A Conversation With: Leslie Halliday

Schedule Making, Stress Management and Deciding to Become a Counselor
Leslie Halliday, Photo by Jerrick Edwardsen
Leslie Halliday, Photo by Jerrick Edwardsen
A Conversation With: Leslie Halliday

Bengal’s Purr
So, why did you choose to become a high school counselor?

Halliday
So I actually just finished my degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies and I was talking to a friend of my sister who worked with her Mead High School in Spokane, and she had just completed a counseling program. And I just loved what she was doing. And I actually went to Mead High School, plopped myself down for a couple of, for a day and kind of watch what they did and I really liked this, I want to do this. And so that fall, I actually went back to school and started my counseling degree.

Bengal’s Purr
And so you mentioned, you mentioned that secondary education and social studies, what made you you said, you know, sitting there and watching made you switch, was that the only factor or were there others that kind of helped with that?

Halliday
You know, I just, it was just so interesting it was every day, you never know what the day is going to bring, you have a list of things that you want to get done, but you’re kind of ready for whatever walks in the door. A lot of times, that list just goes out the window. So I liked that relationship with students where you get to advocate for students. So those were just a couple of the things that just really appealed to me.

Bengal’s Purr
And then so, you went to Mead High School. What made you come down here to Lewiston, specifically for counseling?

Halliday
So, I actually I so I started my college. I started at Eastern Washington University, and I went to Lewis Clark State College, where that’s where I ended up finishing my four-year degree. So when a job came up in Lewiston, I did apply, there’s a couple of others that I applied to, but I was very excited when I was offered this position. So I’d lived here before, I was a little familiar with the area, and always enjoyed the river and the mountains and the things to do around here and that community so that’s how I ended up back in Lewiston from Spokane.

Bengal’s Purr
And then, prior to LHS, had you ever worked in like a counseling way before that?

Halliday
I actually worked at Newport High School for three years, where I taught world geography and counseled half and half.

Bengal’s Purr
So what is it that like drives you to work with high schoolers to help them make, you know, good life decisions and stuff like that?

Halliday
I just like high school age; you can have conversations with them. It’s never a dull moment. It’s just fun, too, so much fun. I know, elementary, it’s just so different. It’s such a different age. And I’ve just always loved the high school age. And I think just the conversations that variety of students just, yeah, it’s a great age.

Bengal’s Purr
And so, as part of your job as a school counselor, you help with making student schedules.

Halliday
a little bit,

Bengal’s Purr
what is like the process for making a student’s schedule?

Halliday
So we actually have PowerSchool, which does schedule students, we take requests, and a master schedule is created. And then students are sifted into a schedule we go through we fix errors. We make sure schedules are complete. They don’t have two classes that same hour; we double-check for whether they’ve taken the class before and they have the prereqs. So things like that. So we do a lot of fixing of a general schedule. And that’s what we’re doing right now.

Bengal’s Purr
And so, if a student wants to change their schedule, how would they go about doing that?

So, the Friday before finals, after we’ve returned from Christmas break, you will get a copy of your schedule, and fourth hour, it’s going to be a class change request form.

— Leslie Halliday

Halliday
So, the Friday before finals, after we’ve returned from Christmas break, you will get a copy of your schedule, and fourth hour, it’s going to be a class change request form. There’s also going to be a place for a signature from a teacher for year-long classes and a parent signature that needs to be filled out complete with signatures, there’s also going to be classes that are open every single hour. So you need to fill out that form and drop it off in the counseling office starting the Monday that week of finals.

Bengal’s Purr
Would that be the same process for if a student wants to maybe switch teachers, say their math teacher?

Halliday
Yes, it is. And you know, with changing a teacher, sometimes we can, we can do that. Sometimes we can’t. If the math teacher they’re requesting is larger than the one they’re getting out of, then we can’t make that change. But students just need to be aware of that. They also need to watch those dates for when they can change their schedules. They will have the first two days of the semester and that entire week of finals to fill out that form and drop it off. If they need to talk to their counselor, they can write that on their form, we would love to talk to every single student about their schedule. Sometimes we can’t do that because we have 350 students. So, but we will talk to everyone that we need to and what we can do and make the changes that we can.

Bengal’s Purr
And so I’m sure fixing all those errors of 350 students’ schedule is pretty stressful. How do you deal with that, plus your day-to-day work?

Halliday
I eat a lot of chocolate. I do, also anytime I can spend outside, that’s a huge stress reliever, and running things like that. So, outside chocolate, more running because I eat more chocolate.

Bengal’s Purr
And so before we end, the Counseling Center has a bunch of resources for students what what are just some of those resources?

Halliday
What kind of any, so any kind of?

Bengal’s Purr
so any. Yeah, any resources? So, like, I know, the counseling Part. Everyone kind of…

Halliday
Yeah.

Bengal’s Purr
But more like the closet…

Halliday
Oh, goodness. So we do have so many resources. Any questions that you have come down ask if we don’t have a resource, and we’ll find one. But we have college information, military information, future information; we have our food pantry, we have that has snacks, we also have clothing items, we have school supplies, if you forget anything for PE or any school supplies for a class that’s needed. We have food that you can take home. We also have extra clothing if a student needs clothing or shoes.

So we have many times if we don’t have it, sometimes we can go get it. So, if there are any needs, so come on down. We also have information on scholarships and college and also counseling resources. Of course, if you’re struggling, we have resources. People to call, we can definitely assist you in the right direction—so huge, huge scope of items from everyday living just to special needs.

Bengal’s Purr
And then, is there anything else you’d like to add before we end the interview?

Halliday
No, thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate it, and happy holidays.

Bengal’s Purr
Happy holidays.

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About the Contributor
Jerrick Edwardsen, News Assistant & Co-Website Manager
Meet Jerrick Edwardsen, a News Assistant and the Co-Website Manager of The Bengal's Purr, with his exceptional writing skills and dedication to providing accurate and engaging content, Jerrick plays a vital role in crafting captivating articles across a wide range of subjects for the publication.

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