Schaller-Crestland School administrators know the importance of providing a counselor for their students.
They discovered that one counselor just wasn't enough to best meet the needs.
Kari Limbert has been joined in the counselor's corner by Amanda Miller.
Limbert, who deserves to be commended for the job she has done with the kindergarten through 12th grade students over the past many years, will now concrete on the high school students.
Miller is serving as the new elementary and middle school counselor and is very much enjoying her first school position.
It's a win win situation for everyone - less driving time for the counselors and more time for the kids.
Miller's duties include classroom guidance, classroom enrichment, keeping the Talented and Gifted program thriving for grades three through eight and ELL classes.
In a time when some districts are being forced to end some programs due to declining students and dollars, Schaller-Crestland is proud to be able to continue the TAG program.
"TAG is important," said the counselor. "It is for at risk students, not in the way we think, but those students at the other end of the spectrum. We spend a lot of time making sure students are meeting the expectations and proficiency levels. If there was not TAG, some of these students would really be at risk; they would be nowhere near exceeding their potentials."
TAG provides extra opportunities for students who have proven to be academically on top and allows them to challenge themselves.
The selected TAG students meet with Miller as a group or individually 45 minutes each week.
Each TAG student is required to carry out a project of his or her choice.
"If they were all given a canned project, they may not be as enthused. I have given them the chance to come up with their own ideas. They will have a much better project. The projects selected have been interesting.
Two of the students have ordered robot kits. They will put the robots together and will share them in the other classrooms.
Another student will be tracing her German ancestry. The project will allow her to use library and computer skills, as she looks up information. She is fine tuning her social studies skills as she looks into the family history and has also decided to try her hand at preparing German dishes in her Family Consumer Science class.
All of the TAG projects will be on display at the spring art extravaganza.
Miller has also helped students continue their hard work in the Friends of Rachel organization.
The organization was formed a few years ago after a Rachel's Challenge presentation was heard at the school. Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings. She was a very bright girl who expressed kindness to many. Her family wants that kindness to spread and so developed Rachel's Challenge.
The middle school organization is ongoing and any middle school student (sixth grade through eighth grade) is invited to participate in tahe community service projects they strive for.
So far this year, the students have helped with the Meals from the Heartland in Des Moines by packaging meals for third world countries. The Schaller-Crestland students were partnered with Galva-Holstein students.
They recently partnered with East Sac students and held a food drive that has benefited Sac County Family Development Center.
This week the Friends of Rachel members are working on collecting hats and mittens and donating them to the school for students who need them.
"All these are their ideas; I only help facilitate it. It is student-driven and they have taken ownership."
Administrators at Schaller-Crestland are pleased to be able to give students these opportunities.