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.

Melody West (Guidance Me-Sa)

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

West: Because I love to doing schedule changes! No, but really, I like kids, helping them, and getting them where they need to go. I didn’t have very much guidance as a kid, so helping them is giving them something that I didn’t have.

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

West: Last year was my first year, so that was a different story. But I knew what to expect this year, making it a lot easier.

MA:  What are some advantages of being a guidance counselor?

West: You get to know your administration very well. You really get to know the ins and outs. Everyone is helpful, answering my questions from time to time.

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

West: I’m from Texas. I went to Texas State University to get my undergrad. Then, I went to Texas A&M Commerce to get my master’s degree.

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

West: I love to play with my doggy, Wilber. One of my favorite activities is antique shopping. One item I always keep an eye out for are teapots, even if they are antique. They’re all unique to me as weird as that may seem.

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