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Our Contact Info:

Indian Lake Elementary
11901 South 30th St.
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 321-1400

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 choughton@vicksburgschools.org

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: www.hospiceswmi.org/Journeys

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

  • Listening Skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills
First Grade
  • Listening Skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills
Second Grade
  • Listening Skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills
Third Grade
  • Problem solving skills
  • Safety skills and decision making
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Anti bullying skills
Fourth Grade
  • Self Esteem Skills
  • Multiple Intelligence Information
  • Career Awareness
  • Introduce the Michigan Six Career Pathways
  • Anti bullying skills
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

We are on the home stretch of school with only nine more weeks left of school! This is always a really busy time of year for teachers, students and families. Remember to continue to make time for that homework even though we are all spending a lot more time outside this time of year. Sleeping can be tough too. It's a lot harder to get those kids to bed when the sunlight is still shining, but kids need between 8-12 hours of sleep in order to do their best learning.

Here are some interesting websites about sleep and busy lives:



Here is an update on the ADD/ADHD Support Group called All Stars. The First graders are presently meeting in small groups with Ms. Houghton. They are trying to earn points to have a final party during their last session. Blue homework sheets are being sent home with particpating students. If your child is in one of these groups be sure to check their backpacks on Wednesdays for these parent notes. These two groups will conclude the meetings for the All Star support group for this school year. Next year Ms. Houghton will be providing support groups for students in split family situations. You can look for more information about this in the Fall of 2014-15 school year.

Here is an update on our four Caring Clubs here at Indian Lake! They are doing some really neat things! Our 2nd grade group has hung their anti bullying posters throughout our hallways. Take time to look at them decorating our halls with lots of postive statements about not bullying each other and being kind and caring. Our 3rd grade group sold hot chocolate during those cold winter days with lots of indoor recesses. They raised over $100 dollars for the Generous Hands program. The 4th grade group sold lemonade to purchase hats and gloves for students in need. And BOY did we need those this winter!!! They also made dog toys for dogs at the SPCA in Kalamazoo. The 5th grade group is taking on the task of making a video about how to deal with bullies. They are about half way finished with filming and the video should be complete by the first of May. I can't wait to see the finished product! Way to go Caring Clubs!

Ms. Houghton is teaching in the classrooms. Ms. Houghton is presently finishing up in the fourth grade classrooms and getting ready to move into the Kindergarten classrooms with I Care Cat! Ms. Houghton is continuing with the monthly 5th grade lessons. They will be talking about moving on to Middle School in the next few months.

If you have any questions about any of this information don't hesitate to call or make an appointment with me. Give me a call if there is anything I can help you with. My number is (269) 321-1470.

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

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