New Role For Mandy Knight


Credit to Patty O'Leary

Guidance Counselor Mandy Knight works in her office at the guidance center. Knight became a Counselor after a position opened at the end of last school year, making the move from Art Teacher to Counselor.

By Patty O'Leary, Grace Harding, and Sophie Schmidt

When a student walks into the guidance office at FHN, if they look hard enough they might spot a new face among the familiar ones in the room. Mandy Knight, a former art teacher, has taken a new position in guidance as a student counselor. Although she did enjoy her time as an art teacher just down the hall, counseling has always been her goal.

“At first I got my bachelor’s [degree] to become a teacher,” Knight said. “Then I got my master’s [degree] pretty quickly after that, because I knew I always wanted to be a counselor. So, I actually finished my master’s in counseling from Lindenwood in 2013.”

Her new job is a bit different than her old one as an art teacher. A counselor’s duties include things like checking schedules, helping students with their personal needs and working with other counselors to ensure the students are as comfortable as possible at FHN.

“Student need is always priority,” Knight said. “I just want to make sure my new kids to FHN are feeling comfortable and that things are going well. I also want to make sure everyone is settling in well and starting off strong.”

There are some key differences between working in an office and working in a classroom. A counselor is used to getting to know kids on an individual basis, as opposed to a group, like in classes. They also have to adapt quickly to fluctuations in amount of students in the office- especially within the first ten days of school, as students rush in to drop or change their classes.

“When you’re teaching an art class, you’re pretty much all figuring out the same problem together, but this is more personal and emotional,” Knight said. “Focusing on individual needs for each student. Everyone is different. I haven’t had a kid come in here that’s like another kid.”

Knight has a lot of new experiences in store for her new job. But to her, nothing overshadows what she experienced in her old art classes. The artwork, the students and her fellow teachers are still close by, even as she starts a new, exciting chapter in her life.

“I really cherish the years in my art room,” Knight said. “I’ll miss seeing their artwork daily and them daily, but this has always been my goal and I’m very excited to help in a different way.”