CRESTVIEW — Fresh faces in the guidance department will greet Bulldogs this fall following retirements and transfers.
"The three guidance counselors we started with last year have all transferred to other schools or positions," Crestview High School principal Bob Jones said. "That allowed us to open up their positions."
Jones, assistant principal Dexter Day and a team of educators launched a search that drew a new secretary, a previous counselor and two new counselors.
Leslie Alford, a former district office secretary, transferred to Crestview High as the new guidance department administrative assistant after Becky Suggs retired.
Keitha Holloway, a former counselor, returned to Crestview High in the spring. Her position was restructured to a 12-month job instead of 10-month appointment.
Assistant principal Brandon McSween, who transferred to Crestview High from Laurel Hill School earlier in the year and oversees the guidance department, said the school hadn't offered year-round guidance services in several years.
The change serves students’ best interest, Assistant Superintendent of School Operations Nick Kootsouradis said.
"The number one priority is taking care of the kids and their parents,” he said.
"Having an all-year guidance office is going to allow us to expand our customer service to parents and students all year long," Jones said. "It's been one of my goals since I've been back here."
High school counseling
Ashley Terry transferred to Crestview High from Edwins Elementary School in Fort Walton Beach and was setting up her office Monday morning while learning the ropes from Holloway.
The school's third counselor is a newcomer. Karen Jeannette is moving from the Washington, D.C., area, where she was an elementary school guidance counselor.
"I can tell just from visiting that I love the community feel," she said. "That's why I decided to move down. I missed that. People know each other and everyone seems so supportive."
Jeannette and Terry said they anticipate counseling high school students.
"I'm looking forward to having students this year that I can have conversations back and forth with; students who can set goals and achieve goals," Jeannette said.
School administrators promised the new guidance staff would respond to students' and parents' needs.
"The push in the fall is going to be customer service related," Kootsouradis said. "We listen to parents and students and what they wanted."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.