By FRANK CERVANTES
UPDATED AS OF 11/13/17: former counselor Mr. Ryan Itchon replaced former counselor Ms. Linda Spencer, not Ms. Ashley Wolford
Ms. Esther Rogers has resigned as a part-time counselor for students with surnames Gun-La for a full time position at Arnold O. Beckman High School.
“The decision that [Ms. Rogers] made was the best decision for her and her family and I support her wholeheartedly,” Dr. Kevin Astor (Admin.) said. “ [I am] sad to see her go [but again] it was circumstances out of her control.”
The recent departure of Rogers has raised concerns among students who relied on her for emotional, social, support and college application guidance.
“[It is important for] counselors to create a relationship with [students],” Ikram Hassan (Sr.) said. “You share personal concerns with [them] and it would be hard for not just me but other people to talk to someone that just keeps changing every year.”
Rogers herself replaced former counselor Mr. Ryan Itchon, who left at the end of the 2016-17 school year to be a counselor at Portola High School.
Itchon had replaced previous counselor Ms. Linda Spencer.
Rogers’ departure marks the fifth leave from the counseling department in two years.
“Life changes, [staff members] have children and want to stay home, others commute very far and that’s hard especially if you have children,” Ms. Connie Park (Admin.) said. “We have a wide variety of staff in terms of age and experience, and sometimes these things will happen.”
Nearly 400 students were counseled by Rogers for at least two and a half months before she left.
Some seniors were concerned about the timeliness of Rogers’ departure, worried about the status of their college recommendation letters.
“If there is anyone who has already submitted their college application, recommendation letter, or packet, Mrs. Rogers took care of all the ones submitted before she left.” Park said.
Other students are concerned that a new counselor may not be able to help them as effectively throughout the year at UHS without prior experience.
“Counselors are supposed to be there if we have any personal problems or if we just need any advice for college,” May-Lynn Le (Jr.) said. “If I don’t feel comfortable around them, then I’m just going to talk to a teacher that I have, that I see everyday and I’m comfortable around.”
The Regional Occupation Program (ROP) Specialist from Edison High School in Huntington Beach Ms. Christine Krueger is projected to assume Rogers’ duties by November 20th.
“It’s a very quick turn around, when you quit your job, you give your employer two weeks notice,” Astor said. “So [is is] the processing piece after Mrs. Rogers left on the 2nd [of November] that will take the two weeks.”
Krueger will be counseling students with last names Hua-Lee.
In the almost two weeks of absence, students who have been affected by the change will need to speak to the counseling secretary, Ms. Tracy Coggins (Counseling Dept.), who will then send them to the proper administrator.
“[We will have] two people from the district that will help with [student’s needs],” Park said. “Any other caseload issues that arise, like parent concerns or college applications, will come to me or [the counseling staff].”