Linton-Stockton High School Principal Nick Karazsia is always looking for ways to help his students, and he believes he has added a positive program for this school year.
The school has had an Adopt a Student program the past couple of years. That program targeted at-risk students, and teachers kept a closer eye on those students throughout the school year.
"We identified those at-risk students who possibly might not make it through school," Karazsia said. "Without the students really knowing, we had a list and teachers kept an eye on those students. Teachers would take those students under their wings."
But the more Karazsia thought about the program, he wanted to expand it to all students. He believes all students can use a helping hand at times.
"As we began talking about that program, we thought: Why not try that with all students? We're excited about it," Karazsia noted.
So the Faculty Advisor Program was born.
"Each faculty member will have 12-to-15 students they will meet with on a regular basis. They will be able to connect better with them," Karazsia said.
Karazsia won't waste any time getting the program started. After the students meet in the gymnasium this morning on the first day of school, they will then break off into groups for their first meeting with their teacher advisor.
Eight other meetings are scheduled throughout the school year.
"The 12-to-15 number, that's a good, manageable number," Karazsia said. "They can help the students with work or something else. I want them to make a good connection, so they know there's a caring person there for them and (the advisor) will follow up on things.
"One of the arguments you hear about school is, they don't care about me. With (the new program) they might say, 'Hey, that was neat what we did. Teachers care about what I do in class, and they care about other things too.' "
Karazsia stressed that the advisors won't take the place of the guidance office, but they may help students plan their future.
"Seniors, for example, they often need letters of recommendation. Who better to write that for them than the people who have been working with them all school year. They can also help them search for colleges," Karazsia explained.
Karazsia is starting his 16th year as principal at Linton.