Counseling and Social Emotional Support

Within our growing, diverse community we sow the seeds of opportunities to raise prepared, resilient students.

Gervais School District School Counselors or Social Workers are present at each of our schools to connect with students and support their emotional and academic success . School Counselors and Social Workers are also able to help connect your family to resources and provide assistance to navigate our schools. Click on your child’s school above to learn about each school’s Counseling supports services and to connect with your child’s counselor.

For questions about the Gervais School District’s Counseling and Social Workers Department, please contact:

Dr. Creighton Helms
Director of Student Services and Federal Programs
creighton_helms@gervais.k12.or.us
(503) 792-3803 x4010

Gervais High School Counselors and Social Workers

Andrea Oropeza, M. Ed 
School Counselor, Gervais High School

andrea_oropeza@gervais.k12.or.us or 503-792-3803 x3024

Hello! I am so excited to be a School Counselor at Gervais High School! It is my passion and mission to help youth with their academics, personal/social needs and college and career goals.  I believe that the role of a school counselor is to help students realize their potential and to help open the doors of possibility, possibilities that they sometimes don’t see for themselves. Serving in a counseling capacity is especially meaningful for me; I am forever grateful for my high school counselor who believed in me and helped me realize my potential, without her, I truly don’t know where I’d be today. She taught me to work hard on scholarships and helped to make my dreams come true, dreams I didn’t even know I had. I went to Western Oregon University and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. I was a very active and involved student at WOU, I loved being a part of school clubs, helping with new student events and especially loved studying abroad. I was fortunate to be able to study in Australia and Mexico and did a service project in Peru. These were some of those dreams that I never knew I had. 😊 After graduating I was an Admissions Counselor for WOU for two years. In this job I got to travel all over Oregon visiting different high schools and helping students to apply to WOU and scholarships. This job helped me realize that my passion was specifically with helping students in high school with not only the college going process but also their personal/social needs as well and that is when I decided to go to grad school for school counseling. I earned my Masters of School Counseling at Lewis and Clark College in Portland and I have been a School Counselor since 2011. I feel so very lucky to have this amazing career and I am eager to work with all of my students to help them in any way that I can. Some fun facts about me: I am married to a Gervais HS grad and my father was also a GHS grad in the 70’s, I have 5 incredible daughters, I speak Spanish and I love football (I played some serious Powderpuff in college and I have the scars to show for it)!

Laura Zurita, MSW, CSWA School Counselor, Gervais Middle and High Schools:
laura_zurita@gervais.k12.or.us or 503-792-3803 x3022

Laura Zurita, MSW, CSWA
School Social Worker-Counseling Dept.
Gervais Middle/High School

laura_zurita@gervais.k12.or.us  503-792-3803 x3022

Hello, I’m one of the new counselors at Gervais School District and I serve 6th-12th graders. I have the privilege to work specifically with students who are struggling socially, mentally, and emotionally. I’m a first-generation Latina, born and raised in Oregon. My passion has been to work by serve youth and their families who’ve walked different paths of lives. I work on instilling inspiration, empowerment, and self-love by teaching students that there is more to life than what has been given, especially during rough times. Before coming to Gervais School District, I was a DHS Child Welfare worker for almost 4 years; working on reunifying families or finding a place where youth could call home. Then I worked for 2 years in Developmental Disabilities serving children and their families as a service coordinator.

I grew up in Lafayette, Oregon where I graduated from McMinnville High School in 2008, then completed two Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Spanish at Western Oregon University in 2013 and completed a master’s degree in Social Work at Portland State University, 2021. Currently I’m working towards obtaining a clinical licensure in social work.

I’m married to a wonderful man whom I’m proud to call my husband and best friend. We have a beautiful daughter named Lyra Fe who keeps me very busy outside of work. I love nature, trips to the beach and site seeing Oregon’s beautiful parks. My second home is in Mexico and when I can, I visit family and tour the country. I love both of my identities being a Mexican American.

What brought me to Gervais School District was the wonderful experience I had during my internship with the counseling department at GES. I loved and respected the schools’ values, support, and community. Since starting at GHS, I feel part of the Gervais family, the support and dedication staff, students and families have with each other makes this place rewarding.

A favorite Chinese Proverb of mine is, “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” I look forward to working with you and your families. Do not hesitate to contact me. I also speak Spanish.



EMOTIONAL WELLNESS: 

Gervais Middle School Counselors and Social Workers

At Gervais Middle School, we understand that every child that walks into our building comes in with a variety of strengths and needs. In many cases, students struggle with mental health challenges, school stress, stressful home environments, disabilities, Peer challenges, or are simply having a difficult day. We are  here to provide a space for our students to feel heard and to address needs that may interfere in the student’s academic success. At GMS we work with our students to identify, address, and overcome these obstacles.  We are here to support you and your student/s in any way possible. It is our goal to provide the support your student needs in order to have a positive experience in our school and  succeed academically. 

