Guiding Students in the Right Direction

New Counselors at DHS


Photo courtesy of Jada Boner

Nate Carr, Editor-in-Chief

At the end of the last school year, former high school counselors, Lauren Smith and Diane Russell left their positions as DHS counselors. During this past summer, administration hired Kristy Phipps and Catherine Kelly to fill the positions.

While this school year marks the beginning of Kelly’s career as a school counselor, it marks her 12th year in education. This year commences Phipps’ 13th year in counseling as well as her 23rd year in education. They possess the qualities and share the love for their chosen profession shown in their motivations. 

“I love people, I love kids. I would much rather be with a snarky teenager because I can give it back and they can handle my sarcasm,” Phipps said. “But ultimately, It was something I really just gravitated towards.” 

Both Phipps and Kelly share this aspiration and live for the moments that remind them of the impact they leave behind on their students, currently and previously. 

“I’m the same way. It’s just about building relationships like we have done with our former educators, them coming back and them asking for things,” Kelly said. “In fact, I had a girl call me in tears over a paper due at Weatherford College.” 

Phipps and Kelly come from different backgrounds as far as previous experiences in education. Kelly previously came from a school with a combined class total of less than 500 kids, whereas Phipps came from a school with a combined class total of over 2000. Regardless of class sizes, they share the same idea regarding the most rewarding part of their role in young student’s lives. 

“You know you’ve made a difference when they reach out to you, come to you, call you,” Phipps said. “They choose to let me be a part of their life because I was impactful in some way. If you’re not impactful, then those relationships, you just let them go.” 

While the faces of these two individuals feel unfamiliar to students, their doors always remain open in the second floor office, and they await students to come in for assistance. 

“I wanted to be a role model, and [the] people who are the most influential people in my life were educators,” Phipps said. “The people that I still talk to today, and who I still reach out to today were former teachers that had an impact, even my elementary school teachers.”