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Contact Information

Counselor:  Joanna Thrower, MA
Phone:  505-291-6842

ext. 32120


Thrower, Joanna

Counseling Newsletters

PPT, Word, Excel Viewers [Go]
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Professional Disclosure Statement

Counseling Information

Valentine's Candy Grams

Valentine’s Day Candy Grams For Sale!

Valentine's Day Stuffed Flamingos


Valentine Fidget Spinner

Each comes in a bag with a note and heart shaped sucker!

$5.00 each

You can also buy a sucker and a note for $1.00.

Proceeds go the the Peer Mediation Program.

Where can I buy one? Mrs. Thrower's room 100

When can I buy one? Wednesday, Feb. 7th - Tuesday, Feb. 13th in the morning between 8:30 - 8:42.

Valentine's candy grams will be delivered to the classrooms on Feb. 14th.

Be The Change! PMSC 2016-2017

Counseling Intern!!!

This spring semester I will be supervising an intern, Talia Sierra, who is currently getting her master's in school counseling from The University of New Mexico. She will be with us from January-May 2017. Talia will be working with students in classroom guidance lessons, small groups and individuals under my supervision. Talia will be our 7th counseling intern at Sombra del Monte and a great addition to our school. Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself. Welcome Talia!!!

ZONES of Regulation

The Zone of Regulation is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones. 

Take Control of the Test!

Take Control of the Test!



Standardized tests can wreck havoc on our system. With a growth mindset and the right strategies you will take control of the test and do your best.

#1 Go to bed on time or earlier the night before any test!

#2 EAT a healthy breakfast full of protein and long lasting carbohydrates to fill your belly and fuel your brain!

​#3 Things in life are challenging... have a growth mindset an a positive attitude, you'll do great.

#4 Spend time outside doing physical activity and enjoy the fresh air. Rejuvenate your mind with time outside.

#5 Talk to people in your life about your feelings, goals, aspirations and ideas... you'll be pleasantly surprised by their gratitude to spend time with you.

#5 You'll do great... "don't sweat the small stuff" (& the PARCC is small stuff).

Random Acts of Kindness Week

PARCC Pep Rally


School Supplies for 2016-2017 School Year

School Supplies Donated by Covenant Presbyterian ChurchIMG_0176.JPG
A huge shout out and thank you to all the members of Covenant Presbyterian Church for all the wonderful donations. Donations were brought in today, August 17th and students have been coming into my office to pick out supplies they need. You make such a different in our school and community.

Families, if you are in need of school supplies please stop by or call me.

Thank you for the donations!

APS Clothing Bank & Locker 505 & PTA Clothing Swap

Please let me know if your student is in need of clothing. Students can get socks, underwear, shoes and vouchers for 3 outfits through the APS Clothing Bank. When you call me this is the information I will need. Feel free to leave me a voice mail with the following information as well.

Student Name Teacher's Name Shoe Size Sock & Underwear Size Coat Size

There is also an non-profit organization called Locker 505 that families can take their child to, however, you need to have a completed referral form in order to get clothing. Please contact me for that completed form. For more information visit:

If you would like to donate gently used clothing or new socks and underwear to the APS clothing bank there is a drop off box outside the main building at APS City Center. Also, the Peer Mediation & Student Council will be hosting a new socks & Underwear drive this year to donate to APS Clothing Bank. We did this last year and it was a huge success!

Keep you eyes out for the PTA's annual clothing swap for Fall 2016! This is a great way to donate and or swap clothing for your growing students. I participated in the event last year and was able to update my children's clothing just by swapping out clothes they outgrew.  Look through your closets now and gather gently used clothing to exchange or donate. 

Peer Mediation & Student Council

The peer mediation & student council program is dedicated to our school and community. Students in the 4th & 5th grade classes are able to apply to this program by completing the rigorous application. The team leads (myself, Kim Dubbs, Lesley Clute, Zak LeDuc) read and score all the applications. There are 3 parts; essay questions, letter of recommendation & teacher rating scale. Students who are selected must attend the 2 half day trainings and pay a membership dues that helps support the program.

As role models at Sombra, peer mediators & student council members must follow the student handbook, complete class work and home work as well as have awesome attendance. 

As a member you will have opportunities to help others in solving conflicts, promote school spirit, and be a team player on a variety of sub committees. 

This is a great opportunity to give back to our school and lead.

