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Danielle Staggers - HalifaxAuthor: Danielle Staggers, 2nd-Year Adviser at Northampton West and Weldon City High Schools

Coming back for my second year was not an option, it was a requirement! It’s not a requirement from CCAC, but from my students, from my staff and honestly for me! My schools made great strides last year in college acceptance and potential enrollment rates. Though I appreciate the increase in numbers, I can’t say that’s the complete reason for my return. This position allowed me a great opportunity to connect with high school students on a new level. More than 75% of the interaction with my students was out side of the classroom and at least half of that was outside of school hours. Part of what I love my about my job is that I can do it wherever and still get the same goals accomplished. I advised in the hallways, on the way to college visits, at basketball games, in the cafeteria, in grocery stores, bowling alleys, and I did a lot of advising on Facebook!

Speaking of Facebook, the constant interaction with the graduates and rising seniors over the summer, almost made me forget I was off duty. But are you really ever off duty from being a College Adviser, not at all! I didn’t go a week without a text message or wall post saying something similar to . . . “Ms. Staggers, how do I do this?”, “Ms. Staggers, you know I’m going to be in your office the first day.” This interaction along with Leadership Institute really got me fired up about returning to my schools. Fortunately, one of my schools starts earlier than the rest, so I didn’t have any idle time to lose this energy. I stepped into my schools meeting new teachers and staff members and it felt really good to be included in the ‘veteran’ population, as the principal referred to us. But I’ll never consider myself an expert in college advising, or a veteran staff member because there is always room for growth and progress! And that’s my plan for this year, to exceed last year, with more collaboration,  more higher education promotion and more conversations about post-secondary plans! The best part of it all, is that I know I’m not alone. The school and I have just collaborated to establish a Post-Secondary Achievement Group with at least seven staff members! We will do GREAT things this year!


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