Southeast Elementary School Counselor Joy Ethridge is very passionate about education and has over 21 years of experience impacting the lives of students, when she found out she was nominated for Life Changer of The Year, it left her speechless.
“My principal and assistant principal called me to the library, and they wanted to show me something, they said we want you to sit here and look at something, and what it was: it was interviews from students who were at school talking about me and my job and what I do for them and me just being a counselor and what I means to them.”
According to Ethridge, she once was an educator but believed she was called to help students outside of the classroom.
“I wanted to do something a little differently to be with the children more on a one on one basis, work with them with issues that they have, different problems that they may face on a daily basis, sometimes it might be just a little once in a while, things that they might not talk to their teacher about or they might not talk to their family about, but they just need someone to listen.”
Ethridge says on top of tasks that have to be completed; she still sets aside time to see her students.
“Some days I can just be totally bombarded with a lot of paperwork, that comes along with the job that I will have to do, and I might just see two or three kids, and then other days I may see kids every hour, even less than, it just depends on what’s going on. I will get referrals from teachers; I will have parents to call me and ask me to talk to their child.”
Ethridge also says she is retiring this school year and the nomination couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I am retiring with mixed feelings, I will miss my job, I will miss my students, I will miss my colleagues, and what I do every day but I’m also looking forward to it.”