MNPS Voices: Dr. Cedric Webber

MNPS Voices: Dr. Cedric Webber, School Counselor, Goodlettsville Middle School
Posted on 02/08/2024
Portrait of Dr. Cedric Webber

Dr. Webber greeting student at door

Dr. Cedric Webber has been a part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools team for almost 30 years and has found his comfort zone as a middle school counselor. 

Webber greets students each morning at Goodlettsville Middle School as part of his commitment to the district’s Every Student Known mission. He believes seeing students’ faces and making direct contact helps with intervention practices and gives school counselors opportunities to be more proactive than reactive.

Webber says he starts most of his counseling sessions with a mirror, asking the student to “look in the mirror and tell me what you see.” He follows up by asking the student to recite positive characteristics about themselves. 

“It took me years to figure out my career path, but once you figure out your purpose, everything else will fall into place,” he said. “I feel like I’m living out my purpose to help pull positive attributes from people.”

Another tool that Webber and other MNPS school counselors use to help them reach students is Sown to Grow, a platform designed to support students’ social-emotional and academic well-being. One of the many components within the program is a journaling tool, which allows students a chance to write their thoughts, ideas and feelings about a particular topic. With counselors having access to the journals and topics, they support students based on their responses rather than waiting on students to seek help from a school counselor or a teacher on their own.

Dr Webber portrait

Webber has found that school counseling is both challenging and rewarding and that no two days are the same. But he has promised that whether a student has lost a relationship with a friend or lost a pet or parent, he is prepared to meet students where they are.

A Winding Path to School Counseling

As a young college student and graduate student, Webber took some time to discover his purpose. He studied biology and chemistry and planned to become a nurse anesthetist.

After taking a course in parenting for exceptional students, along with doing some substitute teaching, he was intrigued by the field of education. He caught the teaching bug while in college interning at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital when he was offered an opportunity to substitute for the teacher. He enjoyed the idea of leading the class, and, as they say, the rest is history.

Webber, a 28-year district veteran, has a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Rust College and two master’s degrees from Tennessee State University – one in special education and one in engineering. He rounded off his student years at Trevecca Nazarene University, earning a master’s degree in clinical counseling and a doctorate in education.

All these years later, he finds he’s where he’s supposed to be.

“I’ve worked in middle school and high school,” Webber said, “but for whatever reason, middle school has a hold on me.”

Making the Most of Mentorship

Webber has spent most of his counseling work focused on mental health. He says school counseling has been a very rewarding career.

“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says.

Webber only wishes he had the knowledge he has now when he was younger. He values mentorship and says he doesn’t know where he would be today without it.

“Earlier in my career, I didn’t have the tools, knowledge or experience to respond to students the way I do now.”

When he was hired by MNPS as a teacher, he was assigned a teacher mentor who worked with him, corrected him when he was wrong, gave him the tools he needed for success and modeled what good teaching looked like. As a new school counselor, Webber said, several co-workers and colleagues supported him.

With the wealth of resources and knowledge available today, he encourages new school counselors to lean on more seasoned colleagues to assist with ideas and concerns during more challenging times.

When he isn’t serving MNPS students, Webber serves as a dissertation chair for a university, helping students prepare for their dissertation defenses. He also enjoys watching action movies and traveling around Middle Tennessee in search of the best soul food.

National School Counseling Week

This is National School Counseling Week, and we celebrate our school counselors, the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to support the academic, career and personal/social development of our students.

They are trusted advocates who provide guidance, encouragement and a listening ear to our young learners, helping them navigate the challenges they face both inside and outside the classroom. Thank you, school counselor like Dr. Webber, for everything you do.

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