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Guidance Team Helps Students Succeed

 

Front Row:Jeremy Corn, Kalynn Huntoon, Therese Joyce.
Back Row: Tracy Foor, Bridget Zobel, Michelle Woodward.

Do you remember that popular United States Army recruiting slogan, Be All That You Can Be? The Army used it for over 20 years. That’s a good long run. Well, for over 60 years, Scecina Memorial High School (SMHS) has encouraged all students to develop their God-given talents to the fullest, to be all that they can be.

Teachers and staff are focused on the success of each student in school and preparing them for success later in life, whatever path they choose. According to Joe Therber, the President of Scecina Memorial High School, “We want students to attain educational excellence, be lifelong learners, and start living as servant leaders. To do that in 4 years, is very challenging in today’s world. That’s why we have assembled a top-notch team of guidance professionals to complement what is happening in our classrooms.”

Principal John Hegarty noted “Our guidance team is committed to the success of every student. It is fantastic to see them working together to provide students with the help they need, whether that be dealing with personal issues, learning differences, planning a career, or finding a college.”

Academic Performance
Kalynn Huntoon, MS, is the Director of Guidance at SMHS. She leads the six person team. “I love working with students. I learn every day from them and hopefully they learn from me too! Every day is different. I love that I don't do the same thing day in and day out.” She also meets with grade 9-11 students regarding academics. “I hope to be able to help our students improve their grades if they are struggling. I've always had a passion for helping students with study skills and test-taking anxiety,” she said.

The goal is to get the students to graduation and beyond. “Once they reach their senior year they have a counselor to help them with college planning or a career after high school, wherever their path should take them. Parents should not be afraid to ask for help with their student’s academics. Our teachers have tutoring hours either before or after school and there are plenty of resources to help their student succeed.” She summed up, “We are definitely here for students.”

Tracy Foor, Registrar, is responsible for maintaining students’ past and present records. She is also responsible for reporting data to the Indiana Department of Education. She noted that parents trust SMHS “To do our very best to help their student develop in Mind, Body, and Spirit. This is very important to me as a mother of two. I also want what is best for my daughters and want people around them who are encouraging them to be their best and to do their best.” She added, “I feel as if all students at Scecina are sort of an extension of my own family, wanting and willing them to be their best.” She offered this advice for parents, “Be involved, ask your student what he or she is learning in class,and be supportive of his or her activities, be it football or the baking club.”

Personal Issues
Bridget Zobel, LCSW, is the school’s social worker. She has been helping teens deal with issues for years. She has seen and heard it all, but “I love helping students solve their problems. I want them to have the problem solving and coping skills that they can use all of their lives.” Students are referred to her from the guidance staff, others in administration and teachers. She noted that students can refer themselves. She wants parents to know that they also can refer their child to her.

Standardized Tests
Shelley Woodward, MS, NCC, is the Testing and Special Education Coordinator at SMHS. She is in charge of coordinating all school standardized testing (AP, ECA, SAT, PSAT), and she is in charge of completing the initial testing process to identify students with learning differences. She works closely with the Special Education department at SMHS and Indianapolis Public Schools to ensure all students with learning differences receive their accommodations. She remarked, “I have always had a passion for testing and assessment. Identifying student needs is a top priority for me. I love the chance to develop a plan to help a struggling student be successful. It is very fulfilling.” She added, “I strive to help identify each student who requires additional learning support in the form of a formal education plan. “If parents feel their child may have a learning issue, she wants parents to know that it is not uncommon and there is help available. “Parents are welcome to contact me with any concerns they may have,” she added.

Career Counseling
Jeremy Corn, MS, NCC, is the Career Counselor at SMHS. “I enjoy the variety that comes along with the job.A counselor gets to complete many different tasks throughout the school year and also gets to deal with a wide range of situations. Every day is different.” He added, “I get to assist students in achieving their goals and to assist in connecting them to the next path in their lives. The vast majority of students will make a successful transition from high school to their next personal endeavor. That’s exciting to see.” He noted that there are many things that change for students throughout high school. He encourages parents to stay involved and aware of what’s going on with their student’s academic career. In addition, he urges parents to “be proactive and participate in important events during their student's high school years and make the most of opportunities that are available for their success.”

College Counseling
Therese Joyce, JD, the College Counselor at SMHS, loves talking to students about planning for their next steps after they leave Scecina. College is an exciting time in a person's life and she wants to make sure students make informed decisions that will prepare them for a successful future wherever life takes them. She noted. “I have always placed a high value on education and enjoy seeing students get excited about the endless opportunities a college education will bring to them.”

She added, “If I could have one piece of advice for parents it would be to make your student own the college search and planning process.” Parents need to remember that they are not going to college. “Make sure you are helping your student become independent to ensure the best possible success after high school,” she remarked.

New Offices and Technology
The Guidance Department will be receiving new office space. Construction of Phase 1 of a comprehensive Guidance Center will begin soon as part of our Facility Master Plan. When complete, the new office space will be located on the southwest corner of the main floor of the school.

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