Liggatt provides guidance for entire district
(Monday, May 2, 2016)
Video, article and photos by Senior Brianna Womack
(Earned her state runner-up honors at state journalism in the 3A/4A contest)
Some would say that it is difficult to find one person who affects the lives of each and every student in a district, but in USD 372, this is not the case.
Sandra Liggatt has been the K-12 school counselor in Silver Lake for six years. Her job responsibilities include touching on aspects of the career, personal, social, and academic areas for each of her students.
Liggatt shared what she enjoys most about being a school counselor.
“Every day is different, and I never know what I’m going to encounter. Some days I think it’s going to be an easy day, and it ends up being one of the busiest days I have, and vice versa. The other thing I really enjoy about my job is just being able to work with the students in a variety of ways. Being around the students is the best part,” Liggatt said.
Serving as counselor for the grade school, junior high, and high school allows for a lot of student interaction. Liggatt explained how she keeps in touch with all of the students.
“At the grade school I go in and teach lessons on character. I teach a lesson on careers, and anything I feel is of value. I work over there with individuals as needed as well when a crisis in their life occurs, or a crisis at school goes on.
“Here at the high school and junior high, I spend a lot of time with the students working on career things such as the eighth-grade career fair or the juniors writing resumes. I’m also in charge of the college reps, getting students ready for college, and helping them fill out scholarships,” she said.
Liggatt maintains a relationship with every student who walks the halls in Silver Lake but has grown closer with certain individuals. Sophomore Shy’ane Stoner described her relationship with Liggatt.
“We’re really close I guess you could say. She’s always been there pretty much for everybody, but it seems like we’ve gotten a lot closer through the years. I really like her as a person,” Stoner shared.
Arin Neary, third-grader, shared her favorite memory with Liggatt, and what makes her special.
“She came into the classroom and read us a book about the invisible bucket because it was fun to hear that, and it was really helpful. She’s really nice, and fun, and creative,” Neary said.
Stoner shared what sets Liggatt apart from other counselors.
“She’s never pushy or bossy; she doesn’t make you do something or say something if you don’t want to,” she said.
Though Liggatt always carries a positive atmosphere through the hallways of USD 372, she is there for students when times are tough as well. Liggatt shared why this school year has been different from the rest.
“This year has probably been the saddest I have had with students. We had one of our students pass away in a car accident, and it was really the first one I’ve had to work through since I’ve been in this role. It’s been really hard to work with the students through that because no matter what you say or do, things don’t get better, you just have to get through it.
“At the grade school we have a student who has been diagnosed with brain cancer, and it’s just really sad that we have to see our students go through that at such a young age,” she said.
It is apparent that Liggatt greatly values the well-being of her students in all aspects of their lives. Liggatt shared the importance of her role as a student counselor.
“I have a different role than anyone in our school. I am able to help students one-on-one, I talk to them about what’s going on outside of school, or what’s causing issues in their academics. Every student comes to school with baggage, and I’m here to help them get through that and find their potential,” she said.
Photo 1: Sandra Liggatt, district counselor, confers with Senior Jesse Renfro about signing up for voting registration. (Photo by Brianna Womack)
Photo 2: Liggatt reads a story to first-grade students about character as part of bullying curriculum. (Photo by Brianna Womack)
Photo 3: Liggatt visits with junior high students Tanner Brown, Zander Henderson, and Alijah Starks during lunch in regards to their end-of-the-year thoughts. (Photo by Brianna Womack)