Grade : Matthew Dobbins


    Support and Diagnostic Staff

    • Elementary School IPC : Kristy Chesser
    • Middle School IPC : Kristy Chesser
    • ESE Guidance Clerk : Tammy Walker
    • Guidance Clerk : Christine McCurdy
    • Attendance : Dianne Timko
    • School Psychologist : Lisa Merrow
    • School Social Worker : Meagan Graham
    • School Social Work Assistant : Athena Alvarez
    • Staffing Specialist : Tina Molinos


    Phone Numbers

    • Guidance - 671-6332
    • ESE Clerk - 671-6333
    • Attendance - 671-6337


    Parent Conferences

    • Elementary: Please send a note or call 671-6325 and leave a message for your child’s teacher that you would like to schedule a meeting. They will respond with a scheduled time.
    • Middle: Please call 671-6333 to set a conference with one or more teachers. Conferences are held everyday at 2:15, except Fridays.


    We are here to help you help your child be successful in school, at home, and in the community. HOW? Guidance services for parents include:

    • Telephone Conferences
    • Parent Conferences
    • Parent/Teacher Conferences
    • Helping Parents help their children
    • Parent Workshops on interpreting FSA scores, Homework Tips, Parenting Teens, etc…
    • Academic Planning, Middle School and High School Orientation
    • Scholarship and College Planning
    • Referrals to community agencies
    • Academic Planning and Diploma Option Meetings
    • Information and Resources

    Concerns you may want to discuss with your child’s school counselor include

    • Classroom performance
    • Family changes
    • Home or community stressors
    • Classroom Behavior
    • Peer Relationships
    • Responsibility
    • Any Sudden Change in Your Child’s Behavior or Attitude

    The guidance team at Fort McCoy provides information and support in the areas of Academic, Career, and Social/Personal Development through

    • School-wide Guidance Activities
    • Classroom Guidance
    • Academic Planning and Advisement
    • Group Counseling
    • Crisis Counseling
    • Transition Programs
    • Coordination of Fun and Community Service
    • Activities

    As part of each student’s academic team, the school counselors are here to support you in meeting individual student academic and behavioral needs.

    • Accommodations and Program Information
    • Behavioral Intervention plans
    • Academic Interventions to deal with struggling students.
    • Classroom Guidance Lessons to support your class needs
    • Parent Conferences and parent communication Academic Planning

    Ways for a student to see the school counselor

    Self Referral -- guidance request forms are available through guidance and classroom teachers
    Parent Referral -- please call with any concern or questions
    Teacher Referral -- teachers frequently bring concerns to the team for follow up
    Administrative Referrals -- involving academic or behavioral concerns

    General Information


    All new students must register in the Guidance Office. Our personnel are familiar with all the requirements and can help answer any of your questions.


    Taking attendance is the responsibility of the classroom teacher. If a child is not in his/her classroom by 7:45 am, he/she must check in at the Attendance Office before reporting to class. Also, if children are chronically absent, tardy or picked up early, notices may be sent from the Attendance Office in accordance with Marion County School System policies and Florida Statutes. Upon your child’s return to school, send a hand-written note to the reason for the absence. If your child was seen by a doctor, please send the doctor’s note. Any student, who is absent more than 5 days in a rolling 45 day period, will be required to have a doctor’s note for further absences to be excused until the expiration date stated in the letter the parent receives. This is in accordance with FL statutes.


    Signing Out Early

    Any parent wishing to sign a student out early must first sign in at the front office and present identification. Then, please proceed to the Attendance Office to sign out your child. You must be listed on the student’s pick up authorization list. There will be no checkouts after 1:45 pm.


    Advanced Absences

    A request for an advanced absence should be submitted to the attendance office 48 hours prior to the first date of the absence. All advanced absences must be approved by the Fort McCoy administration. Criteria considered for approval includes: student academic, attendance, and discipline history.


    Official Records

    Your child's cumulative records are housed in the Guidance Office. If you need to review anything in the folder please call ahead and make an appointment for someone to go over the contents with you. If you need a copy of any document in your child's folder we can provide it for you. If you request more than two copies, a charge will be assessed at 5 cents per copy. Again, please call ahead and we will try and have it ready for you or will send it home via your child. If you are transferring out of Ft. McCoy we will make sure all necessary documents are forwarded to your child's new school.