By Michal MacMorran, sophomore
From scheduling classes, to navigating through financial aid, to simply talking to students about problems they’re experiencing, our counselors are without a doubt extremely important to the success of the school and it’s student body. Sometimes the most helpful of people can be taken for granted or even lost in the background of the office at EHS, like any other school. This may the case for Edgewood’s counselors, but through everything they are often the most appreciated individuals to walk the halls. Dennis Faust, a former physical education and health teacher, became inspired to be a high school counselor through encounters he had with students in his old classes, discussing issues and talking about life with them. Both Callie Schlemmer and Amy Winkler entered the counseling world in college, changing their plans entirely to do what they do now. From all of their backgrounds, each of our counselors share the common interest of helping students strive for success. “Something I always enjoyed was just sitting in the bleachers talking to kids, and I thought ‘Hey, you can have this as a job rather than just doing it when you have the chance’,” Faust said. Faust quickly discovered that being a counselor demands more than just having a listening-ear for those who need it. Among these conversations, counselors also are responsible for preparing students for college and working in other ways- ways that vary day to day. “Every day is different,” Schlemmer said. “One thing that’s always constant is having my homeroom class. After that, the day varies.” Schlemmer found her passion for counseling during college through helping her friends figure out which classes to take to graduate on time, and helping them schedule everything in the most convenient way for them. Planning was never her intention, but luckily it worked its way into Schlemmer’s life.
“Seeing the final celebration and telling students that ‘You did it’ is such an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment,” Schlemmer said. “Knowing that they’re moving on to this huge new chapter in life is so awesome.”
While seeing students succeed makes counseling and hard work worthwhile, there are moments of difficulty that counselors must overcome. “We have limits. There are some students that have problems, and we’re limited on what we can do,” Schlemmer said. “Knowing that I can’t help in every way that I’d like to is hard.” Juggling all the responsibilities the days bring makes counseling an “overwhelming job” according to Winkler. “We like to spend as much time as we can with students, but we have to balance that with other things like testing, college applications, attending trainings, planning for events and presentations, and other responsibilities,” Winkler said. “We like to be there for students, but we can’t always improve their situations.” Winkler thought she wanted a career in psychology and criminal justice, or something along the lines of law, until she took a counseling class as an elective at IU. It was then that she realized her calling was for that instead.
“Having one-on-one relationships and an advising role was something that sparked my interest in counseling,” Winkler said. “We have a lot of great students at Edgewood, and getting to work with them, along with the parents and great staff, and seeing with them grow makes the job great.”
Winkler has worked at other high schools in the past, but she claims that Edgewood in particular is “a great community”, and “people work well together and are very student-centered.” “People here really do want the best for students,” Winkler said.
Advice from the counselors…
Mr. Faust: “Take as many demanding classes that you could do well in in high school, take a variety of classes, and overall work hard in school. Try different things because you only get one shot at it, and it has a big impact on your life.”
Mrs. Schlemmer: “You cannot control other people; we can’t fix things that they do. However, we can control what we do, how we respond, and how we act around others.”
Mrs. Winkler: “Have confidence in who you are as a person. Life is about getting to know yourself through other people and various experiences. Keep in mind that there are many different paths you could take to reach your goal.”