PCS transfers seven-year high school counselor to VIS

Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield said that transferring Kerry Barber would allow them to provide more services at Valley Intermediate School. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield said that transferring Kerry Barber would allow them to provide more services at Valley Intermediate School. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

PELHAM— Guidance counselor Kerry Barber will transfer from Pelham High School to Valley Intermediate School after a decision made by the Pelham Board of Education Aug. 11.

Barber served at Pelham High School for seven years, serving an addition 10 years at the high school level. Although the board approved the transfer unanimously, Barber was not in favor of the decision, saying she could do more good in the high school.

“Moving faculty and staff from a position they love, and one they are good at, to another position that may not be as meaningful to the students cannot be a good thing,” Barber told to board. “I don’t believe it’s what’s best for our community.”

Alabama counselors are certified to serve students in kindergarten to 12th grade, but Barber said her 17 years of experience would be better utilized at the high school. She did also mention, she is not opposed to working at Valley Intermediate. She just believes her past experience would greater benefit high school students.

“If you believe moving me full-time to the intermediate school is truly more beneficial for our students, then I respect the decision you have to make,” Barber said. “However, I do ask you consider allowing me to stay at Pelham High School.”

Barber told the board that her replacement has no experience at a high school or as a counselor. Leaving the high school without experience concerns her, she said, especially because of the high student to counselor ratio.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield recommended that Barber be transferred, saying the move would allow them to offer more services at Valley Intermediate School. He added that they have many applicants at the high school level that would be qualified for counseling positions.

Board members Dr. Barbara Regan and Angie Hester and board president Rick Rhoades responded to Barber’s comments.

“This is a move that can be beneficial to everyone involved,” Rhoades said. “I personally believe this is going to be an opportunity for you to branch out into some new areas and to give yourself some opportunities that would not otherwise be there. I think it has the potential to be a win-win situation.”