Counselors Guide Teens to Successful Graduation

Article excerpt

Byline: Eloise Podraza

"Please encourage your student to take advantage of our services."

Just as printed above, it's bold and to the point.

Under the Guidance and Counseling section of the Willowbrook High School Parent-Student Handbook and Calendar, you'll find this pithy alert, letting parents know the guidance department is ready and waiting to give students a head start into the future.

Seven counselors, two psychologists and two social workers join forces to provide a variety of services and a mountain of information regarding how to make the high school years and beyond happy and successful.

Counselor Michele Hanson says "working with kids" is absolutely the best part of the job.

"I taught in the classroom before I went into the guidance office, and I really like teenagers," she said. "Teens have a fresh perspective on life because they have their whole future ahead of them and we (guidance counselors) help plan that future."

Hanson believes having taught history as a regular classroom teacher gives her an understanding of both the teacher's and the student's points of view when it comes to resolving problems.

"There are ins and outs of classroom teaching. Teachers sometimes come across a situation in the classroom and they feel at ease talking to me because I was once there and understand the difficulties that can crop up."

Willowbrook's guidance department staff meets with hundreds of students, helping them with everything from high school course planning to finding a college that's right for them.

Personal difficulties are addressed by psychologists and social workers who have a multitude of resources at their fingertips. …