What counselors actually do

Counselors manage a number of different responsibilities at beginning of school year.


Saydria Ostler

Sophomore Cayden Heddleston scans the QR code that allows her to schedule an appointment for her counselor. Students can scan their QR codes around campus to meet with their counselor.

At the beginning of the school year, students are not the only ones on campus flooded with new responsibilities. The counselors are in charge of schedules and student well-being, and they face an influx of work at the start of each school year. 

One of the most obvious responsibilities that the counselors have at the beginning of the year are dealing with students’ schedules. Students decide their schedules in February for the following school year, but there are many reasons a student might have to change their schedule. Counselors are in charge of making and approving the schedule changes with students and parents. Counselor Holli Cagle claimed, “Our days are full and busy, and we’re definitely not just sitting here drinking coffee. Now, we do drink coffee, but my eyes are sore at the end of the day for the first few weeks, because everything is an email or google form or something.”

Counselors also have to check to make sure that all students, especially seniors, are on track to graduate. If the seniors are not on track, then the counselors’ job is to correct their schedule to make sure they have all the necessary credits by the time graduation rolls around. STEM counselor Fred Mann shared that different students require different support in order to graduate. “You might need six credits to graduate or you might need seven or eight credits to graduate. You’re making sure that they are choosing the correct classes for next year and obviously the classes that they need to graduate,” conveyed Mann. 

Another large portion of a counselors job is making sure that students are taken care of socially and emotionally. Cagle is the sponsor of what used to be Lunch Buddies and what is now Pumas for Pumas, which is a program for emotional and social support for students. “We would love to have more students love to be a part of Puma for Pumas who want to be a part of learning positive coping skills, or learning how to be a good listener to others just so we can help one another out,” explained Cagle. 

With all the responsibilities that counselors handle, they also enjoy their job. “It’s a great job. It’s really cool. Especially when you’re meeting one on one with kids and you’re talking to them. Our job is a good job, but there are things that go on in the background that people don’t know about,” shared Mann. Cagle agreed, stating that her favorite part of being a counselor is “being able to sit with a student… and being someone who can listen to them.” Even with all the duties that counselors manage, the students are the highlight of their job. 

If anyone is hoping to reach out to their counselor, they can visit the webpage, fill out the QR code that is in their teacher’s classroom, or talk to Catherine Hendon in the front office to schedule an appointment. If anyone is struggling with mental health or other related problems, they can visit the Wellness Room to meet with counselor Lindsey Taylor in room C105 or on her webpage. Additional resources for students can be found here: Teen Lifeline- 602-248-TEEN (8336) or 1-800-248-TEEN (8336), National Suicide Prevention Lifeline-1-800-273-TALK (8255).