Mr. Clemmons relocated to the Philadelphia area from Florida to join Grayson’s team as our School Counselor. His background in psychology and counseling includes work at the Galileo School for Gifted Learning, a K-8 school in Florida with an all-gifted population which has been recognized by the state for excellence and was one of only a dozen schools chosen to be part of the University of Central Florida Professional Development Schools Consortium. He has also worked in two Florida high schools as a counselor, and is experienced with addressing conflict management, social skills development, wellness, and anxiety in addition to situations calling for crisis counseling support.
During his graduate work at University of Central Florida, Mr. Clemmons was selected to receive university funding to present “Gifted School Counseling: Ensuring the Best for Our Brightest” at the European Branch of the American Counseling Association conference in Geneva, Switzerland. During that trip, he travelled around Switzerland and to Denmark and the Netherlands, where he studied the nations’ various best practices and approaches to gifted education. Upon his return, he was invited to present his findings, “Gifted School Counseling: Lessons from Europe,” at Florida’s Engage, Reach, and Elevate annual conference, sponsored by a Javits Gifted & Talented Students Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the state.
Mr. Clemmons’s counseling methods combine Adlerian and Humanistic counseling approaches, which emphasize positive psychology, a warm and empathetic therapist, and the central idea that human beings are universally motivated to move towards fulfilling their potential. In these approaches, a counselor’s role is to provide insights and reorientation, which includes concrete steps that can be taken outside of a counseling session to reinforce those insights and create positive changes and progress. This blend of therapeutic methodologies is particularly well-suited to his work with gifted students because of their positive outlook and the centrality of moving towards self-actualization, both of which are ideal for highly verbal students with sophisticated abstract reasoning skills.
Mr. Clemmons and his wife are board game aficionados, and he is proud to say that he has DMed — acted as Dungeon Master, for those of us not in the know — for his group of friends on Dungeons & Dragons nights. His years of experience practicing Kung Fu and his love of role-playing games make him ideally prepared to help our students vanquish whatever dragons, half-elves, or demons might be pestering them.