From Joliet, Illinois
Started career in 1991
Previously taught middle school science
Bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Kentucky University
Master’s degree in school counseling from West Georgia University
Specialist’s degree in education from Lincoln Memorial College in Tennessee
Guidance counselor Shellie Edwards has rejoined the Panthers this year. After a hiatus to Bennett’s Mill Middle School, her previous position reopened.
“When the job opened up, the irony was, this is literally my old office,” Edwards said.
When she left the Mill, Edwards returned to the middle school level, working with two middle schools in Fayette County. There had not been a vacant position for a counselor at Starr’s Mill during her absence.
“I was ready for a change,” Edwards said. “I had done about 10 years in middle school. I went from middle school, high school, then middle school. Now, I am back at the high school level again.”
Being back with high school students presents a different role. Mentioning a more academic role, Edwards wants to prepare her kids for an outstanding future. Despite this, emotional wellness has become more evident in her job over the years than ever before.
Edwards believes that there is more anxiety and stress put on today’s teens, not only from family and ourselves, but also the ones society presents.
“I think that I’ve seen a lot more in respect to the emotional needs of kids nowadays than I ever have,” Edwards said.
Emotional needs mean emotional situations, which can be hard to deal with. Human hurt can cause counselors to express too much emotion, and that is not necessarily beneficial.
“You have to learn how to manage your emotions when you see someone else hurting, and you get better at that with time,” Edwards said.
She enjoys helping kids through conflict, whether it be emotions, self-esteem, drama, or family life. Edwards also notices that kids, most of the time, figure out a solution to a problem themselves, simply by talking to a counselor.
“[Counselors] don’t have all the answers, we don’t have a magic wand, but we definitely are good listeners,” Edwards said.
Edward’s “magic” consists of being empathetic with people’s needs, being honest, loving, kind, and enjoying her job everyday.