Welcome to the Counselor's Office!

  • Counselor: Justin Thomas
    Mental Health Specialist: Vicki Breland vbreland@nthurston.k12.wa.us
    Phone: (360) 412-4680

    We are committed to helping your student not only on academic growth and excellence, but supporting your child in learning and positive behavior choices on a daily basis.

COVID-19 Closure Update

  • Dear Woodland Families,

    Due to this unprecedented situation in our life it is normal to feel anxious and stressed. I want families and students to know that you are welcome to contact me by email and phone.

    Here are some ways I can provide support: 

    • Counseling over phone or email
    • Family resources including parenting, family team planning, community resources
    • Community therapists that are providing virtual appointments 
    • Assistance through the North Thurston Education Foundation and the Family Youth Center

    This school year we started teaching students Social-Emotional Learning, using a curriculum called Second Step. During the school closure second step is providing free access to its resources for educators and families. Below are links that are accessible to help support your child during this stressful time.


    Justin Thomas

    • Free Social-Emotional Learning Activities: There are a number of Second Step activities freely available online for children ages 5–13. Many of these are adaptable for remote learning or for families to do at home with their children.
    • Second Step Social-Emotional Passport: The Second Step SEL Passport is a great SEL reinforcement activity for students to do at home. Integrate this activity into your remote-learning plan or share it with families as a fun resource.
    • The Imagine Neighborhood: This new podcast for families is designed to help children and grown-ups practice their social-emotional skills. Each episode tells a story that’s amazing, fantastical, and maybe a little bananas, while it tackles the big feelings that come with growing up.
    • Mind Yeti®: Fifteen of our mindfulness program sessions are now available for anyone to use, no experience necessary! Designed for educators and families to do alongside children, or for older children to do on their own, Mind Yeti provides a great way for everyone to practice mindfulness during this difficult time.
    • Little Children, Big Challenges: Committee for Children and Sesame Street have partnered to create a collection of resources for young children facing significant challenges. These materials, aimed at building children’s resilience, may be useful for educators and families.
    • Captain Compassion®: Here, children can find games, comics, and activities they can do on their own, or with their families, to learn about how they can help stop bullying.
    • Hot Chocolate Talk: A resource to help families talk with their children about child sexual abuse. Families may be spending a lot more time together during school closures, which makes this an opportune time to have these difficult but very important conversations.
    • ParenTeen Connect: For families with older children, this resource provides an online experience they can share together. It’s loaded with videos, resources, and useful advice to help teens and the adults in their lives address hot-button topics.
    • SEL Posters: Put up a few visual reminders to help your kids name their feelings and learn how to manage them, too!

About Counselor Thomas

  • Justin Thomas
    Welcome Woodland families and students! My name is Justin Thomas, and I am the School Counselor at Woodland Elementary. A School Counselor serves students directly and indirectly by providing services to close achievement gaps in academics, social-emotional, and career domains. You can learn more about the programs I support by browsing my page, or by contacting me directly.

    I completed my education at Saint Martin’s University, earning a B.A. degree in Psychology with honors in 2014, and earning my Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in School Counseling in December 2016.

    I have been an elementary School Counselor since January 2017, starting my counseling career in Seattle Public Schools. I joined the Woodland team in fall 2017. I started my educational career as a paraeducator in NTPS, working at Lakes Elementary from 2013-16. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Please call or email to schedule an appointment. My Office hours are from 9:00 AM — 3:00 PM.

About Mental Health Specialist Alina Kohnen

  • North Thurston Public Schools employs a team of 11 Mental Health Specialists to serve our students. Woodland Elementary has mental health services two days a week, provided by Alina Kohnen. Referrals are made by contacting either the school counselor, Mrs. Wilson, or Mrs. Kohnen directly. If you feel your child is in need of mental health services, please feel free to contact the school counselor or Mrs. Kohnen. If you would like to talk about how you can support your child’s emotional or mental health needs at home, please feel free to contact me.


    Office Hours: M-F 1:30-3:30PM