Confidential Counselors

DM counselors help students navigate their high school journey


Courtesy of Sophia Good

STACKED STUDENTS- Each DM counselor is assigned more than 400 students. “We want to be there for all students, and there is not enough time in the day to do everything we want to do,” said DM counselor Ms. Okun.

Sophia Good, Staff Writer

“I am a firm believer,” said DM counselor Ms. Jones, “that we control our thoughts and feelings.” 

Scheduling classes is just the beginning for DM’s counseling crew, who are more than just schedulers–but guides for students as they navigate a high school journey that is only becoming more and more complicated.

“Counseling services are there to help any situation big or small,” says DM counselor, Jennifer Cooper. 

When it comes to visiting a counselor, it’s important to know they’re there to help, not harm. Forming a strong relationship with a counselor is important, but can be difficult given that counselors are each assigned about 400 students. 

For counselors, meanwhile, understanding every students’ individual needs can be a challenge.

“We want to be there for all students,” said DM counselor Ms. Okun, “and there is not enough time in the day to do everything we want to do.”

Counselors want to see students thrive, but given the restricted schedule and the amount of students assigned to each, it’s hard to help each individual student do so.

Building a strong relationship with a counselor, who will be by students’ sides throughout high school, is extremely important, but relatively underdone. 

“We [aren’t] only here to help with grades,” said Jones, but “picking classes, and applying to college.” 

Many students know counselors are there to help with college planning and schedule planning, but their job is much more than just this. 

For freshmen and sophomores especially, getting to know their counselor is a crucial step in their high school career.

“ [They should] get to know their counselors and advocate for themselves,” said Okun, “we love to see happy and successful students and will do whatever it takes to do so.” 

Throughout one’s high school career, only one person is with them the whole time, the counselor, so talking with them and understanding them further is crucial.

“I try to go to my counselor whenever I need to,” said Raelani Cruz (9), “he’s a good guy and helps me a lot.”

For upperclassmen, guidance counselors are a major help in the graduation process, as well as in the stress it entails. 

“Seniors, don’t get senioritis too early,” said Cooper, “taking it too easy senior year won’t set you up for what to expect in college, challenge yourself.”

Especially with graduating, counselors help to keep students keep their head in the game and not lose focus on the future. 

The most important thing is making sure when a student is struggling, they seek the help they need. Counselors serve as a resource for this.

“Having someone you can talk to other than your parents and family members,” Ms. Cooper said, “can help any struggles someone is having small or big.”

Freshmen Kenna Laulainen said her counselor helped “overcome many challenges I’ve had this year.”

“I realize how many [students] she has,” she said, “so I appreciate it when I can talk to her.”