School Counseling Resources


Mrs. Emily Backes

School Counselor for Middle School Students, Last Names A-K

Hello Wildcats!

I am so happy to be back as School Counselor for 7th and 8th grade!  This year, I will be working with students whose last names begin with the letters A-K.  I started my educational career at this campus 19 years ago.  Since that time, I have worn many hats at the Schools of McKeel Academy.  I taught 8th grade Integrated Research, MS and HS Chorus, Elementary Music at MAC, and 7th Grade Language Arts and Leadership at SMA. We are also a Wildcat Family!  My husband works at MAC and both of our daughters are graduates of MAT.  I am a Wildcat through and through!  I earned my Bachelor of Science and my Masters in Educational Leadership at Southeastern University, but my learning and education didn't stop there.  I learn new things every single day.  I am a lifelong learner and I hope to pass along my love for learning to all of you!  

I am in the House of Eheys and am excited to see all of the awesome things that will happen with our House system this year!  

If you need to set up an appointment with me, please email emilybackes@mckeelschools.com or call 499-2818 ext. 226.

Have a great year!!  


Mrs. Jennifer Stiverson

School Counselor for Middle School Students, Last Names L-Z

I'm a Lakeland native and am happy to be a part of continuing to grow this great community in which I grew up! I earned my Bachelor's from Southeastern University in 2006 and will earn my Master's in Educational Leadership from SEU this December. I taught for fifteen years and became a school counselor this past year.  I am beginning my eleventh year within the Schools of McKeel Academy. I feel truly blessed to be available to our middle school students.  I specifically work with students with last names that start with L-Z.

I'm in the house of Devrimci! Go Dragons!  However, I truly believe it is four houses, one family.  I look forward to an amazing experience with our House System this year!

If you need to set up an appointment with me, please email emilybackes@mckeelschools.com or call 499-2818 ext. 285.


Mrs. Christina Pynes

School Counselor for High School Students, Last Names A-K

Hello Wildcats!


This is my thirteenth year as a School Counselor at McKeel Academy and my 19th year in the field of education.  Prior to being a counselor, I was in the classroom and taught first and fourth grades.  This year, I have the pleasure of working with students with the last names A through K, in grades 9th through 12th.


Some information about me...
I attended the University of South Florida for both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees.  My degrees are in Elementary Education and Counselor Education.  I hold professional certificates for Guidance And Counseling as well as Elementary Education.  I am also ESOL endorsed.

If you would like to set up an appointment with me concerning your student, please feel free to contact me by phone at 499-2818, extension 235 or via email at the link listed below.

I look forward to a wonderful year working with you and your student!



Mrs. Sandy Mathieu

School Counselor for High School Students, Last Names L-Z

Greetings Wildcat Family!

My name is Sandy Mathieu and I serve as one of your high school counselors.  I am honored to be a part of this great team.  I have been a school counselor for over ten years.  I graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's  Degree in Criminology and a Masters in Counselor Education.  I have served as a Family Support Worker as well as taught and counseled in Elementary and Middle School. 

Currently, I am working with students from 9th-12thgrade with the last names from L-Z.   I look forward to serving the students, parents and staff at McKeel Academy.