Ratliff Changes Roles, from Teacher to Counselor

      Sometimes change can be intimidating and overwhelming, but interesting as well.  

     This is what happened to Jennifer Marquardt Ratliff, former Dimond High history teacher, now school counselor. 

       After about four years of teaching, Ratliff finally gained the opportunity to help students with facing certain daily issues, anxiety, and problems. 

      She loves being a counselor now, as much as she loved teaching last year.

      Ratliff, Dimond High’s new counselor, said, “I’ve always loved helping students, specifically to decide what they’re doing after high school and how to succeed during high school and later on in life.

      “I have never been a counselor before officially, but I interned at Dimond for a year under the mentorship of counselor Jaime Boyd Kragt, where I worked directly under a counselor. However, I have always helped students before as a teacher, not just with teaching history, but with the students’ issues and problems in their own personal lives.”

       Ratliff said, “In order for me to take the position of a counselor, I had to earn a master’s degree. Teaching also helped me with this position, which also included the aspects of studying different psychological behavior of teen students.”

      “Scheduling, and not not having enough time in the day are definitely some of the challenges I face as a counselor,” Ratliff said. Scheduling has really brought a huge change for most staff and students at Dimond this year.

        “I would definitely teach again, since it is one of the things I absolutely enjoy doing. I would love to try working as a part-time counselor, and work as a life guidance teacher as well,” Ratliff said.

       Charles Beattie, a geometry and German teacher at Dimond, said, “I personally think Mrs. Ratliff is awesome at her new job as a counselor. I would say I had a good number of students over the years that had her as a teacher, and they all say she’s a wonderful person.” 

       Beattie worked with Ratliff when both were. Other staff, teachers and students also appreciate Mrs. Ratliff’s hard work as a counselor and her past years of being a teacher.

       A few students shared their experiences with having Ratliff last year as a teacher when she taught freshmen classes of Alaska Studies and Ancient Civilizations and shared what they think of her becoming the new counselor for Dimond. 

       Dimond Sophomore Jonathan Taylor said, “I mostly enjoyed Mrs. Ratliff’s friendliness to everyone. She had a bright personality and helped all of her students do a great job in their education, and she was also very inspiring.

      “To a lot of students she was like a therapist and overall she was very forgiving and

understanding,” Taylor said.

      Ratliff seemed to work with students and their education, because she wanted the best for them and for them to  succeed. Last year she was available during lunch for students to come over and work on any assignments, projects and tests.    

      Dimond Sophomore Shelby Wholecheese said, “My favorite moment with Mrs. Ratliff was she organized a class party for us last year, because we had the most class points out of all her periods. She got snacks for us and while we ate them she put on a movie for us to watch.

      “I think she will do a great job at being a counselor, since she was a wonderful teacher and everyone enjoyed her positive attitude. She will do an awesome job, no matter where she is,’’ said Wholecheese. 

     Everyone at Dimond High School appreciates Ratliff’s hard work and commitment for making it this far and working with students and parents. Her kindness will always stay with her and so will her great accomplishments.