Nebo Elementary School

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A little bit about Mrs. Miller....

I grew up in a military family so I've lived in many, many different states! My husband was a US Marine Officer when we got married and our first duty station was in Okinawa, Japan where we lived for 3 years! We have 4 young adult daughters (2 of which are married), a "Senior" dog named Deacon and an even more "Senior" cat named Simba. My husband is a Chaplain for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills and this year begins our 7th year living in McDowell County. We love to hike in the mountains, goof around at the lake, and I absolutely ADORE snow!!! :D My hobbies include singing, cooking, reading, weaving, gardening, drinking coffee! ;), and spending as much time as possible with my family!

Recent Posts

Oh the Weather Outside is Delightful!

Happy {almost} Winter Everyone!!
One thing I love the most about living in North Carolina is the presence of all four seasons! My favorite season? Can't you guess!! WINTER!! I absolutely love a good snowfall so that "early" snow storm we had was fine with me! :)
It's been an incredibly busy, busy start to the school year and it doesn't look like anything is going to change with that!  Our Nebo students and their teachers are working hard and learning every second of every school day. 
This year I have been, and will continue to be, focusing my classroom lessons on Social Emotional Learning. What is Social Emotional Learning or SEL? I would like to share with you the definition that can be found at The Committee for Children website.
"...the process to be able to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."
In order to do this, I have been using a new curriculum. All of the Elementary School Counselors in McDowell County are using this curriculum. Kindergarten through 2nd Grade will have lessons from "We Thinkers! Social Explorers Curriculum" and grades 3rd through 5th have lessons from "Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum". More information about these curricula can found at and I encourage you to explore both that site and the Committee for Children website.
As a School Counselor, I have been trained and educated to provide classroom lessons, small group instruction and individual counseling that focuses on these "non-academic" skills that matter everywhere, across cultures, and last for a lifetime. Skills such as positive behavior, healthier life choices, self-esteem, empathy, impulse control, recognizing and managing emotions, communication, and problem solving....just to name a few! The list goes on! 
Extensive research has shown that students who have this strong skill set as they grow and mature tend to be more successful as adults than students who are missing these skills as they get older.  
One of the main purposes of a School Counselor is to try to ensure the academic success of each child. A child's academic success is highly dependent on their social emotional learning.
I am so excited about sharing these excellent lessons and activities with the students at Nebo and with their teachers. It is my hope that the support I have to offer will aid in the success of your child -- Our Nebo Bears!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of You!
Mrs. Miller



Nebo Elementary

Mrs. Ellen Miller

“I’m your Child’s School Counselor”

                The Counseling Program at Nebo Elementary School is designed to assist your child in making the most of his or her educational experience.  As your child’s Counselor, I am concerned about his or her academic, career, and personal and social development.

                I have a Master’s Degree in Professional School Counseling from Gardner-Webb University.  I also have an Advanced School Counseling Certification from UNC-Greensboro.  In addition, I am a certified School Counselor by the state of North Carolina.  Before I became a School Counselor, while my children were young, I worked several years as a substitute teacher, a teacher’s assistant, a Title I assistant, and as a remediation teacher.  I am currently a member of The North Carolina School Counselor Association and The American School Counselor Association.

                The Counseling Program at Nebo Elementary offers the following specific activities:

  1. Character Development lessons will be offered as part of Nebo’s Specials Rotation. This year, I will be using an excellent curriculum that will focus on Social and Emotional Learning. Every class will be participating in these lessons.
  2. Small Group Focus sessions (during lunch) that include research based lessons on conflict resolution, academic motivation, self-esteem building, divorce/separation, friendship issues, self-care, anger management, and understanding/expressing feelings. I offer these groups throughout the year and they are open to all students.
  3. Individual Counseling in the areas of grief, family separation, academic motivation, friendship issues, self-care and safety.
  4. Career and College Day :: This is specifically for the 5th Grade with the Annual MCS 5th Grade Career Fair
  5. Parent Meetings and Consultations

Reasons that I might contact parents/guardians regarding their child include, but are not limited to, the  following:

  1. Request assistance from parents in specific areas to help their children achieve success in school.
  2. Informing parents that their student will be involved in group counseling.
  3. Offer community referrals—etc…

                I am not qualified to provide long-term intensive counseling/therapy for students. If at any point, after working with a student on an individual basis, I believe that the student requires more intensive support, I will discuss with the parents/guardians the availability of outside agency support services.

