It was announced to the school body this year that counselor Bobbi Jo Stoner had accepted a different position in the school district. Jim Murphy, the Coordinator of Early College, Virtual and Home School Programs, retired on November 23, and Stoner stepped into his shoes.
“I went through the application process to be selected for this position. I was very involved in the Michigan Early Middle College Association Early College certification process over the past two years,” Stoner said.
Stoner will continue to work closely with the three counselors Jodee Stanton, Jayne Stover and Diana Kwiatkowski at the high school. She’ll also assist all the counselors, as well as, counseling secretary, Kelly Quartermaine and monitor seniors’ progress towards graduation and will continue office hours on Wednesdays.
“I am not giving up on seniors–and will miss seeing all of you daily. Rather, I feel like I am graduating and moving on with all of you as you are preparing to graduate and move on as well,” Stoner said.
[pullquote]Mrs. K is totally fine, I just got married, so I’m sick of saying that last name as well, so it’s all brand new for me too. [/pullquote]
As of this November, Diana Kwiatkowski filled Stoner’s counseling job. She is a Gull Lake alumni of 1999, spent all 12 years of her schooling here. She participated in soccer, basketball, student senate, newspaper and yearbook.
She has spent the last seven years working as a counselor at Vicksburg High School.
“I have always wanted to end up back at Gull Lake; it’s been fun to be back and see old teachers. Now I have students of my friends that I went to high school with, so it’s just kinda fun,” Kwiatkowski said. “It’s more just getting back to home.”
Starting her ninth year as a counselor with caseload of 325 students, she is responsible for all the freshman and then A-G of the seniors. [pullquote]
Seniors have been divided by alphabet for counseling this year for any needs:
A-G: Mrs. Kwiatkowski
H-O: Mrs. Stanton
P-Z: Mrs. Stover
“Meeting all the students, it’s overwhelming, but I’m excited to meet everybody,” Kwiatkowski said.
She is also excited to work in a nice new building with updated technology–as well as get a bit more sleep since she doesn’t have the commute from Vicksburg.
“I even have a window in my office, which is awesome. At Vicksburg I didn’t have a window, so I was just in this box the whole time. It’s nice to see outside and see what’s going on,” Kwiatkowski said.
Kwiatkowski went to college at Western and graduated still not quite knowing what to do with her psychology major. So after talking with a friend’s Dad who was a school counselor and job shadowing, she made the decision: become a school counselor.
Kwiatkowski furthered her psychology major by going to DePaul University for student counseling. So even though she took the long about way to finding her career, she said she now loves the individual work of counseling.
Stoner said that she believes that everyone can finish school and change jobs, but that the way or how they get to the end result may look different for each person.
After half a decade as one of the high school counselors, she herself is having a job change.
“As I’ve talked about with students before, the career life cycle expands and changes as you work professionally,” Stoner said. “This was an opportunity for me to grow as an educator and continue to learn while also allowing me the opportunity to expand meaningful learning options for students in traditional and nontraditional ways.”
Both Stoner and Kwiatkowski are both excited to begin their new jobs as a counselor and Coordinator of Early College & Innovative Programs.