Phyllis Fagell (MSJ98)
As a school counselor and frequent contributor to The Washington Post and other national publications, Fagell brings a voice of authority to her first book, “Middle School Matters: The 10 Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond—and How Parents Can Help.”
Middle school is often written off as an uncomfortable rite of passage. Based on her many years working in schools, professional counselor Fagell sees these years instead as a critical stage that parents can’t afford to ignore. Though the transition from childhood to adolescence can be tough for kids, this time of rapid physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional change is a unique opportunity to proactively build character and confidence. In “Middle School Matters,” Fagell helps parents use their child’s middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they’ll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, being their own advocates, and more. To answer parents’ most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, Fagell combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, and middle schoolers themselves.