This year, the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School welcomed a new guidance counselor, Mrs. Fletcher. We created a Q&A to get to know her better as she continues with her first year in this new position at the school.
What do you believe the main role of a school counselor is?
Mrs. Fletcher: “To have an open door for any students, all teachers and parents as well. To help make school a great place for our students. I want to help kids to WANT to come to school. Be the students’ ‘cheerleader’ and to help the teachers with whatever I can to make working with the student and families a positive experience.”
What made you want to become a school counselor?
Mrs. Fletcher: “Well honestly Mrs. Sandy Manos. She was my Language Arts teacher when I was in seventh grade. When I went to the high school, she got a new job as the counselor at CHS. I knew I wanted to help kids/families the way she did and as she has continued to do.”
When did you begin working at Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School?
Mrs. Fletcher: “I just started here in October, but I have been working for the Clearfield School District since December 2000.”
How is being a counselor different from your previous position?
Mrs. Fletcher: “Well, the age difference is a bit of a game-changer. I was working with grades 4-6 at CAE which had an ‘extra’ grade level of kids to work with. Fourth grade was new territory to me, but it was a great learning experience for me. I worked with grades 5-8 when I was at the Middle School. I had grades 5-6 (officially), Mr. Jon Mikesell had grades 7-8. But we always worked so well together and just said we worked grades 5-8. I did absolutely love working at the Middle School. But I have to say, so far out of all those positions, I truly love working with grades 9-10 the best. I am LOVING the Jr/Sr High.”
What is your favorite part about being a school counselor so far?
Mrs. Fletcher: “I have been doing this for 19 years. I have always loved my job. I always used to say that if I won the lottery (like a BIG lottery) I would continue to work. There were times that maybe I would have changed my answer to that. But overall, I love it here and it is ALL my favorite part.”
Where did you go to school to get your degree?
Mrs. Fletcher: “My undergraduate degree is in Psychology from UPJ. I originally got my Master of Education in School Counseling, Secondary 9-12 from IUP. I had to have the Elementary Counseling piece added years ago to help with staffing issues and I did that at Penn State University. So, my elementary portion of my M.Ed. is PSU.”
How do you plan to make a positive impact on students?
Mrs. Fletcher: “Oh boy, I have no clue. I just hope I do. I guess by being here. I know Mrs. Bloom and Mrs. Keith said the guidance office is super busy with me moving in. They said I keep it hopping I love the visitors!!! I just want kids to help kids learn that it is so very important for kids to be kind to one another, as much as they possibly can. Everyone has ‘stuff’ going on. Life would be much easier if we all took time to simply be kind. It is not hard, and it doesn’t cost you anything. ‘Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody!’ That is one of the sayings you will find in my office. Chloe Odrosky and Mrs. Adams helped me to create the new look to my office!”
In your perspective, what do you believe is the biggest challenge among our students?
Mrs. Fletcher: “The world, social media, time in general. I feel like the world is moving in a fast forward speed x200 and you all (we all) are constantly trying to catch up and keep pace. I feel like students all need some ‘downtime’ to take in what is happening around you all. I can’t even remotely imagine what it would be like to be a teenager nowadays. Social Media has changed life IMMENSELY. It can be a WONDERFUL tool, but it can also create such a nerve-wracking environment for kids (and adults). It is like being on stage 24-7 and even when you don’t want to be ‘on stage’ you may be because anyone can put you there, with or without your permission. That is just crazy to me.”
What else would you like our readers to know about you?
Mrs. Fletcher: “I am so very happy to be here. I want to thank all the staff for the fantastic emails, calls, and texts welcoming me to the high school. There were so many, that I was extremely overwhelmed with the wonderful things people were saying to me. All the kids are amazing. I am so happy to have you all over again. I have had every single student (unless they are a move in) at some point prior to me moving up to the high school. Grades 11-12, they were with me at the middle school as grades 5-6, the present grades of 7-10, I have had them while at CAE. This is such a great thing for me to be able to see you all go through school. I welcome anyone to swing in and say hello.”