Fairfax County creates new administrative position

[adsense slot=1234567890 sizes=728×90] Wooten’s job as systems of support advisor was created to aid any students in need of assistance. He focuses specifically on students going through the disciplinary process. “In the past, you might see a kid sent home for five days out of school for whatever violation they committed,” Wooten said. “My position will now allow the administrators to send them to an alternative area within the school, so the kids are still staying in school and they’re still getting a continued education.” In addition to a continued education, students experiencing the disciplinary process will be given time to reflect and understand why they have been reprimanded, while Wooten integrates other character development opportunities into his classroom environment as well. Despite his concentration on students facing disciplinary action, Wooten welcomes anyone to visit his room, S110. “If you’re just waking up and you’re stressed and you have questions, or you just need somebody to talk to, that’s why I’m here” Wooten said. “If a kid wants to stop by and maybe just take 15 minutes to cool down or they just want to isolate themselves a bit, my classroom is open.” Wooten’s job functions similarly to that of the school counselors, but there are some key differences. 

If you’re just waking up and you’re stressed and you have questions, or you just need somebody to talk to, that’s why I’m here”

[clear] “The school counselors want to focus on your education— your grades, your classes you need to take and all of those kinds of things,” Principal Ellen Reilly said. “Yes, they are here for you to go talk to when you are having some problems, but [Wooten’s] job is to help [students] see things they need to change to make themselves better students.” As a certified teacher, Wooten provides the academic consulting skills of a counselor, while he can simultaneously guide students through their academics and personal life. Nevertheless, it is his persona that sets him apart from his peers. “He enjoys getting to know kids, he enjoys getting to know adults, he is motivating,” Reilly said. “His personality fits into that position.” Wooten’s background as a physical education teacher at South Lakes High School aided in the development of his identity as a person seeking to help students in need of assistance. At South Lakes, Wooten worked in similar situations, facilitating character development and supporting students having trouble in school. “That’s where my passion lies, in working with kids and being that extra set of eyes to help them get through their high school experience,” Wooten said. “The administration and teachers have a lot on their plates and sometimes they can miss certain kids, so I just want to make sure that every kid is having a [positive high school experience].” Although many students are unfamiliar with the new position, the students who are aware of the role have endorsed it.

I think that it’s great for the general community,

junior Esther Kim said. “It’s good because you can’t just help some people—the people who go to the counselors and administration and actually want it—you have to help everyone who needs it.”