West McDowell Middle School

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Meet the counselors...
Chris Kirby
Hello and welcome to West McDowell Middle School! My name is Chris Kirby and I am excited to be one of your counselors for this 7th year in a row!  For the 2017-2018 year, I will again be working with West McDowell 6th graders as well as all of the students at Foothills Community School housed on the campus of West Middle.  A little about me:  I was a student roaming these very halls back in 1986, 1987, and 1988. I grew up in Marion and graduated from McDowell High School in 1991. I attended McDowell Technical Community College where I earned my Associate of Arts in Photography, then I went to UNC-Asheville where I earned my Bachelors in psychology. After that, I went to Western Carolina University where I earned my advanced master's degree in School Counseling. I hope your 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade years at West Middle and FCS are fun and filled with wonder and learning!  Please feel free to come see me if you need anything. I love having visitors and I really enjoy getting the chance to work with students of West McDowell Middle and Foothills Community School.
Lora Atkins
Hello! My name is Lora Atkins and I grew up surrounded by the corn fields of Indiana. Even though I wasn't raised here, I got here as soon as I could. I completed my Master's in School Counseling in December of 2010. After working in high school and elementary schools, I've settled in at West McDowell Middle School. I absolutely love being here! Every day I'm inspired, encouraged, and entertained by the students and staff.
Our wonderful counseling assistant Judy Biggerstaff
Judy completes the West McDowell Middle School counseling department along with Chris and Lora. Judy provides invaluable assistance to all departments at West and is the primary liaison between counseling, bookkeeping, and the PowerSchool database coordinator. Along with her administrative duties, Judy somehow finds spare time to be the cumulative records keeper as well as the school supply coordinator. Judy is married to local barber Jerry Biggerstaff and has lived in McDowell county since 1964. Just another reason why we call Judy "The Wonder."