To the editor:

I would like to take the time and thank my school counselor, Jeff Baker. I knew him for a short couple months when I transferred schools in February.

I transferred as a senior, with a now 1-year-old daughter, to Nevada High School with only three months left to graduate. I came to school with 11 less credits than what are needed for a high school diploma.

I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t graduate for a second, because the first time I came to visit the school and met Mr. Baker, immediately I noticed his smile, a kind heart and his passion for his job. Throughout the months, he always encouraged me to do more and never thought less of me than any other typical high school kid.

I took on many online classes and in-classroom classes to receive a full diploma. I put in hard long hours every day to achieve this. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without his support and encouraging words. I would come into to his office multiple times a day, filled with anxiety and stress, and he would quickly calm me down and reassure me that everything would be okay.

The reason I am specifically thanking him is because I transferred from a school where I feel I was treated poorly and wasted almost my whole high school experience — which left me not being able to communicate with people well and gain trust in a school official. Coming to Nevada and meeting Mr. Baker and a few other people, such as Mrs. Arends and Mrs. Gindt, made my last months a better experience than I would have had at my old school.

I am very thankful for being able to meet people like them. Be thankful for friends and family you have in your life. Or even that one kind person who did something they didn’t have to do to make you smile. Those people are hard to find.

Maria Franco