WCHS Counselors Recognized For Service

School counselors provide guidance for students to reach their full potential.
This week is National School Counselor Week.
Warsaw Community High School counselors were recognized Wednesday by Troy Akers, principal, who presented them with certificates for their service.
Akers said school counselors have an  often under-appreciated job and wear many different hats.

“I see our counselors ready at a drop of a coin or hat, and invest their whole day in a student if they are in a crisis or need emotional assistance,” Akers said. “The counselors also work to help students find their career focus and are a key component in helping students reach their dreams.”
School counselors Rhonda Graney, Rochelle Sears, Scott Seney and Sarah Wallen and Director of Counseling and Guidance Diane Quance spoke about their passion for their jobs.
Graney is a counselor for the freshman class at WCHS. She said she has been a school counselor for 18 years, was an elementary school counselor for 17 years and this is her first year at WCHS.

“I enjoy seeing students grow emotionally and academically and being a part of that is rewarding,” Graney said.
Graney said she provides academic advisement as well as counseling if students need that and prepares them for their future. She helps them gain a better understanding of their life and their purpose.
Sears also is a counselor for WCHS freshman and assists eighth-graders transition to high school. It is Sears’ second year for being a counselor.

“I love talking to students about the next step of college and helping students figure out their dreams and things they are good at; and if they are not sure what direction they want to go, helping them find that,” Sears said.
She said there are a lot of academic options at the high school, and she enjoys exposing students to classes they would not have otherwise considered.
Seney said he is a counselor for WCHS seniors and has been a counselor for 17 years at the high school.

“I was a licensed mental health counselor before being a high school counselor and enjoy working with the students on relationship problems they might be having and work with them to manage them,” Seney said.
He said he assists the students with academic assistance as well such as helping students find tutoring services and providing career guidance.
“I enjoy coming to school everyday,” Seney said.
Wallen is a counselor for juniors at WCHS. It is her second year for counseling.

“I enjoy watching the students reach their full potential and make decisions about their classes and their career, and seeing them move from freshmen to seniors and gain that independence so they can pursue their dreams,” Wallen said.
“I always had a passion for education, but realized I wanted to get to know the students more and help them with their personal and social issues that come up so being a school counselor is a perfect marriage of both of those passions,” Wallen said.
Quance has been at WCHS for 22 years, and has been director of guidance and counseling for four years.

Her duties are to help oversee the department to make sure services are provided. She also coordinates testing for the high school that students must take to graduate and apply for college.
She also assists with the master schedule for classes at the high school and reviewing classes to make sure they meet the Department of Education requirements.
Counselors meet with students twice a year at the beginning of the school year to discuss their career aspirations, and near the end of the year to make sure they have met graduation requirements.

Quance also oversees group counseling for teen parents, students experiencing grief and high anxiety.
She said it is rewarding to counsel students whose parents she counseled when they were in high school.

“They are now entrusting us with their children to help them get to the same place they are,” Quance said. “There has never been a day that I haven’t felt like I have made a difference is someone’s life and that is a really awesome thing to say about your job.”

(Story By The Times Union)