Counseling Office

At St. Anne's-Belfield School, counseling is a pro-active process, with the primary goal being to help students make effective changes for healthier lives.

The Counseling Office is located on the second floor of Randolph Hall on the Greenway Rise Campus. Students and parents can contact Mrs. Speidel, the school counselor, by leaving a note under the Counseling Office door, a voice-mail or email message, or dropping by the office at any time.

Mrs. Speidel provides a listening ear and offers support for students' personal concerns and problems that may include issues revolving around academic and school-related pressures, relationships, family, substance use and abuse, eating disorders, self image, transition, grief, and any issue that interferes with the student's daily functioning. In addition to in-school support, Mrs. Speidel provides appropriate outside referrals to families when needed. Mrs. Speidel may be contacted at (434) 296-2430 or sspeidel@stab.org.

In addition to meeting with individuals, School counseling activities include educational programs that provide students in all School divisions with information and skills needed for personal growth, such as:

  • Learning Village Grades K - 4 friendship and social skills groups.
  • Learning Village Grades 5 - 8 discussion groups on topics such as friendship, social skills, bullying, and harassment.
  • Learning Village Grades 5 - 8 Advisory discussions with Peer Mentors on body image, eating issues, stress management, friendship, and Internet safety.
  • Freshman and Sophomore Life Skills, a nine-week human development course.
  • Upper School support groups on topics such as grief and transition.
  • Parent Education programs on Internet safety, underage drug and alcohol prevention, and adolescent development.
  • An Upper School Parent Resources Flipboard that curates articles of interest on adolescent health, wellness, and development.

Peer Mentors

Upper School students with a particular interest in adolescent health issues may apply to serve as a Peer Mentor to work individually and in small groups with students in grades five through eight, addressing adolescent, social, and academic issues. Peer Mentors are trained in effective communication skills and serve as mentors to their younger "buddies.” Since peer influence is at its height during the middle adolescent years, the Peer Mentor program is an effective way to help young people learn leadership skills, share age-appropriate information, and make healthy decisions, as well as providing an avenue for fifth through eighth grade students to connect with older students who are available to listen and be friends.

School Counselor: Mrs. Sophie Speidel

Mrs. Sophie Speidel has been a part of the St. Anne’s-Belfield School community since 1995, and in that time has served as School counselor, an instructor of Life Skills courses, and the Junior Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse coach. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Elizabeth Copeland Norfleet Teaching Award.

Prior to joining the School, Mrs. Speidel was the director of counseling at The Madeira School in McLean, VA. She received her B.Ed. in health and physical education from the University of Virginia, where she was a resident of The Lawn, and her M.Ed. in counselor education from U.Va. a few years later.

Mrs. Speidel’s children Chapin ’10, Carter ’13, and Virginia ’15 were all sandbox kids at the School, attending from Pre-school through grade twelve.

Educational Consultant: Dr. Angie McHugh

Dr. Angie McHugh, St. Anne's-Belfield School's educational consultant, has an office in the Learning Village directly across from the Kindergarten classrooms. Dr. McHugh is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to work with Learning Village students, though she also works with the school counselor to help meet the social and emotional needs of students in all school divisions. In addition to providing consultation and co-facilitating support groups, Dr. McHugh works directly with students individually or in small groups. Referrals to the educational consultant are usually made through the Heads of the Learning Village or Upper School and teachers, or parents may contact her directly at amchugh@stab.org.

Dr. Angie McHugh has been a part of the St. Anne’s-Belfield School since 2004, and continues to oversee a private practice when she is not at the School. She previously worked in Williamsburg James City County Schools, Richmond City Schools, and Albemarle County Schools in Virginia. Dr. McHugh received her B.A. in psychology from Randolph Macon College, her M.Ed. and Ed.S. in school psychology from the College of William & Mary, and her Ed.D. in school psychology from the University of Virginia. Two of her three children, Daly ’14 and Matt ’16, have attended the School.

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