Madison Aker and Julianna Catena – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – A new year for Mustangs means new schedules, new classes and new people. However, people may not realize how much grueling work goes into making these new schedules for the incoming school year, or who even makes and revises each and every one.
Lakewood Ranch High School guidance counselors help straighten out over 2,400 students’ schedules every year. These guidance counselors include Evelyn Williams (Students A-Co), Tracy Jordan (Students Cr-Hi), Melissa Alter (Students Ho-Mc), Melody West (Students Me-Sa), Brandi Clark (Students Sb-Z), and Michelle Todoroff (College and Career Counselor).
This year, the guidance counselors have been courteous enough to answer a few questions about themselves in an interview amidst all the chaos of schedule changes.
Brandi Clark-Hankerson (Guidance Sb-Z)
Mustangs Ahead (MA): What made you want to become a guidance counselor?
Clark: Actually, when I was in high school I had a high school guidance counselor. It was a small school, with about 500 students, in California. I remember leaving high school going to college thinking that’s what I wanted to do, because I always wanted to know what she did. Her desk always had tons of paper, and now I understand why she had so much paper, because it’s the same as mine. After I went off to college I had more respect for her, knowing what she did. She was my inspiration and next time I go back I hope to tell her.
MA: For you, how is the first few days of school?
Clark: This year is no different because the number of students keeps going up.
MA: What are some advantages of being a guidance counselor?
Clark: We get to know the kids on a different side than the teachers. We get to know the kids personally and that’s the biggest advantage.
MA: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?
Clark: I’m from here, Palmetto is my home town. My dad was in the military, so we had to move around a lot. I got my undergrad in California. And then I went to Nova University.
MA: Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Clark: I go to concerts, travel, watch comedy shows, and just relax.