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The one and only PHS student counselor

Erika Haines
The Counseling Office is where Abby Kinsey, School Counselor, works hard to help and support students.

The One and Only PHS Student Counselor 

I’m not sure if everyone is aware that Park High School only has one student Counselor, Mrs. Abby Kinsey. Mrs. Kinsey has a lot of help and support from school registrar Lisa Peterson. I had the chance to interview Mrs. Kinsey and Lisa Peterson to find out how they feel about it. 

The normal state of Montana set ratio for the number of students per counselor is one full-time counselor per every 400 high school students. In previous years, Park High employed two full-time counselors, but when R.D Jenkinson left at the end of last year to take a job in Bozeman, the school did not replace his position.

A school counselor to student ratio has a significant effect on student attendance and the ability to effectively deliver comprehensive school counseling programs to meet students’ academic, career and social/emotional needs. Mrs. Kinsey is currently counseling 439 students, which exceeds the maximum ratio recommended for school counselors. 

Despite the ratio, Kinsey was ready to take on the challenge. Once school began, she knew the first week was going to be busy, but she was not nervous or scared. Kinsey stated “I’m used to chaos.” Lisa Peterson helped with scheduling day and time appointments with Kinsey for students wanting to make class schedule changes. Kinsey and Peterson both commented, “All the students and parents were so patient with us and made it so much easier.” 

Every Wednesday the School Administration brings in Mental Health representatives, and then Kinsey can focus more on Academic Counseling. School counseling helps students resolve emotional, social or behavior problems and help them develop a clearer focus of direction.  

Park High’s enrollment increased this year. 456 students were registered at the beginning of school in August, and today’s current count has dropped to 439 students because of students dropping out or moving away. The number of freshmen has increased this year to 133, which is the largest cohort in almost 10 years, when there were 138 freshmen in 2014, according to data from Peterson.





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About the Contributors
Alec Dalby
Greetings everyone! I enjoy hanging out with my buddies and making blanket forts. I also love smelling pies.
Erika Haines
Erika Haines, Editor
Hello! My name is Erika Haines and I am a senior at Park High School. I have played Varsity Softball for the past three years of high school and was voted co-captain in 2023. I have also participated in Speech, Drama, and Debate for the past two years. I took fourth place at Divisionals in Original Oratory in 2023 and have qualified for state both years. I am an active member of National Honors Society too. I have interests in photography and sports media. This fall I have the honor to be media personnel at Montana State University football games. This opportunity, along with being on the Geyser staff, gives me the chance to explore the field of journalism. My father, Kevin Haines, was also a part of the Geyser staff back when he was in High School. He was a layout editor in 1985-1986. It is a pleasure to be able to continue something my father worked on all those years ago.  

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