Mrs. Dunkel is a returning counselor that adores working with her students and fellow staff! Today, in honor of National Counselor Week, let’s take a deeper look into her role on campus and what Highland means to her.
DUNKEL: Hi, I am Mrs. Dunkel and I am a counselor here at HHS. This is my second year here!
INT: What is your caseload like this year, and what does a typical workday look like for you?
DUNKEL: A typical day… I don’t even know if I can describe it because it’s always something different every day. That’s why I love my job. But usually, my best days are when I’m able to call in my students to talk about their future or anything they want to talk about — those are my favorite days! Or going into the classroom and communicating that way with students.
INT: What is one thing you quickly learned after becoming a counselor?
DUNKEL: After being a teacher and switching to counseling, I learned more about the “behind-the-scenes” of how students are dealing with their classes! For example, they may have other issues going on at home that may affect their performance. So, I get that general background information on my students.
INT: We know that you used to teach English for some time before counseling. Why did you decide to become a counselor?
DUNKEL: So, I loved English so much that I wanted to teach it. Then, I got to start teaching it, but I kind of watched what the counselors did in the office and thought, “Hey! That’s something I want to do because I really want to connect more with my students!” Yes, I love teaching, but I love personally having connections with my students more, which is why I really wanted to help them in counseling.
INT: What is one thing you wish your students knew about you?
DUNKEL: Ohhhh… I guess I wish my students knew that I am human, just like them. I’m not a robot and I have a life outside of school — I have struggles, just like they do — so I can definitely relate to them!
INT: Ok! We see you pop up very frequently on the counselor Canvas page! Could you tell me a bit about the Canvas page and its purpose?
DUNKEL: *Laughs* The Canvas page is to give information out to students, especially because we don’t get to see you all every day! Specifically for seniors, it’s getting that scholarship information out, and talking about activities or programs that’ll help our student’s future. But, the biggest thing is that we’re giving out more information!
INT: From a counselor’s perspective, what classes or activities seem to be most “in demand” from the students?
DUNKEL: Most popular would be ROC! ROC is super popular, and Video Production is as well! Oh, you know another one is Guitar! I don’t know if it’s because there’s only one section, but there are a lot of Guitar students at school, and that one is harder to get a spot for!
INT: On the flip side, what class are students notoriously known for dropping?
DUNKEL: *Laughs* I’m going to say AP classes because AP classes can be quite hard!
INT: Is there any class in particular?
DUNKEL: I don’t think there’s one class! Everyone is different!
INT: If you could shout out another counselor you work with, who would it be and why?
DUNKEL: Mrs. Martinez is my work bestie! We started at the same time, so it’s been nice to go through the same things together — like last year not knowing what we were doing to this year learning more and experiencing everything together!
INT: What is a memory of helping another student you hold fondly?
DUNKEL: I had a student thank me not too long ago and tell me that I was there for them when no one else was there for them, and I told her, “You’re going to make me cry!”
INT: How are you celebrating National Counselor Week?
DUNKEL: By working! *Laughs*
INT: We are about to jump into a speed round, but before that – our final question. What is Highland High School to you?
DUNKEL: Highland High School – I feel like there’s a lot of history here on this campus. I came from Ridgeview, which is a newer campus compared to Highland. So, it’s really nice to see how an older campus runs! And, I just love how spirited the students are, and how passionate about teaching the teachers are. And so, I would summarize and say Highland is an amazing place for me and everyone here!
Cat or dog?
CSU or UC?
Reading or writing?
Cake or pie?
Beach or forest?
Marvel or DC?
INT: All right, that’s all I have for you today! Thank you!
Whether it’s for an academic concern or a quick chat, Mrs. Dunkel makes herself available for students! Thank you Mrs. Dunkel for your hard work!
Interview by: Luffy C.
Edited by: Valerie Ruiz