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“She’s Like a Light”: The Friendly Face of Guidance

Ms. Haley at her station in the RMHS Guidance Office.
Ms. Haley at her station in the RMHS Guidance Office.

Whether you need some guidance, a place to eat lunch, are meeting with someone, or are just passing through, you have crossed paths with Ms. Haley, and she has most likely helped you more than you ever realized.

Ms. Haley, administrative assistant in guidance, has been working at RMHS since 2021. She attended Dean College, where she got an associates degree in science and majored in travel and tourism. Her original goal was to become a travel agent, but as she did more research she found that may not be her ideal career. She enjoyed the work, but didn’t love the environment. Ms. Haley then started to look for jobs that were better suited to her interests and skill set. She was hired at Select Appointments North America, working her way up from receptionist to executive assistant to the CFO in only two years. Ms. Haley left to have children and take care of her young family. She recalled, “When I went back to work after I had kids, I knew I wanted a job that was flexible. I worked at Wood End for five years before I came to RMHS. While there I covered classrooms and worked in the office. I went wherever I was needed on any day and I was able to learn the culture of the Reading school system. I really enjoyed working with the students. When the guidance office job was hiring, I knew that it would be a great fit. I could put my administrative skills to good use and knew I would love working with high school aged students.” Luckily, Ms. Haley was right and she is now in her third year at RMHS.

Ms. Haley’s View

Ms. Haley’s day is jam packed. Her day consists of a million tasks and decisions, all of which she handles with ease. She gave a run down of her typical day saying, “I have a lot of little things that I do. Obviously welcome new students, register new students, keep the main office, keep the guidance office organized as students come in, make sure that they’re going to the right places. And put SAT scores, there’s just a lot of little things.” When asked why some of her responsibilities go unnoticed by the student body she said, “When kids come in I am kind of multitasking at all times. I think it’s hard for anybody to recognize how much is actually happening at once.” However, Ms. Haley is not looking for praise or recognition, she just genuinely loves her job and helping students whenever she can.

She’s just a bright spot in my day.

— Grace Bowen ('24)

From Guidance

Ms. Haley works at the front desk of the guidance office. Ms. Keefe, a guidance counselor at RMHS, discussed whether or not kids recognize all the work Ms. Haley does in the guidance office. Ms. Keefe answered, “She does so much. I think that people don’t realize. I think students see that she’s checking in with counselors to see if we’re available. That’s only one very small part of her job. She’s always helping with new students. She’s putting them in the system. She’s helping us get transcripts out to seniors, for seniors for college. If there’s ever like a grade change, she’s the one that does all of that. If there’s an issue with your transcript, even if I found it, she’s the one that’s actually fixing it. She’s helping with AP exams, SATs. She wears so many different hats, and she does so many different things…I also think that like she is who sits there when kids come in upset, is really important. And the fact that I think a lot of kids feel connected with her and she’s like a wonderful presence. I think that she’s almost like a little counselor out there as well.”

Ms. Keefe added that it is even hard for the counselors themselves to see all the work she Ms. Haley does. “There’s so much behind the scenes stuff that I like, even though I don’t even know all the things that she does, like, I think she does everything. She is well appreciated in RMHS’s guidance department. I genuinely think that we could not function without her.”

I genuinely think that we could not function without her.

— Ms. Keefe

The Impact

Ms. Haley has a positive impact on many students every day. Senior Grace Bowen, an avid guidance visitor, sees Ms. Haley daily. Grace said, “Ms. Haley has done so much for me. She always accepts my pass requests so I can come and have a quiet place to study and work in guidance. And she always listens to my problems and helps me solve them and helps me, like work through them. She’s like a light. She’s just a bright spot in my day.” Grace also commented on Ms. Haley’s impact on her academic career. “Ms. Haley has greatly impacted my academics because she’s allowed me to come study here and work and give me a nice quiet place. And without that I wouldn’t have been able to focus or learn as much.” Lastly, Grace pointed out how much Ms. Haley does for RMHS seniors applying to colleges. “She does a ton of the college prep work for us, including helping colleges come and visit us so that we can see them and visit them and like no one really knows that she does that work as well as all the ACT and SATs stuff. She does all of that as well.” 

Whether you are a student, parent or teacher, Ms. Haley is ready and willing to help you with anything you need and is truly an asset to the school community. While everyone benefits from Ms. Haley, she said it’s a two way street, noting that the most rewarding part of her job is her relationships with students. “The kids. My favorite part of this job is when people come in and say hi, and if I’m busy, and I don’t have time to talk, I let you guys know, but seeing how far you guys have come or if you’re having a bad day, then knowing that you can be in here and it’s a safe space for you. That is the best part of my day.”

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