New staff member finds place as Dean of Students

Eliza Bengala, Staff Writer

rsz_dscf4322By Staff Writer: Eliza Bengala

Starting her career by giving piano lessons as a child, Howell High School’s Ms. Lisa O’Connor has stepped up to take the important role as the senior class’s Dean of Students.

“I really like helping and connecting with individual students,” Ms. O’Connor says. “I have time to sit and talk to them, which is something I felt like I didn’t have time to do when I was a teacher.”

As Dean of Students, Ms. O’Connor meets with students if they are having problems with attendance, discipline, or need guidance on achieving individual goals in their high school career.

“It’s all about them. It’s their life. It’s their success and failure,” Ms. O’Connor says about her students. “It’s not doing it for their mom, it’s not doing it for their school, it’s doing it for their own success.”

From a young age, Ms. O’Connor knew she wanted to be a teacher. When Ms. O’Connor started college at Eastern Michigan, she originally majored outside of the teaching degree, but decided to follow her calling and changed her major.

Ms. O’Connor credits her mom for inspiration and support when she decided to become a teacher. “My mom, when I was in middle school, decided to go back to college in teaching and that was very inspiring to me. It was a lot of hard work [for her],” Ms. O’Connor says. “She supported me through college. It was nice because she had just been to college a decade before me for teaching, so she already knew what was going on.”

When Ms. O’Connor is not busy working, she loves to be with her three children. Ms. O’Connor has a daughter in seventh grade, a son who is a sophomore, and a son who is majoring in engineering at Western Michigan University.

“My kids are my greatest accomplishment. They’re a still a work in progress, but they’re amazing. I love my family,” Ms. O’Connor says.

O’Connor has immediately become friendly with the faculty members and students of Howell High School. With a winning attitude, she has found her place among the craziness that can be the high school.

“I’m just really happy to be here,” She says. “I’m really enjoying myself. It’s a nice place to work. The students are really nice, and the staff [members] are friendly too.”