Stone starts anew

Story and Photo by Kaia Monaco – Assistant Editor

 

The LSN counseling staff is known, by students and parents, to be fantastic. This year, the staff gained a new member: John Stone. Stone has been in education for 33 years, however, he didn’t start out in counseling. 

   “When I first started in college, I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do. My high school football coach reached out to me and asked me if I would coach football at the high school while I was in college. So I did that and I really really enjoyed it. So then it was kind of natural that I became a PE teacher,” John Stone, counselor, said. 

   Stone graduated from Emporia State with a P.E. degree and almost immediately, his dad encouraged him to start working on his master’s degree in counseling. 

   “I’d just come off five years of college. I wasn’t really all that excited about starting more school, but I did it because my parents always gave me great advice, so I went ahead and did my master’s degree in counseling,” Stone said. 

   Stone found his first job as a counselor at Shawnee Mission North. As a counselor, he deals with many different aspects of students’ lives. 

   “Our roles [as counselors] are working with students with their mental health struggles. Then we work with students academically, so that would be things like changing schedules, struggling academically in a class, providing resources for support, and help in academics. Then also college and career planning,” Stone said.

   Stone stayed at Shawnee Mission North for 20 years, then moved to Blue Valley West for seven years, then to Grand View for one and finally here to Lee’s Summit North. At first, Stone was afraid of yet another change in his career. 

   “I was going from all those years in Kansas over to Missouri, so I was really concerned and nervous and anxious about [the transition], and I can tell you it’s gone way way better than I envisioned it. And I think the reason for that is that there are great people here,” Stone said. 

   While change is hard, having a good support system can make that much easier. Despite having to move districts and states, Stone has adjusted nicely to his new role here. 

   “Mr. Stone has been a great addition to the LSN counseling office. He has years of experience in school counseling, so he’s made a really smooth transition into that role,” Rebecca Steele, counselor, said. 

   Even though this wasn’t his original plan, Stone loves being a counselor and doesn’t see himself retiring any time soon. He is still surprised by his job and enjoys the different things the job brings each day. 

   “You know, you think after 33 years, you’ve seen it all and you haven’t. I see new things on a regular basis, so we really are kind of a jack of all trades,” Stone said.