NW new staff full interview with Lisa Jones, counseling secretary
What does your position entail?
I help all of the counselors at Shawnee Mission Northwest. I’m really new, I started in July. Before then, I was a para at an elementary school, so this is a whole different skill set for me. I schedule appointments for students to meet with their counselors, I do new student enrollment and I also help with graduation.
What do you do for new student enrollment?
A lot of people want to enroll their kids at school so I tell them what the requirements are, the documents they have to have, how to go online, how to register and where to go if they are a transfer student. Once they get all of their documents in I make appointments for them to meet their counselor.
What do you do for graduation?
I haven’t gotten to do that yet, but I think what I’m supposed to do is help keep up with all of the graduates, the names, the spellings, the programs and ordering caps and gowns.
What does a day in your life look like?
When I first started in July, it was crazy busy. I didn’t even eat. I was just so busy because the phone was ringing off the hook, people were just coming in and wanting information. I am always busy. Whenever I’m working on something I am always interrupted by the phone ringing, a student coming in and wanting to meet with their counselor or when someone has a question. You can’t even catch your breath, your head spins. Then I would go home and have dreams about registering kids and then you wake up thinking about the same thing.
What do you find special about Northwest?
I live in the Northwest school district and I have a son who’s here, he’s a I’ve always liked this school and I thought the job was interesting. It was close to home, that was the big thing. I didn’t want to drive all over the place. I just wanted a challenge too. I just like the business of schools.
What has been your highlight of the year?
My highlight of the year was when I walked into the office and I didn’t have to ask for help for anything. It was like ‘I finally got this.’ I really like the professionalism in the office, the way they move kids in and out and just meeting new people. Every student has a story. That’s one thing I noticed on the enrollment forms. There are rules but their circumstances are different and you have to figure out how to apply their life to those rules. The fun part is figuring out what kind of story they have, how to piece their story together.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I look forward to getting through this year to figure out exactly what this job is like so next year I can do it better.
Do you have any specific goals for this year?
I don’t really have any goals per say because everyday is different and I’m learning a lot so if I can get it, that’s a goal for me. To acquire more.
How can students contact you?
They can email me, they can call me directly, or they can just stop by the office. I’m usually one of the first people they’ll see so they can just show up and I’ll help them.
What is one thing that you would say to the Northwest student body?
Education is valuable and it breaks my heart when I see kids struggle. I wish that they would take their education a little bit more seriously because I think people here really want to help them and they just have to ask questions. This is your job. You’re supposed to get up every morning, go to class and do homework. You just have to remember that you have people around you who want to help.