By Ian Grande
Stanley- Last week every student in the Stanley school system was blessed with an opportunity to watch Tigirlily perform in concert. The backstory behind how the talented duo ended up in Stanley begins with Stanley High School Counselor Sarah Sorenson, who has a knack for going above and beyond for the students of Stanley High School.
Last spring Sorenson signed up Stanley High School to participate in the Bank of North Dakota “College Application Month”. The students came in on October 12th and all but three of the seniors applied for college. The only students that weren’t in attendance had either committed to the National Guard already or were out of town. The turnout of seniors was excellent and the Bank of North Dakota selected Stanley to be one of five schools to host a concert featuring the talented sisters from Hazen, North Dakota.
“The College Application Week is sponsored and coordinated by the Bank of North Dakota and was a tremendous success, said Sorenson. We are pleased with both the number of high schools and student participation throughout North Dakota. To date, over 960 students from 61 North Dakota high schools successfully applied to colleges and universities in the North Dakota University System (NDUS) this fall. The Bank of North Dakota has provided $34,000+ in assistance to date by covering the application fees to our students.”
The event was very important for all of the senior students, especially the students who come from disadvantaged background. “It allows students who might be first generation college students the support they need to apply, otherwise they might not apply, said Sorenson. It gives students who might not have the money to apply at this time an opportunity to do so.”
College Application Week and the Tigirlily concert were both difficult events to coordinate and help to illustrate why the students and faculty would hold Sorenson in such high regard. Those events only tell part of the story though, Sorenson seems to have a knack for finding creative ways to help students succeed, Stanley High School Senior Class President Caitlyn Enger illustrates a few of the many things that Sorenson does to help get the maximum out of students at Stanley High School, “She has brought us to numerous career fairs, job training events and college fairs, said Enger. If there is an event going on that high school seniors are able to attend that will benefit our futures, she will bring us. Senior year is definitely a stressful time but she helps us keep our chill and get our stuff done. She had a lot of our senior class when she was a first grade teacher and now she is our high school counselor. She really has been there for as long as we can remember.”
Her infectious charisma and positive attitude help to push students to new heights and also helps them get through any issues that may arise in their life. “Mrs. Sorenson always has a smile on her face and is always pushing students to do their best, said Enger. She is someone that every student can go to for advice, empathy or any issue they may have. Her patience and listening skills are through the roof. She understands that everyone is different and it might take others longer to comprehend or accept certain things.”
Sorenson is also known as the go to person for advice on anything, this helps her establish a connection with students that is difficult to match. “Her problem-solving skills are second to none, said Enger. You could tell her the world is coming to an end and she would be able to find a way to fix it. Whether it’s a problem as big as that or as small as your shoe being untied she is always there to lend a hand. There is no doubt about it that she chose the right career path. She was made to be around students and help them better themselves.”
Enger asked a group of students to share a single word that describes Sorenson:
Caitlyn Enger: Outgoing.
Kaydin Meiers: Phenomenal.
Trevor Harstad: Beautiful
Logan Aadness: Generous.
Kaylyn Obert: Happy
Dusty Reynolds: Energetic
Dalton Brown: Caring
Justine Gay: Devoted
Steele Alexander: Hard Working
Sarah Sorenson is far too humble to brag about all of the work that she does for the students of Stanley. I’m hoping that she will forgive the students and I for broadcasting it for her.
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