guidance counselors
LRHS guidance counselors (l to r): Tracy Jordan, Melissa Alter, Evelyn Williams, Melody West, Brandi Clark-Hankerson

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.

Tracy Jordan (Guidance Cr-Hi)

Mustangs Ahead (MA): What made you want to become a guidance counselor?

Jordan: I remember meeting with my counselor while in high school and thinking that it would be neat to be able to work with students to help them reach both their academic and personal goals.

MA: For you, how is the first few days of school?

Jordan: Although the first days are always busy, I enjoy getting to see the students again.  We work hard before students get back to make sure that the opening is as smooth as possible.

MA: What are some, if there are any, advantages of being a guidance counselor?

Jordan: We are fortunate to have some more flexibility with our schedules than teachers, but being at a school as large as LRHS makes it difficult to get to know all of our students since we each have between 450 – 500 students.

MA: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

Jordan: Although originally from Western Pennsylvania, I moved to Florida right before 6th grade and graduated from Manatee High School.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stetson University and my Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from USF.

MA: Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

Jordan:  Love to read but don’t have as much time for it as I wish.  I like to spend my free time with family and friends.

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