About Amy LaGrasta

Amy LaGrasta

Amy LaGrasta, School Counseling Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.

Recipe for Success

By on August 13th, 2013

I enjoy cooking and baking.  Cooking allows me to try new things, experiment, add a dash of this, a pinch of that, and just get creative!  It suits the rule-breaker in me as I don’t always like to follow recipes.  Baking is a bit more of an exact science, some room for experimentation, but lots of room for error (if you don’t measure correctly). Baking keeps me on the straight and narrow as I’m rewarded with a yummy treat, but ONLY IF I follow directions.  Continue reading

Set SMART Goals

By on May 23rd, 2013

Set SMART GoalsThere are five things to consider when setting goals.  They should be: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely; hence the acronym SMART.


Is your goal clearly written, easily understood, and straightforward?  A goal to simply “lose weight”  or “eat healthy” is not specific. Instead, clearly specify the outcome. “I will lose five pounds by May 15.” “I will eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.”  Being specific allows us to clearly focus on what we accomplish. Continue reading

Cut it Out: Self-Injury Awareness

By on March 12th, 2013

Self-Injury Awareness MonthSelf-injury is the deliberate infliction of damage to your own body, and includes cutting, burning, hair pulling, and other forms of injury.

Experts estimate that about 4 percent of the population practices self-injury, almost equally divided between male and female. According to researchers, recent studies of high school and college students put the number at approximately one in five.

While cutting can look like attempted suicide, it is most often not the intent, rather an unhealthy way to deal with emotional stress.  Most people who self-harm do it as a way to regulate mood, escape feelings, cope with stress, express pain, or punish themselves.  People who hurt themselves in this way may be motivated by a need to distract themselves from inner turmoil, or to quickly release anxiety that builds due to an inability to express intense emotions. Continue reading

Word Nerd

By on March 4th, 2013

Photo Credit: http://barnraisersllc.com/2011/03/top-20-words-people-twitter-tells-2/

Photo Credit: http://barnraisersllc.com/2011/03/top-20-words-people-twitter-tells-2/

I am a self-proclaimed word nerd.  When I come across a word I don’t know, first, I try to figure out what it means by context.  Then, I look it up in my handy-dandy, good, old fashioned Webster’s dictionary!  Finally, I put the word into use.  For the next week, I incorporate it into my everyday use.  I may be greeted with a roll of the eyes at the use of “kanban” and “lagniappe,” but it does not deter me.  The more I use these new words, the more likely they will become part of my everyday language.  Continue reading