The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Counselor Appreciation Week calls for thanks

courtesy Noa Biener
From left, Molly Norris, Jennifer Radcliffe, Scott Brown pose in Student Support Office during lunch, ready to help out students.

With today, February 9, signifying the end of Counselor Appreciation Week, high school counselors Molly Norris, Scott Brown, and Jennifer Radcliffe have undergone another successful school year. 

The team is known as Student Support Services, or StuSup, for short. 

“We kind of named ourselves StuSup,” Norris said, “We were trying to be more relevant, and it has stuck for a while… I want students to feel comfortable and not have a stigma [around] coming to the counselor’s office.”

Norris has been with the district for ten years, Brown for eight, and Radcliffe for six. They all got into the profession in different ways. 

Norris started college on one path but stumbled upon her true passion.

“I definitely did not know I wanted to be a school counselor when I went to college,” Norris said. “I actually wanted to be an architect, but I took some psychology classes in undergrad and I loved it.”

Unbeknownst to most, Norris briefly worked as a probation officer after college before transitioning to a school environment. 

Brown meandered around before settling into his current job. 

“I started out loving writing and so I was going to be a journalism major,” Brown said. “Then I wanted to be an English major, but I also liked working with kids, so I majored in English education.” 

Getting his bachelor’s degree in English and language arts education at UW-Eau Claire, Brown taught for over 10 years in Wisconsin and Colorado before getting his master’s degree in education at the University of Washington, but then decided to pursue his interest in psychology, receiving a master’s degree in school counseling at Concordia. 

“I’ve always liked psychology and I [wanted] to transition into a new role,” Brown said.

On the other hand, Radcliffe knew she wanted to work with students soon after she graduated from high school. 

“I had a really positive experience working with [someone who] wasn’t my counselor, but served in that capacity,” Radcliffe said. “[It] was something that I felt like was a good fit…I wanted to continue and give back in that way.”

Aside from counseling, all three counselors enjoy physical activity and spending time with family. 

“I have a 20-month-old daughter, Zoe, and she takes up a lot of my time,” Radcliffe said. “It’s [both]  the most challenging and rewarding thing at the same time.” 

Radcliffe enjoys trying new, strange foods. 

“I don’t necessarily love to cook, but I love trying new restaurants,” Radcliffe said. “The most adventurous food I’ve eaten was chicken feet…it wasn’t my favorite.”

Brown enjoys exploring the outdoors. He has climbed 10 mountains that are 14,000 feet high in Colorado. 

“That’s what I do every summer,” Brown said. “[It’s] becoming a tradition.” 

As a former English teacher, he also enjoys reading and writing in his free time.

Norris is in her third year of coaching girls soccer at SHS

“I love being able to connect with students in a different kind of way,” Norris said. 

She also loves concerts and her dog.

“I love going on walks with [my dog] and I live in Shorewood, so being able to walk around the community and see the students out in the community too,” Norris said.

All three of the counselors enjoy music and have favorite artists. 

Brown enjoys Pearl Jam in particular. 

“I remember seeing them on MTV back when they showed music videos, and I’ve just loved them ever since,” Brown said. 

Radcliffe is a long-time Taylor Swift fan. 

“I like to say that I was one of the OGs because I went to her concert in 2007 when she opened up for Rascal Flatts at Summerfest,” Radcliffe said.

Norris’s favorite artist is Tom Petty, though she appreciates all music.

“My favorite is Tom Petty. But I love so many other [kinds of music]…I have music quotes [all around my wall],” Norris said. “I love Nirvana. I love Tupac. I like Taylor Swift, [to name a few].”

The counselors work with students in three different areas: social-emotional, academic, and post-college/career planning.

“I like that we have the variety of supporting students in all three of those domains, and every day is a different day for me,” Norris said.

“Sometimes it feels like we’re pulled in multiple directions,” Brown said. “That can be difficult at times, but the variety is nice. [I also want students] to know that we function as a team. So if one of us is busy, you can pop in and see any of us.”

“I like [being] able to connect with students and families,” Radcliffe said. “Especially if you’re working at the same school for an extended period of time, [to] know students and their individual needs and the growth and development throughout their high school experience.”

There are also more complicated aspects of the profession. 

“When students are going through difficult emotional experiences, it can be really difficult because you have to figure out ways to marshall all the support around that student,” Brown said. “It’s just hard to witness kids going through all of that.”

“It’s [a lot of] moving from thing to thing and wanting to be able to spend more time with some of the heavier stuff, but knowing that we are pulled into different situations,” Norris said. “I want to emphasize we really do want to be support for all students in any capacity.”