- Alma School District
Reese Happy to be an Airedale 8/9/21
Reese Happy to be an Airedale
By Kevin Taylor
By her own account, Megan Reese was ready to give up the drama that comes with seventh grade.
Then unbeknownst to the world, COVID-19 changed everything.
"It's been unreal," Reese said. "Some of my high achievers (students) were struggling just as much because nothing looked the same."
Reese's first year as one of Alma's three high school counselors came to a crawl toward the end of the 2019-20 school year. Zoom, emails, and communicating via her mobile phone became the norm.
"Trying to counsel from home through email is rough," Reese said. "You worry about the ones that are at home and come to school for those two meals (breakfast and lunch), and just for the interaction. That was hard emotionally."
A 2004 AHS graduate, Reese knew she wanted to teach school, and presumably math, while she was in high school.
"I knew in high school that I wanted to become a math teacher because of Ms. (Bernadette) Cantrell, Ms. (Christina) Johnston, and Ms. (Melissa) Sweeney — they were huge in my life," Reese said.
Almost 20 years ago, Alma had two counselors — the late Bonnie Dyer and Lou Scroggins.
After earning her undergrad degree in 2008, Reese spent three years teaching math in Harrison, her husband Brent's hometown.
But she quickly aspired to become a counselor.
"I knew I wouldn't stay a teacher in the classroom forever, because I wanted to talk to the kids more about their weekend and what's going on at home more than I did the quadratic formula," Reese said. "I got permission to start my graduate program a year early."
The transition was quick.
"I didn't think I would get out of the classroom as soon as I did," Reese said. "Where I was at, I didn't have a classroom; I was a floating math teacher. I think I got burned out quicker than I thought I would. It was hard logistically, it was time for something different."
The Reeses moved to Van Buren at the start of the 2011-12 school year. Following an eight-year stint at Butterfield Junior High, Reese walked back into Alma High School.
"It feels weird getting lost in my own high school," Reese said. "There's still a whole lot that's familiar about it, but going downstairs ... I get lost almost every single time.
"(But) drama-wise, (dealing with high school kids) has been much easier."
Well, that was until a pandemic stopped the world in its tracks.
As the first wave of COVID began to pass this spring and restrictions eased, things began to feel normal again.
"Getting to see their (students) faces was good," Reese said. "Getting to see their eyes first, and their whole faces when the masks came off, was a game-changer."
MEGAN COCHRAN REESE BIO
Jobs/Years: 3 years math (Harrison), 8 years (Butterfield), 3 years (AHS counselor)
Sports/activities: Band, Math Club
The weekend, what are you doing? Lake, hiking, chasing kids
You’re driving to school, what are you listening to? My boys, usually choose AC/DC, Imagine Dragons, Praise & Worship
Favorite Movie Genre: Romantic comedy
Favorite Junk Food: Chocolate
Favorite Teacher: Melessa Sweeney, Christina Johnston