Vilma Chan, LCSW
School Counselor

Hi! My name is Vilma. I have been living in Oregon since I immigrated from Guatemala at the age of 10. I am the 6th out of 9 kids in my family and now I am raising a family of my own. I am a Mom of two wonderful kids. I have been working  in the Gervais Community since 2016; the first two years as  Marion County Mental Health Specialist and and now with Gervais School District as a School Based Social Worker. I am grateful to be working with students and families of GMS. My commitment to students consists of ensuring that they have a place where they can be themselves, enhance their social and emotional skills in order to become resilient human beings. Thank you for allowing me to work with you and your family. Some facts about me: I am fluent in Spanish and English and understand some Maya Quiche(a Mayan dialect). I love to dance, sing, and nature.  

Click Here to Connect with Mrs. Chan. 

Fenya Aman, QMHA
Behavior Specialist

Hi there, my name is Fenya Aman. I grew up in Gervais, attending the school here kindergarten through 12th grade. Now I am lucky enough to get to work for Gervais School District and am able to give back to a community that helped raise me and that I call home. My goal with our students is to not only help them be successful academically, but to nurture them socially and emotionally as well. I want students to see their whole worth. I love my job, I love this community and I’m thankful to be part of this Gervais Family!  

Click Here to Connect with Mrs. Aman. 

Jill Woodard, M.A.
School Psychologist

I’m Jill Woodard and I’ve happily worked with Gervais School District as a school psychologist since 2013.  I started my career in education in 2002 and am dedicated to improving mental health and learning supports in our schools.  My husband and I are the proud parents of two teenage sons and one goldendoodle.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, hiking, boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, and mountain biking. 

Click Here to Connect with Mrs. Woodard. 

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS:

Gervais Elementary School Counselors and Social Workers

Sara Broadhurst, M.Ed
School Counselor

 

 

 

 

 

Click  Here to Connect with Mrs. Broadhurst 

Gerardo (Jerry) Jimenez, LCSW
School Counselor

I have a wife and three children who I adore. I love art, watching movies, music, hiking and exploring new places with my family.

I enjoy helping students grow and discover their strengths at Gervais Elementary. I am here to motivate students, to lend a helping hand or to just simply listen.

Let me know how I can support and I am here to help guide you.

Click  Here to Connect with Mr. Jimenez. 

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EMOTIONAL WELLNESS:

Community Links

  • 2022-23 Celebration Calendar
  • Support for People with Disabilities and Their Families
    Creating Opportunities
  • Parenting During Quarantine
    Creating Opportunities
  • Family Outreach
    Family Building Blocks Flyer Spanish/English
  • Marion County Health & Human Services assistance for community members to access resources available M-F, 8-5.
    • *211:  For other community resources call *211 or visit 211info.org 
    • Marion County WarmLine -7 days a week 8am-8pm 503-576-4602
      • Financial support for utilities and rent 
      • Resources for Mental Health care
      • Information about food pantries and food boxes 

Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Phone Lines

Information on this website does not replace the advice of a mental health professional. If you notice unusual changes in your students mood, he is unusually withdrawn, depressed, seeks professional help call the crisis information contacts below. If there are immediate safety concerns call 9-1-1.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call 988

People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness, to name a few.

988 Línea de Prevención del Suicidio y Crisis

Call 988

Text 988
CHAT WITH LIFELINE

La gente llama para hablar de muchas cosas: abuso de sustancias, preocupaciones económicas, relaciones, identidad sexual, superar el abuso, depresión, enfermedades mentales y físicas y soledad, por nombrar algunas.

Lines for Life
call 1-800-273-8255 or text 273TALK to 839863
Preventing Substance Abuse and Suicide, and Promoting Mental Wellness
Oregon YouthLine
Call 877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863
A service of Lines for Life
Marion County Youth and Family Crisis Services Call 503-576-HOPE (4673) 3867 Wolverine St. NE, Building F, Salem, OR 97305
Psychiatric Crisis Center 503-585-4949 Are you experiencing a mental health crisis? We are here to help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — Estas pasando por una Crisis de Salud Mental o Emocional? Estamos aquí para ayudarte 24 horas al día y 7 dias ala semana Recurso bilingüe disponible  

The Trevor Project – Saving Young LGBTQ Lives

Call 1-866-488-7386 available 24/7

TrevorText — Text “START” to 678678

Trevor Space — An online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends.

Youth ERA — Youth ERA works to empower young people and create breakthroughs with the dedicated systems that serve them.
Trans Lifeline Call 1-877-565-8860 for the crisis line. Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.
Rainbow Youth — Serving LGBTQIA+ Youth in Marion & Polk Counties.

Rainbow Youth creates safe and welcoming spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth and their friends to find connection, support, and friendship. We promote Sexuality And Gender Acceptance (SAGA) through weekly gatherings, social activities, and individual support.

Rainbow Youth on Facebook