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Gretchen D. Hanks, MA, LMHC
Hanks, Gretchen
Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselor

Gretchen D. Hanks, MA, LMHC

Hello from the Counselors Office! 

  My name is Gretchen Hanks, and I have been the counselor at SY Jackson since 2011. I also worked as the Behavioral Redirector at SYJ for 4 years before taking over as the full time counselor. I love being a Jaguar! This is a wonderful community with awesome students, parents and teachers! One of my two kids was even lucky enough to be a jaguar!

   I feel I am a New Mexico native, although I moved to Santa Fe from Lafayette Louisiana when I was 4. After graduating from Santa Fe High, where I was a proud “Demon”, I moved to Albuquerque to pursue my Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology, with an emphasis in early childhood development, from the University of New Mexico, where I officially became a “Lobo” for life in 1984.  I received my Masters Degree in Professional and Guidance Counseling from New Mexico Highlands University, and I am currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in addition to holding my Professional School Counseling License. Before leaving the work place to have my children, I worked for Youth Development Inc. (YDI) and UNM’s Children’s Psychiatric Hospital.

  I am proud to say that I have two amazing kids who are the joys of my life! My son is a freshman at UNM, and my daughter is a sophomore at Eldorado.  They have been involved in many activities over the years that have been such a privilege and a pleasure to watch and cheer on! They have both been involved in competitive swimming for a very long time, and until recently, the world of competitive soccer as well. I was lucky enough to be able to coach their soccer teams from the time they were both 5, up to the start of their high school careers. I have also been married to my husband, who is from Los Alamos, for the past 25 years.

  The counseling program at SYJ is a joy to run. I have the best kids in town! I am equally blessed to have the most supportive teachers and administrators in town, who truly appreciate the importance of a comprehensive school-counseling program, and allow me to work with their students on a regular basis. I see 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade levels weekly for 30-minute guidance classes, and 4th & 5th every other week for 45 minutes. I also get to work with our kindergarteners every other week for 30 minutes at a time. We focus on topics having to do with emotional regulation, team building, problem solving strategies, friendship skills, bully proofing, and academic issues just to name a few. These lessons are conducted through the use of classroom guidance lessons and experiential activities. I focus on the child as a whole, both academically and socially.

  Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.  You can reach me via email at hanks@aps.edu, or call the school directly at 296-9536, my extension is 36813. Thanks for sharing your kids with us!




The mission of the S.Y. Jackson Elementary School Counseling Program is to maximize the potential of all students, nurturing them, as they become self-sufficient life long learners and productive citizens.  We provide a comprehensive, multicultural counseling program that fosters respect, instills responsibility and inspires an enthusiasm of learning for all students as they prepare to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.  Through our partnerships with students, parents, faculty and members of the community we are committed to recognizing and respecting the unique qualities of each student.  Our aim is to guide students toward academic, personal, social, and career success within a supportive, caring and nurturing environment, so that all our children are able to achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible, contributing members of society.