Every year Chadron High School has new staff members that join the Cardinal family. New to the family is Mrs. Loni Watson, the guidance counselor.
She was born and raised in Spearfish, South Dakota. Throughout grade school she enjoyed math and science as her favorite subjects. At age fourteen she earned her first job at Taco John’s making tacos.
Mrs. Watson found her way south by acquiring a scholarship to golf at Chadron State College. “It was fun, and traveling was the best part,” Mrs. Watson said about golf. She majored in math education and continued her education by receiving a masters in education administration. Enhancing her education, she is now working on a masters in school counseling.
Mrs. Watson landed her first professional job in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, teaching algebra I and II. From there she went on to teach in Blair, Nebraska, and Seward Nebraska, teaching the same subjects to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and “straggling seniors.”
Mrs. Watson met her husband in Chadron during college and quickly migrated back to Chadron to stay closer to family. When a position opened up at Chadron High School to be a guidance counselor, Mrs. Watson knew it would be the “ultimate dream job.”
“Transitioning from a math teacher to a guidance counselor is different, less structured, but I love the one on one interaction with the students better,” Mrs. Watson said. Changes are bound to happen when a new staff member takes the place of a retired teacher. Mrs. Watson is working towards “revamping” the guidance office and making it her own. She has incorporated Facebook, Twitter, and an updated website to assist students, staff, and parents. “For now I am trying to be as good as Mrs. Hinrichs, and trying to fill her big shoes,” Mrs. Watson said. Her goals for the future she said are to, “Hopefully, help more kids go to college than before, keep kids from failing classes, and help pass them.”
Not only did Mrs. Watson convert from a math teacher to a guidance counselor, she also transitioned into a new school system. “I love Chadron High School,” said Mrs. Watson, “I love it because the staff is close, good to the kids, and the kids are equally as good back.”