                Your child will be participating in the School Counseling Program on a regular basis.  If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call me at 828-652-4737. I sincerely look forward to working with your child in the coming year to help them have a successful experience at Nebo!

The Home Stretch!

 It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is upon us! I always say that each year gets faster than the one before and this year has been no exception. It’s been a jam-packed second semester!

My intern, Claire Bilbao, graduated with her Masters in Professional School Counseling from Appalachian State University in December. All of us here at Nebo, teachers, staff and students miss her a LOT! Claire is working in Asheville while she keeps her eyes and ears open for a School Counseling position.

I started new Lunch & Learn Groups after the 1st of the year, continued and finished up on Classroom Lessons focusing on the 7 Habits for all grades. I spent extra time with the 5th grade classes during the months of March through May working on Career Exploration.  Collaborating with Mrs. Julie McKinney, our Media Coordinator, I had the students take an on line career interest survey and from there they researched and learned about careers and career clusters that fit their personalities. Many students were surprised to find that “their likes/plans/goals” fit with what the survey told them! Some students reacted with “I never even thought about doing _____ as a job or career!” These classes took place while my colleagues and I were planning the MCS 5th grade Career Fair & the CTE Fair at the high school.  In April, the 5th grade students of the county all participated in the Career/CTE fair and had a great time!

There have also been transition meetings with folks from East McDowell Middle School as our 5th graders look ahead to being 6th graders at the Middle School next year! While there is the normal bit of apprehension from some of the students, they are ready to move forward and explore the world of Middle School! I have all told them that there are 2 key strategies to being successful in Middle School. **BE ORGANIZED & MAKE GOOD CHOICES**  Your “pre-teens” are entering a time in their lives when friendships are THE most important areas of their lives. We have all tried our very best here at Nebo to help them to learn the importance of making and hanging around a good set of friends, to get involved in some kind of club, sport, or band. Your child’s sense of self-worth and belonging are what they are searching for during these Middle School and High School years. Please encourage them to make good choices.

We are entering into the final weeks of school and EOG testing for our students in grades 3 – 5. I have visited all of those classrooms to remind them of what they can do for themselves to have successful testing days!

#1 : GET PLENTY OF REST!! **Go to bed between 8:30 & 9pm. NO TV or Electronics of ANY kind after supper!! Their brains will stay active and they will not be able to go to sleep.**

#2 : EAT BREAKFAST!! **No sugary cereals. Protein = cheese toast, peanut butter toast, granola bar, banana, etc… The cafeteria will provide a great high protein breakfast on test mornings too!!**

#3 : POSITIVE SELF-TALK = NO STINKIN’ THINKIN’!! **Be kind to yourself and say “I CAN do this, I WILL do this.” Breathe & Believe in Yourself!**


Our 5th grade students will graduate the evening of June 8th at 6:30. I hope to see everyone there with their families!! This is such a special celebration as they wrap up their Elementary School Years.

The last day of school for students is Friday June 9th. I wish everyone a very happy, fun, and safe Summer and I look forward to seeing some new faces and old friends when we return in August!

