Whiddon joins PLAS as new school counselor

Published 8:03 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

By Lauren Johnson

Greta Whiddon will be joining the Pike Liberal Arts School family as the new school counselor with the retirement of former counselor Susan Carr.

PLAS Headmaster,Eric Burkett said he is excited that Whiddon has decided to join the family at the school.

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“Mrs. Whiddon is going to be a tremendous asset to the students at Pike Liberal Arts. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, and I just know the students, parents, and faculty are going to love her.”

With 26 years of experience in education, Whiddon said she is extremely excited about this position and has already started work at the school. “There have been so many people who have stopped by to introduce themselves and welcome me,” she said. “They have all been so friendly and I already feel at home.”

Whiddon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Troy University in 1992 and her Master of Science in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University in 2004.

She taught 5th grade reading, language arts, math, science and social studies at Greenville Middle School for 21 years before spending one year at Greenville High School as an Instructional Coach. She has also served as the Graduation Coach/Dropout Prevention Coordinator and Testing Coordinator for Greenville High School since 2014.

While at Greenville High School, Whiddon was active in counseling, tutoring, and test preparation for state assessments. She aided students with scholarship applications as well as future planning. She also was involved in school improvement plans and tracking students progress through team building and other programs.

“From the time I was 4 years old, I knew I wanted to be an educator. I wasn’t certain what realm of that I wanted to be in, but I knew I wanted to be a teacher of some sort,” Whiddon said.

For 21 years as an elementary teacher, she loved being involved with her students and watching them progress through the 5th grade by learning the needed skills. After that, Whiddon felt God was leading her in another direction and she stepped into the position as the Instructional Coach at Greenville High School.

“I went from working with young people to working with teachers, and I enjoyed it just as much,” she said.

During her time as the Graduation Coach/ Dropout Prevention Coordinator, Whiddon said, “It was extremely rewarding mainly because I got to help those students who felt like they were defeated in life. Some students didn’t have much encouragement from home and I really had an awesome time being there to encourage them and help them obtain that high school diploma that I knew would make a huge difference in their future.”

When Mrs. Carr, the former counselor at PLAS, retired, Whiddon heard about the position and again felt like she could step into another role to do something different and help more children.

“Mr. Burkett was my assistant principal when I was at Greenville High School before he came to Troy, and he knew I had 26 years in the system,” she said. “So, I contacted him and inquired about the position.”

“I felt like I had done lots of things at Greenville High School that I was extremely proud of and loved, and I just saw this as an opportunity to continue helping young people.” Whiddon describes herself as a big cheerleader for the students who loves to see them be successful. “It’s just exciting to play a small part in the future of young people.”

Whiddon envisions herself spending lots of time with the students. “That’s my main focus. I don’t stay in the office a whole lot because I like to be hands-on with the students. Hopefully they will utilize me, and I can give them whatever they need whether it’s opportunities, counseling, or information concerning future plans.”

She has plans to start programs throughout the different grades similar to what she did for the students at Greenville High School and is looking forward to bringing these opportunities to Pike.

With the elementary students, she plans to start a program for character development. For the middle school students, she’d like to create small group classes on cyber bullying and cyber safety. And with the high school students, she wants to concentrate on scholarship and leadership opportunities. She also plans to bring in some of the career tech options in the area for the students.

“Whiddon’s dedication to her job and her passion for seeing students succeed is unparalleled. I can’t wait for her to get to work,” said headmaster Mr. Burkett. “I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Susan Carr for her many years of service at Pike Liberal Arts. I know she is excited about this new chapter in her life as well.”

Whiddon is excited about starting something new and trusting the magic of new beginnings. “I’m looking forward to joining the Pike family and supporting the students’ academic, social, and emotional development, as well as their career exploration. I am also looking forward to meeting all of the students, parents, faculty, and staff at Pike.”

She will officially begin her new position on July 9.