Schools are living and breathing organizations. They are made up of many different human beings that bring a unique perspective to every aspect of the school. Every person connected with a school, whether kid or adult, walks through the door with their own story that shapes the way they interact with the organization.
The people who see these perspectives every single day are our Fairbanks School Counselors. In the matter of a workday, they could present a lesson on internet safety, schedule students into college classes, plan next year’s master schedule, and help a student through a challenging situation. They connect with principals, parents, teachers, and students every day. Occasionally, they may even have a superintendent sit down and talk their ear off for twenty minutes. They are masters of multi-tasking with a singular focus of supporting students.
There have been shifting expectations for public educators for the past twenty years. In my opinion all roles have evolved, but school counselor and classroom teacher positions have completely shifted. For school counselors (used to be referred to as guidance counselors), there has been a shift in training, development of counselor standards, leading a variety of school initiatives, and understanding shifts at a policy level to support students. School counselors are on the front line in schools with conversations about trauma, bullying, socio-emotional learning, mental health, and poverty. Our school counselors face their jobs everyday with optimism, knowing they will face challenges. They do this because they know their students are worth it.
Kendra Elliott, Brenda Brill, and Lisa Studenmund deserve our thanks. They are the people that help our schools truly connect with students. They go above and beyond to serve their students, families, and colleagues. This week is National School Counselor Appreciation Week. Please thank our school counselors for all they do for Fairbanks!!