The Frontline in Guidance

Story by Billy Key, Walker Valley Senior

Two faces almost every student will at some point encounter at Walker Valley are those of Ms. Abbie Patterson and Ms. April Estrada. These ladies are the first people one sees when entering the guidance and counseling office. Speaking with Ms. Patterson was not difficult on any level as she was open and willing to convey her accomplishments, personal facts, and the history of her affiliation not only with Walker Valley, but with Cleveland, Tennessee.

A native of Cleveland, Ms. Patterson has spent the last ten and a half years with Walker Valley and is not planning on leaving anytime soon. Her accomplishments consist of  “having my child and achieving the Secretary of the Year award.” She is also currently helping her husband with his business.

Question: “What inspired you to take up a career in school?”

Answer: “I previously worked with Madison Opthamology and I just wanted a career where I worked with students.”

Question: “What is the most difficult part of being a school official?”

Answer: “I’ve never really had any difficulties in or around my job. It’s always been very easy for me.”

Question: “If you had the chance to go back to school for a full 4 years, free of charge, what would you major in and why?”

Answer: “I would work as a social worker for the elderly.”

Question: Did you have a school career prior to the one you are currently in?”

Answer: “I had a job as a kindergarten assistant teacher.”

Question: “What words of encouragement do you have for young aspiring teachers or school staff in general?”

Answer: “You must be patient with the student(s). You have no idea what their morning has been like.”

Ms. Patterson is a kind and caring individual who has contributed to this school immensely and if absent, the staff and students alike would feel a sort of emptiness within themselves as well, and the same principle applies to her co-worker, Ms. Estrada.

Question: “Ms. Estrada, what inspired you to take up a career in school?”

Answer: “I really feel that the scheduling really helps keep me involved with my kids.”

Question: “What is it that you find most difficult about being a school official?”

Answer: I think the hardest part for me, if any, is seeing the students encounter things emotionally.”

Question: “If you could go back to school for a full four years, free of charge, what would you major in and why?”

Answer: “If I had the chance, I would be involved with women’s ministry.”

Question: “Did you have a school career prior to the one you are currently in?”

Answer: “Yes I did, I was a preschool teacher.” Q-on-Q follow up: “Did you like it better than your job now?” Answer: “No, not really. I mean, I liked my kids, but it was taxing in comparison to my job now.”

Question: “What words of encouragement do you have for young aspiring teachers or school staff in general?”

Answer: “You need to be kind and considerate to the student populace.”

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