BY KATHLEEN FATICA —
Meet one of SHS’s two new Guidance Counselors
Sarah Johansson will be replacing longtime staff member Mandy Kluck as the guidance counselor responsible for students with last names M through Z this fall.
After her husband accepted a job offer at UW-Milwaukee two years ago, Johansson moved from Oregon to Milwaukee, and she knew Shorewood was the right place for her.
“I wanted to work here from the first time I drove by. It’s a beautiful campus, and I live very close. I wanted to be part of the community. Then I learned more about the school and I was really excited when there was a job opportunity,” Johansson said.
With over five years of previous experience as a guidance counselor, mainly at the high school level, Johansson loves the job and is ready to help SHS in any way she can.
“It’s pretty fast paced, that’s what I like about counseling … No day is the same and you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Johansson said.
During registration this August, many returning students met Johansson for the first time because of schedule mishaps and had positive interactions.
“I really like her,” said Morgan Ricard, senior. “She was incredibly helpful and gave some great advice.”
Although Johansson only started this summer, she already feels like part of the community and has started establishing relationships with students.
“It’s been really friendly and I feel very welcome here. Even new parents, before they come in with questions, say ‘Welcome to Shorewood, we’re so glad you’re here,’ ” Johansson said.
In years past, some students have had trouble working with the counselors in a timely and mutually respectful manner.
There are several common issues brought up regarding the past counseling system. Many students have reported feeling like a burden when asking for a schedule fix or change, guidance counselors were often unavailable when students came in under the posted hours and the priorities of the job often appeared skewed to the students.
Some students did not view their counselor as someone they could talk to, but rather someone solely there to keep them in line with their academics.
“The [guidance counselors] always seemed very stressed and impatient, and it seemed like there was a lot to do for only two counselors and over 600 students in our school,” said Anna Noble-Machery, 2014 alumnus.
Students hope that the new guidance counselors will offer assistance in both academic and emotional affairs.
Students are happy to welcome Johansson with high expectations for future endeavors, hoping that a new face will signify the beginning of change.
“She seems really nice,” said Johnnie Paineau, senior. “I think I like her.”
All students who spoke to Johansson had positive things to say, with class schedules and college talks shaping up to no longer be inefficient and frustrating, but something helpful for all.
Johansson is feeling just as good about the change as her students. She is excited to join our community, both inside and outside our school.
“I think I’m most excited about becoming part of the school, becoming part of the community … Everyone here seems to be really passionate and really care about students … We all have the same goal in mind and that’s super exciting for me,” Johansson said.