The individual challenges that Sedro-Woolley High School staff have faced this year are different for each department.
Having done distance learning last year and coming back full time, teachers were not able to help students as much as they wanted to.
“It’s good work. I enjoy it, but it’s certainly challenging,” says Steven Gunderson, a guidance counselor at Sedro Woolley High School.”
After a year of quarantine Gunderson says his experience coming back to a new year has been stressful, making sure everyone was informed.
“The start of the school year was a bit overwhelming with schedule changes and everybody coming back full time,” said Gunderson. “I definitely had a couple days where I felt like I was in over my head; lots of emails, lots of parents with questions about the school year, and just working hard to keep up with those.”
Gunderson’s responsibilities go beyond emails. He also has to keep track of students who are in quarantine and make sure they are caught up.
“We work with their families and with the teachers to make sure they are getting the work that they need, and to make sure they have access to the technology they need so that when they are out of school there not missing out on as much learning.”
Aside from the stressful start, Gunderson is excited for students coming back to school.
“One thing I am certainly looking forward to having students here full time, that’s been a lot of fun,” Gunderson said. “I am looking forward to spending more time with students, getting to connect with them on a more regular basis.”
Glad that students get to be more connected with the school, he later adds “I am excited about all the clubs to open back up! I think it will let more students be more engaged with the school.”
While quarantine was not an enjoyable experience for anyone, Gunderson says what he enjoyed about his time in quarantine last year, including what he enjoyed about last summer as well.
“I have a wonderful wife and daughter that I was able to spend more time with so that is something I was thankful for during quarantine,” Gunderson said.
“I took my family to Alaska to visit my brother who is working up there, so we got to go to Anchorage for a week and a half and we saw tons of wildlife`, beautiful country, beautiful land up there and got to spend good quality time with family.”