This is the time of year many students aren't exactly feeling the love for their school counselor. Even though class scheduling has nothing -- nothing -- to do with counseling, the complex task of schedule changes that is part matrix ("To switch my third hour class, we'd have to change four of my other classes") and part microdrama ("But my brother has the same lunch period. Eww") usually falls to the school counselor.
The truth is, you have at least two reasons to be grateful for your school counselor, and maybe three. First, it's likely your counselor was at school two weeks ahead of you, looking at your schedule and saying "Whoa, this is so not going to work!" If you think your schedule is bad now, ask to see the first version the computer cranked out for you, and you'll cut your counselor some slack.
Second, it could be your schedule is this weird because your counselor wants you to graduate on time. Money is tight in schools, which usually means there are fewer classes to choose from. That isn't great, but your counselor is still convinced you want to get out of high school in four years, not six--or not have to take 10th grade Health as a senior. Give that some thought when you wonder what happened to your request for AP History of Pizza.
Third, some of you have counselors that really went above and beyond the call by giving up a week of what little vacation they actually this summer to take a class to help you. This is the fifth year I've offered Counseling in the College Selection Process, a 45-hour course that gives school counselors almost everything they need to help students make good choices about life after high school. Very few counselors in the country ever take a course like this, but for some, the idea of helping you pick out a future is just too important to leave to chance -- so they give up a summer, and choose to take this class.
That's right -- some counselors went to summer school because they wanted to.
The in-person class is offered in the summer because it's the only time counselors can get away and focus on college counseling for a full week--and the workload is tough (the online version is also offered in the winter, but it's no picnic either.) Six hours of lecture, discussion and activity every day for a solid week, then time online for counselors to research colleges and develop a project, program, or activity they can bring back to school, so you end up with better information about college choices now. "I want you to know" one counselor wrote, "that although the amount of work in this class kind of 'kicked-my-butt' -- it was all well worth it."
Not exactly a summer at the beach.
This is just another time counselors have gone the extra mile, not for praise, not for a trophy, and not even for your thanks -- but because they care about their students. Not all their behind-the-scenes work will get recognized, but their completion of this course puts them somewhere in the 5 percent or so of school counselors in the country who have had a class like this. That deserves some recognition from me...
...and a little understanding from you if they need a day or two to get you out of brother Billy's lunch period.
These educators completed the 45 hour class, Counseling in the College Selection Process, this spring and summer:
Margie Alexander, Lamphere HS, Michigan
Karen Blair, Algonac HS, Michigan
Jennifer Branch, Morrice Jr/Sr HS, Michigan
Megan Byard, Muskegon ISD, Michigan
Charissa Chapman, Byron Center HS, Michigan
Heidi Clark-Smitley, Grand Rapids Catholic Central HS, Michigan
Jennifer Copenhaver, Hart HS, Michigan
Jacquelyne Corbaci, Chelsea HS, Massachusetts
Paul Crowley, West Middle School, Michigan
Mark Fabian, Rochester Adams HS, Michigan
Sarah Flagg, Walled Lake Central HS, Michigan
Jason Fogel, Allendale HS, Michigan
Jessica Fowle, Kalamazoo College, Michigan
Jennifer Gambriel, Flex Tech HS, Michigan
Rachel Gearhart, John Glenn HS, Michigan
Toye Griffin, Annapolis Area Christian School, Maryland
Kimberly Harris, Cass Technical HS, Michigan
Kurtis Hoffman, Caledonia HS, Michigan
Lucas Inman, Grandville HS, Michigan
Wendy Kik, Tri County HS, Michigan
Julie Krzciok, Clarkston HS, Michigan
Dean Lazowski, Kenowa Hills HS, Michigan
Melissa Miller, Newaygo County RESA, Michigan
Danielle Paoli, Revere HS, Massachusetts
Mary Reda, Divine Child HS, Michigan
Nicole Richardson, Lake City HS, Michigan
Daphne Slater, Ann Arbor Technological HS, Michigan
John Smith, St. Mary's Preparatory HS, Michigan
Jodee Stanton, Gull Lake HS, Michigan
Bobbi Jo Stoner, Gull Lake HS, Michigan
Jocelyn Teske, Hart School District, Michigan
Jen Twilling, East Kentwood HS, Michigan
Melissa Thomas, Derby Middle School, Michigan
Kathryn Van Overen, East Kentwood HS, Michigan
Melanie Ward, Mercy Education Project, Michigan
Theresa Weaver, Wayne Memorial HS, Michigan
Robyn Weiss, Berkley HS, Michigan
Kristie Welte, Divine Child HS, Michigan
Kathy Wiley, Ferndale HS, Michigan
These educators from Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia completed a 30-hour professional development class that included most of the content of Counseling in the College Selection Process:
Kim Beyer, Frost Middle School
Sarah Franckel, Oakton HS
Jennifer Glaser, Fairfax HS
Andrea Jones, Graham Road Elementary School
Collette Julian, West Springfield HS
Jennifer Knox, West Springfield HS
Jean No, Centreville HS
Jennifer Rogin-Marks, Oakton HS
Laura Rotella, Edison HS
Taylor Rudd, Fairfax Schools
Athena Sotirchos, Herndon HS
Shari Winston, South Lakes HS