Tobey Elementary School

8551 East Long Lake Dr.
Scotts, MI 49088


Counseling Center

A Counselor is available at Tobey Elementary three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8am - 4pm and can be contacted at (269) 321-1614.



Cherie Houghton
Cherie Houghton

Cherie Houghton is one of two Elementary School Counselors at Tobey Elementary School.

Cherie began her teaching career at Climax-Scotts Intermediate building after graduating from Western Michigan University and has been in education since 1988. She spent 7 years as a classroom teacher at Climax Scotts schools and was a school counselor for Climax for two years. Cherie did her counseling internship with retired counselors Jan Glaes and Pat Bowen here at Vicksburg. In 1996 an Elementary position came open at Vicksburg Community Schools and she was hired as Indian Lake’s school counselor part time and the sixth grade counselor at the Middle School part time. Cherie worked in this position for 15 years and when an opening presented itself at Tobey Elementary switched from the Middle School to Tobey in 2010. She is currently the school counselor at Tobey Elementary and she is typically at Tobey 2 days a week. She shares this counseling position with Alyson Lonsway.

Alyson Lonsway
Alyson J. Lonsway

Alyson J. Lonsway is also a counselor at Tobey Elementary School.

Alyson grew up in Portage and attended Portage Central throughout her entire k-12 education. Her first job in the public schools was as a teacher who ran a special education program in Paw Paw, MI. Alyson taught there for four years and then heard about a special education position opening in Vicksburg. She taught in the special education resource room at the Middle School for five years. After receiving her graduate degree in school counseling an opportunity presented itself at Vicksburg High School. Alyson became a part-time guidance counselor and part-time special education teacher. After a year at the high school, she was offered a full-time position as an elementary counselor at Sunset Lake and Tobey Elementary school. Alyson is at Sunset Lake four days a week and shares the Tobey position with Cherie Houghton one day a week.

Contact information:

Call Ms. Houghton at Tobey Elementary on Tuesday and Thursday at (269) 321-1614 email at

Alyson Lonsway can be reached at Tobey Elementary on Wenesdays at (269) 321-1614 email at

Counseling Services

Counseling Services

Counselors are available to meet with students on an individual basis or with a group of students who have a similar life situation they wish to address, such as: divorce, loss of a family member, self-esteem, peer pressure, depression, anxiety, etc.

Individual Counseling

  • Individual counseling is a personal choice in collaboration of parent, teacher and student.
  • Individual Counseling reflects a short-term solution focused approach. This means that the counselor seeks to work with students in order for them to resolve problems on their own.
  • Referrals for long term therapy can be made. A list of outside resources is available on this website.
  • Students may meet with the counselor on an individual basis. Students can be referred by their teacher, parent and/or themselves.
  • If a teacher refers a student the counselor asks that the teacher contacts the parent first before finalizing a referral.
  • Parents may refer a student by simply calling the counselor and asking them to meet with their child.
  • Counselors typically meet with a student on an individual basis once a week for about a half hour at a time.
  • Students may also refer themselves to meet with a counselor for a one time meeting. Teachers have tablets in their classrooms for students to use. These meetings are typically a one-time meeting and are resolved quickly. Students are encouraged to talk to their parents about these meetings.

Support Groups

Ms. Houghton will run support groups on various topics from year to year. If there is a need for your child to participate in a support group please contact Ms. Houghton and let her know of this need. Support groups will meet one day a week during the school day for about six sessions. Each session will be between 30-60 minutes in length. Students must have parent permission in order to participate in a support group.

Here are some examples of support groups that might be run in the elementary school:

Divorce Support Group called “Banana Splits”: This support group is for families who are divorced or separated. We will cover topics like having two homes, living with one parent, separation and remarriage, blended families, feelings about the divorce, support people in our lives, etc.

Support Group for students with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. called “All Stars”: This group is for students who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. We will cover topics like what is A.D.D., organization techniques, focus issues and what to do, impulse control, etc.

Friendship Groups: Friendship groups are typically formed when a teacher or a parent see a need for a student who is struggling to make friends. Students in this group can be positive role models with friendship making skills, as well as students who struggle with these skills. We will cover topics like how to make friends, how to keep friends, what to do when you have a conflict with a friend, etc.

Grief Groups: Grief groups are also formed when students are struggling with losing a loved one. These groups will be formed on an as needed basis when there are several students with similar issues. This group will cover talking about the missing loved one, stages of grief and help and healing, etc.Journeys is also a free support for families who may be grieving a lost one. Here is a link to their website for more information and how to use their services:

Counselors in the Classroom

Counselors in the Classroom

In addition to working with individuals and groups, counselors in the elementary buildings reach out and teach social and emotional skills to all students. The elementary counselors at Vicksburg Community Schools teach a minimum of 6 lessons in every single classroom in the Begindergarten through the fifth grades. This allows all students to get to know the counselors as teachers and helpers in the school. Counseling staff also plan and organize other activities for the entire student body such as Red Ribbon Week a drug awareness week in October, Career Day, Caring Club, Leadership Club and other anti-bullying activities.

Classroom objectives for BK & K

  • Self-Esteem
  • Safety
  • Communication Skills
  • Anger Management Skills
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Anti-Bullying Skills

First Grade

  • Self-Esteem
  • Safety
  • Communication Skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills

Second Grade

  • Self-Esteem
  • Listening Skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills

Third Grade

  • Problem solving skills
  • Internet Safety
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Career Awareness
  • Anti bullying skills

Fourth Grade

  • Self Esteem Skills
  • Career Awareness
  • Anti bullying skills
  • Cyberbullying skills
  • Anger mangement skills
  • Diversity lessons

Fifth Grade

  • Self Esteem skills
  • Anti bullying skills
  • Sexual Harassment skills
  • Cyber bullying skills
  • Friendship making skills
  • Peer Pressure skills
  • Transition to Middle School

Counselor Corner

Counselor Corner

Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!

We hope the school year is going well so far. We look forward to seeing the many beautiful faces at Tobey Elementary School. Please read on to learn more about what we are doing here at Tobey with all of our students.

Ms. Houghton and Mrs. Lonsway are teaching in the classrooms.
They will be teaching monthly lessons in all classrooms this year! This will allow all students to get to know them throughout the year. Please refer to the Counselors in the Classroom tab to see the focus for each grade. These lessons align with the American School Counseling Association's national standards and benchmarks.

Support Groups will be up and running in October!
Ms. Houghton and Mrs. Lonsway will be offering a support group for 4th and 5th graders called "Banana Splits". This group is for students who live in a split family situation. We will learn strategies to help us when living in two different homes or with one parent. Groups for students in the 2nd and 3rd grades will be offered during the second marking period. Kindergarten and First grade students will have their group opportunities after Christmas. If you are interested in your child joining a support group please return the permission slips as soon as possible. Hard copies of the permission slips will be sent home with all students prior to the group meeting. You can also find them on the website at the bottom of the Counseling Services tab.

Red Ribbon Week will be coming the last week of October!
Please take time to print and look at the attached flyer about Red Ribbon Week. We will be celebrating Red Ribbon week October 24th - 27th. All students will receive a workbook to take home and talk to their parents about living a drug free and bully free life. Please talk to your children about this and participate in the FUN theme days this week!

If you would like more information about the counseling program or would like our help with anything at all please give us a call. Our number is (269) 321-1614.

Alyson Lonsway and Cherie Houghton, L.P.C.
Tobey Elementary School Counselors

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