Kind counselor missed



Counselor Eugene Powers is pictured in his 2018-2019 school year photo. Powers passed away on Jan. 17. Powers specialized in k-12 community counseling with a double master’s degree and used these skills from 1998 until his passing.

By kaydence young , Reporter

Counselor Eugene Powers passed away after battling with illness on Jan. 17. Powers was highly regarded by SHS for his genuineness and willingness to help others. 

“The first time I really met and talked to him, he was really sweet and patient. I couldn’t breathe, focus or talk. He sat and waited for me, and I didn’t feel pressured. That’s something I never had before,” Junior Venus O’Brien said.

Throughout Power’s 20 years of employment at SHS, he counseled all grades, but later in his career he mainly worked with students whose last names started with L-P. In addition, he assisted in making 504 plans.

Retired assistant principal Steve Olson exclaimed that if he and Powers were working late, Powers would stop by Olson’s office to check in on him.

“He always wondered how we were doing. It meant a lot to have someone come in and dewind with you and basically say ‘It’s ok, go home because tomorrow is another day,’” Olson said. 

Powers tackled multiple tasks from creating class schedules to helping kids decide their after-highschool plans.

“He was always in therapy mode. People would always come to him with their problems. It wasn’t even a job to him,” said O’Brien.

School Psychologist Casey Coleman exclaimed that he would call him “Mean Gene,” because Powers would give him stacks of work to do followed by a bribe of Tootsie Pops. Despite this, Coleman exclaimed that “he had strong skills for family systems and dialectical behavior management.”

“We lost a big part of our family. I know we all have to move on, but he did so many good things in this building within 20 years, and he touched many lives. I hope the students will remember him,” Olson said.

A number of counselors, including some retirees like Michelle Baddin and Scott Bruce, have stepped in to counsel and guide students in endeavors such as college applications and registering for next year’s classes. 

Anyone who is struggling with Power’s death is encouraged to sign up for an appointment with the counselors in their office.