I'm not sure where Fall went to at the beginning of this month but I sure am glad that our mornings and evenings are back to some nice chilly, crisp temperatures!!  
The month began with 5 of our 5th grade students sharing School News Today updates on WBRM! We traveled to the radio station the week before to pre-record the news and learn about the radio station and what the DJ's jobs are like! This trip is always a highlight for the students that are chosen by their teachers to be "reporters" for Nebo.  Our School & Bus Safety Patrols were officially inducted by Officers Greg Stevenson and Jack Gouge during the Awards Ceremony on November 4th. We are very proud of these students for agreeing to hold an important leadership role at Nebo and on the Nebo School Buses.
Classroom Guidance Lessons continue with a focus on *NOT* Tattling, Understanding Personal Space, *NOT* Blurting Out for our K-2 classes. 
3rd Graders are participating in a series of three lessons that focus on Bullying through a book series entitled, "The Weird Series". "Weird" is a story about the victim, "Dare" is a story about the bystander, and "Tough" is a story about the Bully. The purpose of the book series is to help students understand what each category looks like, what the characters experience, and what to do about it if they ever find themselves in the same situations.
4th & 5th Grade continue to work on their goals, understanding their personality type and how to work together with like or unlike personalities, and learning about Growth Mindset & Grit. These last two are extremely important because it is my hope that each students will develop the self confidence to understand that  it is up to each of us as individuals to take charge of our lives and futures. To never give up no matter what and to seek help when needed so they can be successful!
The Lunch & Learn Small Groups will wrap up the week of November 14th. I will be starting new groups after the 1st of the year that focus on Growth Mindset & Grit. I attended the NC School Counselors' Conference in Greensboro last week and obtained some excellent insight and materials for such a group! I am very excited to get those started!
In a couple of weeks we will taking a break for the Thanksgiving Holiday. It is my wish that everyone will be able to spend time with those that they love no matter what is on the table! 

October! Time for pumpkins, apples, chilly mornings & all things Autumn! :)

Autumn is here and if you pay attention, you will see nature working hard to prepare for Winter [& hopefully a lot of snow!]!!
Here is an update on what is happening in Nebo's School Counseling Department:
Our 1st "new" Lunch & Learn Group for the 2016/2017 school year began today with the 3rd grade. 5th grade will follow right behind them during lunch but they were on a field trip today so Miss Claire and I will see them next week. On Tuesday, the 2nd & 4th graders will meet for their Lunch & Learn time. We are focusing on The 7 Habits of Healthy Children for our lessons.
Miss Claire is doing a group called "Cars on Track" with 1st grade students two days a week in the afternoon. This group is learning skills to help them to be better focused during the school day so they can be successful.
Classroom Lessons continue with K-2nd. Kindergarteners are learning all about their School Counselor and the job they do along with learning how to be Proactive.
1st Graders are also learning more about being Proactive by making sure their mouths aren't volcanoes!! I use literature by Julia Cook (a former School Counselor) who is brilliant with her ability to write books to help young children learn social skills.
2nd Graders are working with Miss Claire on being proactive with their Goal Setting - creating a treasure map where "X" marks the spot of their immediate goals.
Red Ribbon Week is October 24th - 28th!! Take note of the Bear Facts that went home last week!! During this week, students will have the opportunity to wear different items as we say "You Only Live Once :: Don't Do Drugs!" that week.
As always, if you ever have a question or concern that you would like to speak to me about, please feel free to call Nebo Elementary and ask for Mrs. Miller. I am here to help all students feel important and successful!

Welcome Back to School 2016/2017

Unleash the Super Leader in You!!
Make Every Day an Adventure!!
Welcome Back to School Nebo Bears!
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Claire Bilbao back to Nebo! Claire is a graduate student at Appalachian State University studying Professional School Counseling. She completed her practicum experience here last spring and is now in her internship experience. Claire is here at Nebo every day until the beginning of December and is excited to be part of our Support Staff!  She is bringing Classroom Guidance lessons to the classes, running Small Groups, and meeting students on an Individual basis. Claire will be a phenomenal School Counselor and I am thankful and honored to be her Site Supervisor! 
Our School Counseling Department will be focusing on Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Happy Kids - The Leader in Me. The classroom guidance lessons will be centered around each monthly habit. For September, the habit is to "Be Proactive". Students are learning that they can take ownership in education and understanding that goal setting is vitally important to their academic and personal success.  All of the habits that will be covered are posted above on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids poster.
Claire and I are looking forward to an amazing year with our Nebo students! If you would like to speak to either of us, please call the main number **828-652-4737** and ask to speak to us. If we are unavailable, please leave your name and number with our receptionist and we will return your call as soon as possible!