Upper school guidance counselor Amelia Tuttle went on maternity leave in January after having her baby, Forrest Sommers Harmon Jr., on Dec. 20. Mrs. Shirma Prescott-Clark is filling in for Mrs. Tuttle and is teaching two senior AP Psychology classes. She will be the acting counselor until mid-March, when Mrs.Tuttle is expected to return.
Mrs. Prescott-Clark was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned her Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling/Mental Health Counseling at Grand Canyon University in 2016.
Mrs. Prescott-Clark has been working as a mental health counselor for the past four years, most recently at the Cobb County Juvenile Court as a family therapist and for Tangu, an outpatient rehab center. Over the course of her career, Mrs. Prescott-Clark has had experience working with teenagers, adults, families and elderly clients.
Although she has never counseled at Pace before, Mrs. Prescott-Clark is already well-versed with the student body. “I’m excited,” she said. “I love psychology, and I love learning. I am excited to see how much psychology has grown.” On Jan. 15, Mrs. Prescott-Clark hosted an outdoor meet and greet in the gardens. Students across all four grades attended, giving her the opportunity to meet many Pace high schoolers. “I met her at the meet and greet, and she was super friendly,” said sophomore Thomas Stamoulis.
Although this year COVID-19 remains a major challenge for teachers and students alike, Mrs. Prescott-Clark is determined to continue helping the students, regardless of the conditions. Over the summer, she held Zoom sessions with clients and followed all safety guidelines. “It’s a good time to try new things, to see interests and other things you may like. A lot of people were cooking, baking and trying different sports activities,” she said. She believes that the pandemic has allowed us to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, especially through meditation and listening to music.