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Students thank academic advisor for years of service

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Warkentin’s last day working on campus will be on Friday, Oct. 26.

The role of academic advisor on campus provides students with the resources to thrive in the classroom, giving assurance to indecisive young adults. Juniors and seniors are aided throughout the college process in applications, classes, and scholarships. This year, the FC community says goodbye to beloved six-year counselor Michelle Warkentin,  Oct. 26.

Warkentin began to attend Fresno Christian in her freshman year of high school, eventually graduating in 2004. After obtaining a degree in psychology from Fresno Pacific University, Warkentin returned to FC to coach track, while pursuing a Masters in Academic Counseling at Fresno State University.

The atmosphere a private school brings is one that allows for a personal connection with each student. The bond that occurs between the students and faculty is one that is specifically unique to Fresno Christian, part of what lured Warkentin to the job. Superintendent Jeremy Brown acknowledges the campus experience Warkentin provided.

“There were lots of reasons why Mrs. Warkentin was a great fit for FCS,” Brown said. “She was alumni, often times understanding a culture both the past and where we want to go for the future, that helps the organization. Also, her heart for her profession and recognizing that it is also a ministry to and for students. Mrs. Warkentin was a light to this school because of her love for students, not just to serve them as an academic counselor but also connecting with them ‘in Christ.’”

Alongside being a great resource for students in person, Warkentin developed College Corner – a column in which she shared important information with students about upcoming deadlines, specific aspects of the college application process and address common questions students have about financial aid, scholarships, how to select a college, and more. This asset allows parents to access the information as well as students.

She is a wonderful Christian woman first and foremost. She has helped and guided me in a lot of areas that I needed improvement in as far as student counseling goes. She is very organized and thorough in regard to her job. She makes sure once she starts something that the task is completed. I hope Michelle continues to grow in her field of work, she is very good at what she does and I’m looking forward to her doing great things. — Reggie Williams

Warkentin administered to students needs by meeting one-on-one with them and having consistent updates in class. Senior Roman Endicott appreciates the dedication Warkentin demonstrated every day.

“Mrs. Warkentin contributed to helping me get prepared for college,” Endicott said. “She was definitely a servant and she dedicated so much of her time to helping students on their path into the next chapter of their lives. I will definitely miss the joy she brought on campus and just the manner she did things with a happy heart.”

Warkentin has accepted a position at Clovis Community College to become an adjunct counselor. She will be working with students who are members of the Honors program and are looking to transfer to a UC or a CSU school.

Although eager to pursue her new job, Warkentin is sad to move away from the close contacts she has formed.

“I’m just excited about the change,” Warkentin said. “Although it can be hard, it’s also exciting to learn new things and also to spend more time with my family; I think this allows me to devote a little bit more time to them when I am home. I’m looking forward to all the new things I’m going to learn at this job, and I’ll probably get to work with a lot of Fresno Christian kids which is exciting. I think that I will continue to keep in contact with the relationships I’ve developed here and check in, but it’s just not going to be the same not seeing everybody every day.”

PC Pierce | The Feather Online

Warkentin helps walk alumni Dawson Triplitt, ’17, through the application process.

Co-counselor and fellow faculty member Reggie Williams enjoyed watching her grow and develop the program.

“She is a wonderful Christian woman first and foremost,” Williams said. “She has helped and guided me in a lot of areas that I needed improvement in as far as student counseling goes.  She is very organized and thorough in regard to her job. She makes sure once she starts something that the task is completed. I hope Michelle continues to grow in her field of work, she is very good at what she does and I’m looking forward to her doing great things.”

Being on campus allowed Warkentin to witness positive changes to the school, seeing it flourish beyond what she experienced when she was in high school. New teachers and programs accompanied old traditions, such as The Feather and the annual King Pageant, making her role all the more special. Warkentin cherishes these memories and has enjoyed being a part of the daily activity at school.

“I’ve loved the people, the community, and I love that I can work with teachers that were my teachers like Mr. Stobbe, Mr. Foshee and a few others,” Warkentin said. “As serious as college applications can be there is so much fun to be had, especially senior year, so being able to be a part of that is something I’m really going to miss.”

In the future, Warkentin hopes that the academic advisor position will continue to thrive, and desires to keep in contact with the school. On behalf of Fresno Christian and its students, we thank Warkentin for her service to this school and wish her the best moving forward.

For another teacher profile, read: New home-ec teacher offers fresh skills, techniques. For more articles, read Join the Discussion: Campus weighs in on news engagement.

This author can be reached via twitter @catevk and via email: Cate VanderKooi.

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