Integrity - Service - Merit
Our Middle School Counselors provide a proactive and collaborative program that promotes the overall well-being of each student, ensuring that they learn in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. Students are assigned alphabetically between the three Counselors for the duration of their Middle School years; however all the Counselors are available for consultation for personal or academic concerns.
The following services are provided by our Counselors:
Availability - Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 4:00 by calling 840 8555, or simply stopping by. You can also schedule an appointment with our wonderful Counseling Assistant, Ms. Nichole Reyes in the Middle School Office or email us at MSGuidance@ismanila.org.
Marc St. Laurent (Grade 8 Counselor) has been at ISM for the past nineteen years, serving in all three divisions in various capacities. In the Elementary and High School he worked as a Learning Specialist and focused on developing literacy in students that experienced learning challenges. He has served as a Middle School Counselor for the past thirteen years. He works with a variety of student groups and coaches soccer. Marc believes in taking a holistic approach to help support individuals and believes in the philosophy of positive psychology. Marc has a Master's Degree in Special Education and obtained his Counseling Credentials from Lehigh University. He has received additional training from the Beck's Institute and completed the Solution Focused Therapy program. He is an active member of the American School's Counselor Association (ASCA). He previously worked as a middle school classroom teacher and learning specialist in Pennsylvania, USA. Marc was also a counselor with psychiatric patients in a group home as well as a group home for adults with intellectual impairments.
Charlotte Bliss (Grade 7 Counselor) is in her fifth year at ISM, and is now also a proud middle school parent with her son coming into 5th grade this year. Previous to ISM she taught psychology and religious education in a high school in the UK for 8 years before changing her career focus and completing a Masters in Psychology and a Certificate in Counseling Children in Schools. Having been raised in Germany and attending the Frankfurt International School for the majority of her school years, she has first hand experience of both the challenges and opportunities of being a third culture kid and is delighted to be working in such an internationally minded community. Since being here she has also completed her Certificate of International School Counselling with the Principals’ Training Center and is a member of the American School’s Counselor Association (ASCA.) Charlotte loves exploring the Philippines with her son and is a keen camper and hiker.
Diana van der Merwe (Grade 6 Counselor) is from sunny South Africa where she taught art, physical education and wellness for nine years at the International School of Johannesburg. She began teaching at ISM ten years ago as the Middle School Wellness teacher and also enjoyed being the Grade Level Coordinator for Grade 6 and 8 for two years before she started as Middle School Counselor. Diana is a member of the American School's Counselor Association (ASCA). She obtained her Lehigh Counseling Certificate in 2007 and completed her Certificate of International School Counseling through the Principals' Training Center.
As a Middle School Counselor she is passionate about proactively supporting and promoting the emotional, social and academic growth of all students and enjoys getting to know students outside the classroom as a Middle School Touch Rugby coach.
Outside of school Diana likes to spend her time listening to music, decorating, watching movies and sports as well as entertaining friends and visiting family at home. She loves being outdoors, scuba diving and traveling to new places. She is a proud aunt of nephew Oliver and niece Jessica back home in South Africa.
Cecilia Unite (Grade 5 Counselor) also known as Ms. Ce, has been part of the ISM community since 2011 and joins the Middle School after 6 years in the Elementary School. Prior to her work at ISM, Ce worked in adolescent public health and education projects for various UN agencies and International Non-Governmental Organizations in Vietnam and Thailand. Cecilia holds a Masters in Counselling Psychology, a PGDipCouns and a M.A. Cecilia is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), International School Counseling Association (ISCA) and American School Counseling Association (ASCA). Ce is also involved with the Council of International Schools as part of an International team on Child Protection. Ce loves spending time with her husband and two children, playing and coaching soccer, running, and going to the beach.
IS Manila's Counseling Department hosts several activities and events throughout the year. Watch out for some of the workshops offered to ISM parents this school year.