The second counselor's office at the Carthage Middle School will have a new smile this fall.

The second counselor's office at the Carthage Middle School will have a new smile this fall.

Amanda Lehman, originally from a small town in Texas called Vernon, has accepted a position as the second counselor. With one year under his belt at the middle school, Travis Bolin, counselor, said he was thrilled to have Lehman onboard.

“We hired the right gal,” Bolin said with a big smile. “The kids already have responded so well to her. It takes time to earn trust with students, but with Amanda, they seem to have just hit it off.”

Lehman earned her bachelor's in human development family studies, from Texas Tech University. She and her husband moved frequently with their careers. She taught in the classroom and continues her counselor's certification to this day, and he became a doctor.

“I knew all the long I wanted to be a school counselor,” Amanda said. “It's my calling.”

Amanda moved to Joplin with her husband in June when he signed on with Freeman, and she interned with Webb City High School. At the end of March, Amanda decided on Carthage.

“I really love this school,” Amanda said on the back steps of the middle school. “So many people have approached me and told me they were happy to see a woman as the other counselor. I want our program to be well-rounded to address all students' needs. I think we can do that together.”

As a certified counselor when school begins this fall, Amanda said she hopes to improve family involvement. Bolin and Amanda plan to split the alphabet with the student body. Of course, if a student prefers one or the other, the counselors say they will be flexible with the students' requests.

Every school counselor brings something unique to their positions with Carthage schools. For Amanda, it's been the journey.

“I would say diversity,” she said. “I have been exposed to so many different circumstances and lifestyles. I've got to see a world of many perspectives. It helps me see students in a different light, and help them explore themselves, grow and move forward.
“I'm really looking forward to it.”