Counselors work for success of students

Angie Twombly, Editor-in-Chief

College and Career counselors Allison Iles and Bryson Wiser spend their days juggling class registration, college visits and supporting the needs of their students. 

Iles started working at North 18 years ago as a math teacher before going back to school and getting a Master’s in counseling. 

After eight years she decided it was not necessarily the math that she loved but helping the students. 

“I didn’t know how to do that in math,” Iles said. 

After discussing with colleagues, she realized counseling was what she wanted to do. 

Wiser began at North 16 years ago, before that he taught science in multiple schools. Just as Iles did, he decided that one on one with students is what he wanted to do.  

Both Iles and Wiser started out as

social and emotional counselors but then transferred to college and career. Although counselors are assigned to a specific area, they are not limited in what they can assist the students with. 

“Sometimes if kids need someone to talk to, they come to us,” Wiser said. 

Both Iles and Wiser get to school around seven in the morning and the first thing they do is sort through their office and write a to-do list of things that need to be accomplished that day. 

Even with a to-do list of things, they will receive phone calls, and emails that add to their list of tasks to accomplish. They communicate with administrators, curriculum specialists, and students through email and phone calls and then base their schedules on their needs. 

“We are kind of like firefighters,” Wiser said. “Doing things as they come.” 

The beginning of the second semester is when the counselors are normally the busiest. They are constantly calling students in and getting them registered for classes for the upcoming school year. 

While helping students register for classes, they are also able to change and add classes upon the student’s request. They do not make the master schedule for the school year, but they work to help make sure the students are set up for success. 

The counselors also communicate with teachers and parents if a student has a specific request or needs additional support in their classes. 

“We’re problem solvers. This kid needs it so we’ll do whatever we need to do,” Iles said. 

Aside from assisting students with classes, and providing emotional support, they schedule college tours and visits. They also provide students with assistance when applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarships, and community programs. Each counselor also writes multiple recommendation letters each year upon student requests. 

“I think I write about 15 a year,” Iles said.  

Aside from their regular duties, Iles and Wiser are each assigned to different supervising roles, including before and after school, and helping at lunch. Both counselors also coach and supervise after-school activities and sports throughout the year. 

Iles is the bowling coach and one of the advisors for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at North. Due to these responsibilities, she feels there is a lot to do. 

“[It feels like] 18,000 balls in the air,” Iles said. “[But] I just keep moving.” 

Wiser is the boy’s and girl’s tennis coach and feels like sometimes he must juggle everything. He is constantly checking and sending emails, and doing something for either a student or his team. 

With all that counselors do, they are celebrated during Counselor Appreciation Week, which happens every year in February. Since they are constantly working, make sure to stop by and let them know that they are appreciated.  

North High counselor Allison Iles helps students sign up for classes for the next school year. “We do magic up in here,” Iles said. PHOTO BY ANGIE TWOMBLY
North High counselor Bryson Wiser schedules college visits to happen during Viking time. He makes sure to send out information to students who could benefit from it. PHOTO BY ANGIE TWOMBLY