Counseling and Guidance

Ms. Erin Burns
Licensed School Counselor
651-403-8000 |

Mrs. Melissa Patterson
Licensed School Counselor
651-403-8021 |

I am very excited to be working with the students, parents, and staff of Mendota Elementary!  I have been a school counselor since 2004.  I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Sioux Falls, M.A. in Counseling from University of South Dakota, and I graduated from the University of MN with a graduate certificate in Addiction Studies. 

I have three children in Elementary, and enjoy boating, biking, and creating.  I am here to make sure students understand how to communicate with others.  Classroom, groups and individual sessions are ways I connect with students.  I am available if you have any questions or concerns throughout the year. 

My Schedule: I am in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday


Each of School District 197’s eight schools has a counselor on staff to promote a proactive approach to positive and safe school environments. 

Elementary school counselors:
  • Provide needs assessments to monitor the needs of their school's student population and make program adjustments to support those needs.
  • Teach classroom guidance lessons to directly support goals related to school climate, testing/achievement, and the acceleration of excellence.
  • Offer individual counseling to support achievement and excellence goals by addressing barriers to learning.
  • Facilitate support groups to foster cultural assimilation.
  • Coordinate activities to ease the transition to Middle School.
  • Provide consultation and advocacy to make sure each student finds something in school that delights, inspires, excites, and motivates them to pursue excellence.
  • Advise student groups such as the Kindness Patrol, Peer Helpers, Kids’ Council and other extracurricular groups promote kindness and enhance the school experience.
  • Recruit volunteers to support the school community.
  • Conduct accountability and climate surveys within each building.
  • Analyze student discipline and conflict management issues and counselor success.
Learn more about the 
district’s Counseling and Guidance services.