High School Counselors

High school counselors provide services similar to their elementary and middle counterparts, but there is an increased emphasis on college and career readiness.

High school represents the final transition into adulthood and the world of work. Students begin separating from their parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they want to do when they graduate.

During these years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills, and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressure to engage in risky behaviors involving sex, drugs, and alcohol, and are exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. During this time, students need guidance in making decisions.

High school students are also dealing with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing and the challenges of applying to college, including navigating the scholarship and financial aid application processes and entering the workforce.

High school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counselors are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize their full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of society.

High school counselors hold master’s degrees and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification requires ongoing professional development to stay current with educational reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.

Counselor Assignments

Mrs. Beverly Bohn

beverly.bohn@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 431

Beverly Bohn has over 15 years of experience in the education of children.  The diversity of her experience ranges from teaching in the classroom, counseling juvenile delinquents, providing emotional, social, and academic support to youths in a group home setting, to School Counseling. She grew up in the outskirts of Philadelphia (Go Eagles!) where she earned her Master’s degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon graduation, she worked as a therapist in inpatient, outpatient, and school setting throughout Philadelphia and Bucks County. She specialized in the treatment of children and adolescents but also has experience treating adults. She is a member of the American School Counselor Association, American Counseling Association, and a certified Youth Mental Health First Aider. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, and assist all children in reaching their full academic and social potential.

“One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm.”

Ms. Cecily Marrero

cecily.marrero@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 421

Mrs. Marrero earned her Bachelors Degree in pre-law from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. She earned a Masters Degree in Education, majoring in counseling from Ana G. Mendez University Metro Orlando campus. She has been with Ridge for the past 5 years. Mrs. Marrero is a woman of great moral character and exhibits excellent professionalism while servicing the needs of Ridge and the surrounding communities.

Mr. Luis Medina

luis.medinacetout@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 426

Mr. Medina has been in the education field for the past 16 years. This is his 5th year as a professional school counselor. Prior to serving as a counselor, he was a High School Spanish Teacher and an ESOL elementary school teacher. He has an associate’s degree in business administration, B.A in Arts Education and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Turabo University.

Mrs. Ana Soto Cortes

ana.soto-cortes@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 425

Mrs. Soto-Cortes has worked in the field of Education for 7 years. This is her third year as a Professional School Counselor. Before counseling she was a Chemistry and Physical Science teacher at Ridge Community High School and served in the United States Army for eight years. Mrs. Soto earned her B.A in Education from the University of Puerto Rico, a Baking and Pastry certification from Florida Technical College and a Master’s in Counseling from Turabo University. She is a member of the Polk County School Counselor Association .

Mrs. Barbara Thompson

barbara.thompson@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 424

Ms. Thompson has been in the education field for the past 14 years. This is her second year as a professional school counselor. Prior to counselor, she was an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) instructor, an Intensive Reading Instructor, and a School Assessment Coordinator. She has a B.A.  in Marketing Management From Bernard Baruch College (CUNY), Alternative Certification in Education through Florida Southern College, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and a Master’s in School Counseling from Lamar University. Ms. Thompson is also a member of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA).

Mr. Anthony Smith

anthony.smith@polk-fl.net
863-419-3315 Ext. 439