Changes made to counseling prepare freshman for future

Emma Bird, Staff Writer

This year, the freshmen guidance counselors are changing the one-on-one meetings in order to make sure all the freshmen feel welcome and prepared for all that high school has to offer. In years past, counselors Dr. Jeff Steffenson and Mr. Fran Roby have met one-on-one with freshmen to check in with them, and to talk about topics such as academics, friendships, and home life. This year, however, a few changes were made.

The first major change was in staffing. “Dr. Steffenson’s role has shifted a little bit more towards talking to students about relationships and mental health,” Roby said. Mr. Charles Mannie has been brought on as a new freshmen guidance counselor. Together, Mannie and Roby will continue to meet with freshmen, but how these meetings are conducted will change.

The meetings will continue to focus on the same topics as before, but new issues will be introduced, too. Students can talk about  “questions [they have] about colleges and careers,” and the meetings can focus on “ACT [or] courses to take sophomore, junior, and senior year that would help them get into [a certain] college or help them be more aligned to a certain college major or career path,” Roby said.

In addition to introducing more interests to these one-on-one meetings, Roby and Mannie are now inviting the parents of freshmen to sit in on the meetings. Although freshmen are beginning to gain more independence, they still aren’t completely self-sufficient, so it’s important that the parents, students, and counselors are “all on the same page,” Roby said.

Roby also outlined the fact that although the students will be responsible for making final decisions on choices like classes, activities, and eventually colleges, it is important that the parents fully understand what options their sons or daughters have, so they can support them. The most important part of these meetings, however, is to make freshmen feel prepared for their future with BSM by discussing whatever is important to each student. “Each meeting that we have… is going to be tailored to the particular needs and interest of each student,” Roby said.