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1700 Saunders Avenue
St. Paul


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Lori "Sunny" Sundelius - Elementary School Counselor

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My name is Lori Sundelius (students call me "Ms. Sunny") and I am thrilled to be the School Counselor at Highland Park Elementary!  My primary focus is to provide support students need to be successful in school by helping them develop positive personal/social and academic skills.

Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs. The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success. 

The Comprehensive School Counseling Program is for every student at HPE and happens in a variety of ways.

Classroom Guidance - As part of the Counseling Program, I teach a series of classroom Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons to every student. The goal is to help empower students with the self-knowledge, coping, and life skills that will enable them to become motivated learners, effective communicators, good team members, creative problem solvers, and responsible citizens.  I will meet the district Counselor Curriculum standards with learning targets in the areas of social emotional learning, self awareness, academic readiness,  career exploration, post-secondary education options and financial literacy.

Small Group Counseling - I facilitate small student groups throughout the school year.  Small groups usually meet weekly for about 8 weeks. Small student groups are an excellent way for your child to meet others, gain self-confidence, and to develop positive coping skills in a safe and enriching setting.  Teachers or parents may refer students to be part of a group.

Individual Counseling - I also work with students individually for problems a student might present, such as struggles with peers, difficulty coming to school, anger management, or difficulties in the classroom, on the playground, or on the bus.  Referrals for students to meet with a school counselor can be made by classroom teachers, parents, or through student self-referrals.

Family Support - Parents might call to talk about things like:

  • "My child doesn't want to go to school in the morning.
  • "I'm concerned because my child keeps telling me that he doesn't have any friends.”
  • "We recently had a death in the family, and I'm not sure how my child is coping."
  • "My child is very sad because her mother doesn’t live with us anymore."
  • "My child gets really frustrated doing homework, and nothing I say seems to help"

Contact me - email at lori.sundelius@spps.org or 651-744-5187.

Goals of the HPE counseling program

  • Help students interact effectively with others
  • Help students maximize their academic, social and emotional potential
  • Help students acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits required to successfully respond societal expectations;
  • Help students gain the skills they need to cope with personal problems and concerns that may impede educational achievement, career development and personal/social growth; 
  • Request assistance of parents, teachers, and other school personnel in the identification of personal, social and intellectual needs of students;
  • Help exceptional students and their families to identify and access appropriate intervention programs and services.