Year starts with crowded counseling office, classes


Stephanie Jimenez

Counselor Kevin Oki, speaks to seniors Brenda Pelayo and Stephon Favella about this year’s schedule.

As with every year, the first few days the counseling office is full of students eager to switch out of one class and into another.

Yet this year, it was worse than normal. The same hustle and bustle followed after the first day of school, but without Head Counselor Chan Sam many students were left with schedules that either did not fit their needs or did not have classes assigned for certain periods.

As he left for SECA during the summer, his position was left unfulfilled and therefore the work that would normally be his was not completed. The section of the alphabet Sam was responsible for was allotted to AVID counselor Kevin Oki.

Maria Lepe, Head Counselor
Maria Lepe, Head Counselor

“It’s been much more hectic this year, because of this,” counselor Samantha Wirzberger said. As well as the standard amount of work each counselor has, this hiccup has lengthened their hours. Because of this, not every student will be catered to if they simply do not like a class. Students are seen and worked with based on the severity of their needs.

“Not only are we down a whole counselor, but we also lack the person that is meant to unify us,” Wirzberger said.

Spending long hours working with issues in the master schedule while also considering students’ needs has taken a toll on the counselors, but with their hard work they were able to manage. Hours spent creating classes and relocating students takes away from dealing with the issues they would normally be spending time on at this time of the year. If you take a whole counselor away from that equation, let alone the head counselor, stress levels are extremely heightened.

Now, a head counselor has been selected and will resume the duties Sam had left behind. The A-B portion of the alphabet will now go to Maria Lepe. Lepe served as a counselor at Franklin, and has been in the district for even longer.

She will be briefed on the students she will acquire as each one has different needs, and some will need her attention more than others.

This counselor is welcome, but A-B students aren’t going to know that this changed happened unless they have to see their counselor for some reason or another, arrive at Oki’s door and then be redirected to Lepe’s office.

Junior Richard Aguirre knew that Sam had left because he had schedule issues that needed to be fixed by Oki, but had no idea that Oki was only a temporary fix.

Lepe is excited to be a part of the school not only because it’s a new beginning for her, but because she has roots in Stagg. “My son graduated from here in 1998. I have a soft spot for this school.”