Longtime Guidance Counselor Retires


Ben Goldman

As we ring in the new year, staff and students return to school anticipating the changes of the rest of the school year. One familiar face, however, will not be seen at West Bloomfield High School today. Beloved guidance counselor Mrs. Burgess has retired, and her last full day at work was the Friday before break.

Mrs. Burgess’ career in this industry is longstanding, spanning 45 years. She started her career in Indiana where she grew up. She arrived at West Bloomfield High School in 1988, where she has made an immense impact on both the school and community.

In this special segment of Spectrum, we talked to Mrs. Burgess about West Bloomfield High School and her incredible 38 year journey in the industry.

“I’ve been in four high schools. I’ve been a counselor for 38 years, in Indiana originally. I’ve also taught history, so I’ve been in the business for 45 years. That’s a long time.”

“I first came to West Bloomfield the very first year they had block scheduling, which was the fall of 1998.”

“This is the best place I’ve ever worked. My favorite part about it, when I first walked in the door, was that it was like a United Nations, and learning about cultures that I may not have been exposed to at other schools. And although the combination has changed over these 18 years, it is still a United Nations, and you learn different things about different people. I think that’s kind of cool.”

“…and the funny thing about it is, it’s about all the same. It’s the continuous interaction with you guys that sticks with me. On Monday I met with parents, and we just had a lovely conversation about high school, where their student wanted to go, the kinds of pitfalls you have to avoid… I think we were together for about an hour and 45 minutes and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“Those kinds of interactions with parents who are trying to look for some direction for their kids are the things that stick in my head. Those are the things that kept me in the job as long as it did.”

“It’s been fun. I don’t dislike my job, I love it. If you’re going to have a career and you’re going to be located in a particular place, this was the best place to be.”

Mrs. Burgess is appreciated for the assistance and guidance she has provided to the student body over the years, and Spectrum wishes her the best of luck in the future. Thank you, Mrs. Burgess!