In a school year filled with chaos, communication with teachers and staff is of utmost importance for students to be able to help maintain an organized and balanced livelihood. This is the case for Maureen Beran, City High School’s new guidance counselor.
“I’m still able to do a lot of what is needed,” Beran said. “I don’t feel like I’m limited in helping [students] in getting them access to information and get them where they need to be in all honesty, besides COVID.”
Mrs. Beran first began her education career in early May of 2017 when she graduated from the University of Iowa. Shortly after, she received a job as a guidance counselor at Columbus Catholic High School.
“I’ve always been interested in working with high school kids and helping them be successful in high school and with their next step after high school, whatever that may be, whether it’s college, military, whatever they want to do after college. I just [enjoy] helping them make that transition successfully,” Beran said. ”[I also enjoy] having conversations with students about their future plans and goals and helping them with that process of accessing information and resources.”
Since Beran began working at City High, she has noticed significant differences in the staff size as the previous school she worked at in Muscatine had six counselors with around 1500 students. She found that the transition to a new position with the impact of COVID-19, the City High staff members were super welcoming and helpful with her transition as she had many questions about her new position.
“With COVID-19, we have kids who are online and kids who are [hybrid]. I think we’ve all been forced to learn new skill sets, especially communicating constantly with teachers back and forth, getting back to students/families in a timely manner, and [most importantly] supporting the students that are fully online,” Beran said.
Communication has been the most important factor and skill Beran has learned this year as it has been proven to be essential to her work ethic in order to assist students. And with the help from a supportive staff, she has been able to accomplish her goals as an educator.
“Teachers [are] very good at letting us know [which] students are struggling and [being able to work to fix that]. The teachers here are so willing to do what they need to do to help students get caught up and be successful. This year [has been] crazy for me and we all have that mindset and we’re all willing to do what we can to help,” Beran said.