Cuyler Bliss, Staff Writer

With the 2021-2022 the Guidance counselor office has seen a change with their staff. Two long term
counselors left leaving the other three having to pick up their weight in work. Luckily, our school set a
plan to resolve the issue and got to work to go through with it.
Principal Kevin Stephenson has had many staff changes in his time being the head of our school. But he
has never had a year with issues in his guidance counselors.
Dr. Hale and Mrs. Walker worked for Freedom and were guidance counselors for the students,
unfortunately due to both personal issues and changes both have left the staff and moved on.
“With Hale leaving at the turn of the second semester we had to split the students alphabetically to the
other at the time four counselors to try and make up for that loss. We split everyone evenly I would say,
the good thing that came out of that was I got to pay each counselor a bit more for the extra work load
we put on them. I am happy the county recognized that and gave them an hour more worth of pay,”
Stephenson said.
Then after the departure of Dr. Hale, Mrs. Walker, had to leave us due to personal decisions and
moved away, leaving the office short two counselors.
“It is always stressful having to replace a staff member no matter what the job is, but with two
counselors gone I would say it’s a lot to deal with. Luckily, our team Ramos and the rest of them have
done an extraordinary job picking up the extra work and dealing with it. But Miss Evans coming from
Leto High school has helped a lot, we were privileged to have received an experienced guidance
counselor that has been doing this work for several years vs a college student who we would have to
train and monitor over heavily.”
With the sudden and unexpected leave of both counselors, few anticipated it would leave the senior
class this year stressing over how they would get information that Hale had to college’s they were
applying to and trying to make deadlines for those turn in dates.
“Yes, he was the personal record holder for us, and many people needed him to approve things or send
information out to the college they wanted to go to, but the issue was only Hale had the log in and knew
how to do that. So naturally we had to try and get that fixed and switched the information holder to
another person, Mr. Smith, worked personally with Hale outside of the school to make sure everything
was right and in order before anything bad happened. “
Even with the 21-22 school year being a stressful time for the office and staff that work there, the 22-23 school year should go flawlessly smoother according to Stephenson.
“We will have a full staff next year with five full time counselors available at any time given. I am
hoping everything goes great and we will have a successful year like always.”