Indian Lake Elementary School

11901 South 30th St.
Vicksburg, MI 49097


Counseling Center

A Counselor is available at Indian Lake Elementary three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am - 4pm and can be contacted at (269) 321-1470.



Cherie Houghton

Cherie Houghton is the Elementary School Counselor at Indian Lake Elementary School. She has been in education for 25 years. Both she and her husband graduated from Vicksburg and all of their children have gone to Vicksburg. Cherie began her teaching career at Climax-Scotts Intermediate building after graduating from Western Michigan University. She was a fifth and sixth grade teacher for seven years at Climax. Cherie returned to Western to get her counseling degree, and when she completed her Counseling degree she became the guidance counselor for Climax-Scott’s Elementary and Intermediate Schools for two years.

Cherie did her counseling internship with retired counselor 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 she switched from the Middle School to Tobey in 2010.

Cherie is currently the school counselor here at Indian Lake and she is typically here 3 days a week. With the other two days a week Cherie is at Tobey Elementary where she shares the counseling position with Alyson Lonsway. She loves being an elementary school counselor! She gets to teach in the classrooms, work with students and their families, play with kids, and help others with all kinds of problems. There is never a dull moment in the counseling office.

Cherie and her family reside in Vicksburg on Barton Lake. She has two step children that have graduated from Vicksburg High School and two children presently attending Vicksburg schools. Vicksburg is a great place to raise your children. The teachers and staff are here to support our children in any way they can. Cherie hopes that she will be able to do the same for you.

Contact information:

Call Ms. Houghton at Indian Lake on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at (269) 321-1470 or email her 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

A note from Ms. Houghton! I hope the school year is going well. We are having a lot of FUN in the Guidance Department! Please read on to learn more about what we are doing here at Indian Lake with all of our students.

Indian Lake is in the process of kicking off a new program called PBIS! This is a positive behavioral support system for our school. We are seeing tons of positive behaviors in our classrooms, the hallway, the cafeteria, at recess and in the lunchroom. Way to go Indian Lakers!!!

Ms. Houghton will be in all of the classrooms monthly this year. These lessons align with the American School Counselor Association's National Standards. These monthly lessons will allow all students to have some kind of contact with her all year long. Please refer to the Counselors in the Classroom tab for the topics of these lessons.

Red Ribbon Week was a big success in October! We had a lot of fun participating in the theme days this year. Thank you, PTSO, for supporting this program at our school! We look forward to it every year and we couldn't do it without your financial support. We had more than half of our families talk about being healthy and safe during Red Ribbon week. Students who did this with their parents received ear buds, pencils and red ribbons for participating. Thank you again, PTSO, for helping us to supply these rewards!

Support Groups are up and running! Ms. Houghton just completed a support group called "ALL STARS" for students in the 4th and 5th grades. We had tons of fun learning strategies to help us focus, follow directions and to be better organized. She will be sending home parent permission notes to the 2nd and 3rd grade students next. These groups will be starting soon. The same support group for students in the Bk, K and 1st grade classrooms will happen in February. 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.

If you have any questions about any of this information don't hesitate to call or make an appointment with me. My number is (269) 321-1470.

Cherie Houghton, L.P.C.
Indian Lake Elementary School Counselor

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