APPLICATION DEADLINE is: Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

Applications can be found in the main office starting Monday, August 24, 2015 & with Mrs. Thrower in room 100.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great community resource I wanted to share with you. Currently there is no waiting list for girls to be paired up with a Big Sister. If you are interested in signing up your daughter with this program or would like to place your son on the waiting list you can contact me or you can fill out the online enrollment form at or by phone by calling (505) 837-9223 x26.

How it Works

After an extensive screening process, your child will be matched with a volunteer who shares their interest. Their Big Brother or Big Sister will spend a minimum of four hours a month with your child. They will decide together, with your permission, what they do while they are together.

Counseling Mission Statement

The Counseling Program will work hand in hand with staff, parents and community to ensure that every student is actively engaged in counseling guidance lessons and services that will enrich their lives in the areas of personal/social, academic and college/career readiness. Be committed to the uniqueness of every student and give them the tools they need to be successful in all their journeys in life.  Help create an environment that knows no limit to the academic success of each student.

Counseling Guidance Program

​The counseling guidance program at Sombra de Monte consists of direct and indirect components. I work directly with students through classroom guidance lessons, small groups, and individual counseling sessions. 

Classroom Guidance:

In alternating weeks with the library pull out schedule I am able to see each class for 1 hour (roughly 19 times a year). As your students' school counselor I follow the ASCA model and the national standards for school counseling. There are 3 major domains that the standards fall under; Academic, Personal/Social, and Career/College Readiness. Topics we will cover throughout the year are: college and career aspiration/exploration, goal setting, team building, diversity and teaching tolerance, conflict resolution, bullying behaviors, friendship skills, transition to middle school, identifying feelings, self regulation/anger management, self esteem builders, as well as interests & hobbies and how it relates to future careers.

The weeks that I do not have classroom guidance lessons I have small groups and individual counseling sessions.

Small Group:

Small groups are based on need (teacher referral & family referral) and are 2-8 students per group with similar concern/academic need within the same age range (example: 1st & 2nd graders topic lack of school motivation). Topics include but not limited to; families of divorce, life transitions, low self esteem, friendship, anger management, and academic goal setting

Individual Counseling:

I schedule individual sessions based on teacher and family referral. In the school environment individual sessions are brief in nature and are set up as an additional support for students for a short period of time (4-6 sessions). For more in-depth therapy or long term counseling outside resources are available. 

A letter of intent goes home for small group and individual counseling sessions outlining my intent to see your student(s) individually or in a small group, as well as my limits and confidentially limits.

If you would like to talk with me about your student's needs please call or email me.

Health & Wellness Team

The Health & Wellness team consists of the school counselor (myself), principal (Patricia Rogers), the school nurse (Lilian Palmer), NM Solutions therapist (Cindy Stuart-White) and the classroom teacher(s).

How it works:

Teachers make referrals to Health & Wellness throughout the year when they see a concern that could be but not limited to social/emotional, behavioral, medical/health related, attendance related, or a change in students appearance or academic performance.

The parents/guardians will be invited to attend this meeting and a letter will be sent home either with the child or mailed.

Our goal with the Health & Wellness team is to discuss any concerns that we are seeing at school, your concerns both at home and school as well as come up with recommendations or referrals to best help your student(s) and their academic success. Please do not hesitate to contact me in regards to this team.

Bullying Behaviors

Our school counselor conducts bullying classes throughout the year. The Health and Wellness link on the APS website has information on bullying for parents, kids, and school staff. The APS school district will be following the New Mexico Department of Education statue. For more information please visit the PED(Public Education Department) Website. Every student at Sombra can complete a bully slip if they feel they are being bullied.

Difference between Acting Mean, Conflict and Bullying

  • Acting mean or grumpy – is about how a person feels on a particular day, not an everyday thing. Usually, it is not targeted at one person and there isn’t an intention to hurt anyone. They may get hurt, but it is usually not the intention.
  • Conflict - when one person has a disagreement with another person, over something they have done or said. (there is equal power/2 sided)
  • Bullying - is unfair, one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose.



Equal power – friends Imbalance of power – not friends
Happens occasionally Repeated negative actions
Accidental Purposeful
Not serious Serious –threat of physical, emotional or psychological harm/hurt
Equal emotional reaction Strong emotional reaction on part of the target
Not seeking power or attention Seeking power and control
Not trying to get something Trying to gain material things or power
Remorse-takes responsibility No remorse – blames others
Effort to solve the problem No effort to solve the problem