School service provider at Bibich Elementary School, Ashley Comer, strives for progress in her students, by providing programs about disability awareness, bullying awareness, and stranger danger, and working with students who need a little extra encouragement everyday.
“I love what I do, I love counseling. A lot of our kids go through a lot to get here, it’s not easy for everybody to come to school. So being here to celebrate them and that accomplishment, I think, is awesome,” Comer said.
Comer is always there with a smile whether she’s greeting students in the morning, getting them a pencil or helping them out when they forgot their homework.
“It’s meeting with kiddos, getting them at the beginning of the day, faces say a lot so if there is something wrong I’m there to try and figure out what's happening so we can have a good school day. So really just meeting that need in the morning before it becomes a problem,” Comer said.
Comers love and passion for her job all roots from her high school counselors who helped her graduate.
“I struggled all through high school. I didn't understand math, English, social studies, reading. I just didn't get it. So I struggled with passing the GQE, now it’s called the ECA. If you don’t pass it, you don’t graduate. I did all the remediation, [and] still couldn't pass the math part of the test. I thought I wasn’t going to graduate high school. I will never forget this day. I was crying, like I’m never going to graduate, I’m going to be a bum the rest of my life. [My counselor] stopped me and she said ‘Stop those tears right now! Ashley you’ve worked your butt off to get to where you are. There’s no way you're not going to graduate; we’re going to work with you’,” Comer said.
After a lot of hard work during summer school and a lot of encouragement from her counselors Comer was able to pass. Comer pushes her students just like her counselors pushed her in hope that they will find success.
“ I want my kids to give progress instead of perfection, they don’t have to be perfect, but I want them to try. A lot of students fail because they don't even try. I tell my kiddos all the time I’ll take a hard earned C over an easy earned A, any day,” Comer said.
Part of Comers process to progress is encouraging her students not only at the beginning of the day but also the end. She makes sure to let her students know that they worked hard and that they are appreciated.
“At the end of the day I write them a letter and say ‘ you’ve made it, you are a rock star, you got through the day!’ They really enjoy those little personal notes that I write. I think a lot of kids want the adults to know that they are trying and it’s just a little piece of love or a little piece of attention that they can get to encourage them,” Comer said.
Comer uses a lot of what she learned from her struggles in high school in her life and job. She pushes her students do try their best at everything they do.
“Every day when you wake up in the morning you have to make your vow that today I’m going to make progress, I’m going to be the best I can be,” Comer said.