Meet our school counselors

Hillcrest Counseling Twitter

Hillcrest Counseling Twitter

Behind the scenes of the counseling center, a lot more goes on than most people think. The counselors here at Hillcrest do a lot of work most people don’t ever see or even recognize. The first full week of February is counselor appreciation week. Here’s a little info to get to know our school counselors a little better.

We asked each four questions: how long have you been a counselor, why did you want to be a counselor, what’s your favorite part of the job, and what would you want to be if you weren’t a counselor?

Kimberly Walters: “This is my 6th year as a counselor. I worked in treatment centers and hospitals with teenagers struggling emotionally, however, I wanted a career where I could work the same hours as my children in school and do the heavy stuff like emotion and also do the uplifting and fun stuff like graduation and beyond. My favorite part of the job is I have no routine, I never know what my day will be like. If I was not a counselor I would want to own my own gift shop in Bear Lake (where I will be when I retire).”

Lisa Gardner: “I have been a counselor for 8 years. I wanted to work in education and have always been drawn to social sciences. Counseling was a natural fit that combined the two. I love meeting so many students! Every year there is a new group of 9th graders. The best day is on graduation when our seniors get their diplomas. I tend to like the helping professions so I would want to be a nurse if I wasn’t a school counselor.”

John Oliver: “This is my 7th year. Before becoming a school counselor I worked for the state in Juvenile Justice Services. I enjoy working with youth, so to become a school counselor was an easy decision for me. My favorite part is building relationships with students. Helping them discover and achieve their dreams. I would be a nature photographer [if I wasn’t a counselor].” 

Stephanie Johnston: “I have been a school counselor for seven years! I’m sure you saw in my short part of our HOPE Week video, I talked about my head injury that I sustained…..  I chose school counseling because of the gift my friends and family have both given to me during that time—the gift of believing in myself again.  Sometimes, all we need is someone who will fight for us even when we feel completely defeated and have stopped fighting for ourselves. Again, I got to this point—graduating with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees—thanks to the support from others.  I hope to be that same support for the students that I work with. My favorite part of the job is getting to see students every day. That sounds like too easy of an answer, but it’s true. If I weren’t working as a school counselor, I would pursue the field of emergency medicine full-time. I can handle a good crisis, they keep me on my toes!”

Nicole Huff: “I’ve been a high School counselor for 23 years. I became a high school counselor after working in the corrections and criminal justice field for ten years. I wasn’t happy in that career so helping young adults was what I really wanted to do. My favorite part of the job is working with my students and helping them in every way whether it be future goals or current problems they are facing. I can’t see myself doing anything else now!”

Eric Murdock: “[I have been a counselor for] 17 years, I like talking with people and hopefully teaching them something they didn’t already know, I love to see how happy students are when they graduate. [I would be] a forest ranger.”

Craig Hole: “I have been a school counselor for 22 years. I had a great high school counselor that helped me get into college. I just wanted to pay it forward. My favorite part of the job is helping students graduate and move on in their lives because there is life after high school. If I were not a school counselor I would want to be a high school math teacher.”

Victoria Romero: “I have been a counselor for 5 years. When I was in high school I didn’t really feel like I had any advocates or anyone that I could go to when I was struggling and when I had questions about college or classes or things like that and so I wanted to be that person for someone who didn’t have that either.  My favorite part is talking to the students. I know that sounds stupid but we have a lot of paperwork…but the times I get to just sit down with a student who’s having a crappy day… that’s my favorite part. If I wasn’t a counselor, I would want to be a graphic design artist.”

So this week, take a little time and find out who your counselor is.