Ms. Linda Moon


Ariel Jiang, Managing Editor

Let’s welcome Ms. Linda Moon, our new counselor. Ms. Moon used to be a counselor and psychologist at Carver Elementary and has recently moved to our school as a student counselor. This is an interview with Ms. Linda Moon. 

Titan Shield: To start off, how is the experience of student counseling at SMHS?

Ms. Moon: “It has been such an exciting experience so far because I had the opportunity to work with students throughout their elementary school years and now it’s wonderful to get the chance to reconnect with them as emerging adults in their high school years. It has been rewarding helping students with their academics and social-emotional development.”

Titan Shield: Yes, the social-emotional area is pretty important. What do you look forward to in your counseling experience at SMHS? Since the counseling experience in high school must be very different from elementary experience.

Ms. Moon: “Yes, it is. There is a significant difference between the two age groups of counseling, but there are also a lot of similarities as well. Although we do focus a lot on academics to make sure the students are on track to graduate and, hopefully, go on to a job of interest or to the college of their choice, the social-emotional aspect is important, too, especially after living through a pandemic. The additional support that students may need is linked to a lot of the challenges they’ve experienced  during the last school year with COVID-19 and online learning. So, the counselors are here to help students work to their full potential and maintain their academic momentum to work toward their future goals.”

Titan Shield: Yes, and I believe that the pandemic, the entire year of online learning, is life-changing. Positively we get a year to reflect and to think about life in general, but negatively, we miss out on a lot of in-person activities. The year of online learning has either helped or messed things up in life, and so help is really needed for students [and staff too].

Ms. Moon: “Yes, that is a good point that you are making, and I agree with that. In some ways, there were so many positives for students because a lot of them had a chance to reflect more on what matters most, which ties to their personal values. For instance, I have heard from several students that they really appreciate the chance to be back in school with their friends, peers, and their teachers. Some of the lessons learned from this difficult time are now being applied to their in-person learning  experience helping both students and staff navigate academics and their health with safety protocols in place.”

“But, of course, the pandemic has had a negative impact on students as well. So, you are right, the pandemic has had both positive and negative effects on the students.”

Titan Shield: Indeed, the next question is, since, as you’ve said, many of the students were able to reflect more on their lives during the period of online learning. Now being back to school, we probably behave or think differently than in the years of high school before this pandemic, since it was the first time in recent years that we got an entire year of online learning which makes room for us to reflect more on ourselves. So what is one thing or quality that you think is unique about this year’s students?

Ms. Moon: “What stands out to me is the resiliency and the perseverance students have shown. The fact that so many students have chosen to return to school and follow safety protocols for in-person learning is amazing. Everyone is doing a good job respecting the safety rules, staying healthy, and being mindful of each other. I think everyone endured a lot this past year, including distance learning during the pandemic. It has made people more aware of how they individually have an impact on others. I see the resilience in students’ perseverance and realization of their interconnectedness.”

Titan Shield: Thank you. And similar to the previous question, what is one aspect or quality that you like about SMHS? It can be about staff, students, campus, clubs, or even the overall atmosphere of the school. We are all curious to know.

Ms. Moon: “Thank you for asking that because I’ve noticed in the short amount of time I’ve been here, several experiences have been notable about SMHS. Reconnecting with students I’ve known and meeting new students has allowed me to note the maturity level, intelligence, and respectful demeanor in their exchanges with staff members and with their teachers. Although I miss working with elementary students and the impact counselors can make at that age, it’s also meaningful to work with students at this age level. There are so many critical things that are going on right now at this age. The pressure of college preparation is often on students’ minds. They are making sure that they are on track to graduate. Remarkably, they are balancing academics with extracurricular activities and friendships. I’ve also been struck by the professionalism and quality of teachers. They play a key role in students’ lives and it’s clear to me that they care for their students.  I feel fortunate to be a part of this group. It is just amazing that we have this quality of teachers at our high school.”

Titan Shield: Next, being a counselor, specifically a school counselor, what are some things that you enjoy? Or what are some things that are unique about your career?

Ms. Moon: “I enjoy having the opportunity to provide academic, social, and emotional guidance not only in a classroom setting with educational instruction, but also in small groups or during one-on-one meetings. The ability to get to know students, assess what’s needed, and tailor academic or career recommendations unique to each student is also enjoyable. That is the most rewarding part of my job.”

Titan Shield: Thank you, and for the next question: if you have one, who was your favorite teacher when you were in high school or college? And/or what was your favorite course? Why?

Ms. Moon: “There were quite a few. My tennis coach in high school was a great role model to me. He was also my chemistry teacher and he taught his students about kindness and having good character with his actions in addition to teaching us chemistry and tennis. I also enjoyed working with my high school counselor as her mentorship is one of the reasons why I became a school counselor. My absolute favorite courses in college were history and multicultural studies. Learning about different cultures is fascinating to me.”

Titan Shield: At your office, there is a poster of a college’s VAPA programs hanging up on your wall. In it, there are images of different artistic extracurricular activities. It must be special, at least special enough to motivate you to hang it up on the wall. Or convey some special message (telling the students something unique about them). If possible, can you please explain what it might be?

Ms. Moon: “I try to be thoughtful about the posters that I place in my office and the messaging shared with  students. I want to encourage students to pursue their passion, and something they are interested in, even if it does not fit into a specific area that people might categorize as a successful field. I think that whatever someone is passionate about, that is something that they should pursue.”

Titan Shield: Before the last question, I have a question that is about the Counselor recommendation letter. What is something unique about the Counselor recommendation letter?

Ms. Moon: “That is something that counselors will be reviewing with all the Seniors during their Senior Counselor Meeting. We ask all Seniors to finish filling out their brag sheet as soon as possible on Naviance. It is kind of like the college application essay questions. That helps counselors to get to know students better, not just about their academic performance but other important aspects of themselves. We want to see the full picture of a student. We know there’s a lot more to every student than just their academics.”

Titan Shield: Last but not least, what is one thing you would like your students to know about you? Or what is one thing that you would like the students who are currently under your guidance to know about you?

Ms. Moon: “Some of my goals as a counselor include helping students to recognize their individual strengths and qualities as well as promoting interpersonal skills and positive relationships with others. We are all here as counselors to help the students be successful in working toward their career endeavors and to thrive in a safe learning environment.”