Guidance department experiences big changes, as school receives grants

This year seems to the Timberlines staff as a year of change. Changing the way our athletics are run, changing the way our parking lot is positioned and, most recently, changing the way our Guidance Department looks.

Yes, the Guidance Department is being redesigned, but do not worry, no one is losing a job. Effective next year, Mr. Bill Ronk, guidance director, will shift his focus to the transition of eighth graders to freshmen, as well as focus on the alternative programs in the school such as Credit Recovery, the Connections Program and many others.

Mrs. Lisa Laug will move her focus to strictly seniors and getting them ready for college or the work force or any other career path they might want to take. Mrs. Laug will also be in charge of the new College and Careers Center, which will be built in place of the current teacher mailroom. In this center, seniors will pick up information about colleges and how to start applying and getting themselves ready for the next step in life.

Mrs. Tanya Fenner, instead of focusing on the front third of the alphabet, will split the case load of freshmen to juniors with an entirely new counselor, who has not been hired yet.

Now change is a good thing, and Timberlines agrees with this sort of change, but we do see some flaws in the system. For example if a student who is not a senior has a strong connection with Mrs. Laug, how often would that student be able to come in and speak with Mrs. Laug if she is so involved and focused on seniors and preparing them for college or life after high school?

Principal Todd Garrison and the entire administration have done many good deeds around the school, all for the better. The administration has also made great efforts in applying for grants left and right, and they have been fortunate to receive multiple this year.

One of the most recent grants was an Eli Lilly Planning Grant worth $20,000. With this grant money, Mr. Garrison has sent and will continue to send teachers and administrators out of the state to evaluate top programs to see where GHS can improve.

While all of this is happening, Mr. Garrison is also in the works of applying for an Eli Lilly Implementation Grant, which could be worth up to $200,000. This grant is based upon how schools are modelling themselves after top programs around the country, and Timberlines feels GHS is in a very good spot for this grant because of Mr. Garrison receiving $20,000 to do exactly what the Implementation Grant asks for.

Timberlines is proud of Mr. Garrison and the entire administration for pushing to better the education of our students and pushing to better the knowledge and teaching capabilities of our teachers.

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