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Support Staff


Welcome to Stephens County Fifth Grade Academy's Counseling Connection
At 5GA, our school counseling program offers a variety of services to all students.  Academic success for everyone is extremely important, therefore, the services provided are geared toward enhancing each student's educational achievement. Parental involvement in their student's educational experience is desired and welcomed.  Counselors strive to provide services that assist students in developing academic, personal/social and career development and success.
Specific services available include:
     Personal/Social development through individual and group counseling
     Classroom guidance
     Advisement training
     Consultation through conferencing
     Coordination/Collaboration with students, parents, administrators, staff and community
     Crisis counseling
     Assessment/Testing and use of data
     Career guidance and counseling
     Academic development
As 5GA school counselors, we invite you to use our services.  We are always mindful of confidentiality issues, legal and ethical concerns, and we strive to perform our duties to a high standard of excellence.  Student success depends upon many factors and we are uniquely equipped to assist your student and your family for many different reasons.  Our doors are always open; all children have equal access to our counseling and guidance services and will be treated with respect and dignity.  Our goal is to develop and enhance a positive relationship between school, home and community.  Please contact us if we can be of support and assistance to you and your family in any way.  It is our pleasure to be of service to our 5GA family and our community.
There are three counselors who serve the needs of 5GA. 
Pat Withers serves 5GA students with last names starting with A-G.  Mrs. Withers received her M Ed. in School Counseling from UGA.  She also holds and M Ed. in Gifted Education from UGA and a B.S. in English Education from the University of Southern Connecticut.  Mrs. Withers has several years' experience as a school counselor serving high school, middle school, and elementary students. She also has 9 years teaching experience in English/Language Arts and Gifted education.
Pat Withers and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and one grandchild.  She enjoys gardening, living on the lake, boating, traveling, and being a community volunteer.
You can contact Mrs. Withers by telephone at 706-886-2880 ext. 2021 or by email at


Emily Sprowls serves 5GA students with last names H-O. Mrs. Sprowls received her M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University, and her B.S. in Family and Children’s Ministry from Toccoa Falls College. Mrs. Sprowls previously worked at Toccoa Falls College as dean of students, and is beginning her first year as a counselor with 5GA.


Emily Sprowls and her husband Chris have been married for 9 years and have two children: Luke, 3, and Nathan 2 months. Mrs. Sprowls enjoys the beach, hiking, drinking coffee, riding roller coasters, and spending time with her family.


You may contact Mrs. Sprowls by telephone at 706-886-2880 ext. 2025 or by email at


Kathy Thomas serves 5GA students with last names starting with P-Z.  Mrs. Thomas received her Ed. S. in School Counseling from Argosy University, a M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from UGA, and a B.S. in Educational Psychology from UGA. 
Mrs. Thomas and her husband, Chris, have two daughters.  She enjoys walking, spending time with her family, singing and watching her girls play soccer and dance.
You may contact Mrs. Thomas by telephone at 706-886-2880 ext. 2023 or by email at