Willyerd looking forward to retirement

Beloved counselor leaving education after 37 years

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Stephanie Atchley

High school counselor Doris Willyerd

Cadyn Qualls

Surrounded by mounds of paperwork formed from years of love and dedication, high school counselor Doris Willyerd sits in her office for both one of the first and last times. The small office, cozily hidden in the middle of the single hallway of the high school, has served as a student expressway – chaotic with the flow of individual needs on a daily basis.

More often than not, Mrs. Willyerd has gone days without taking a break off of her feet. Whether it be an issue with class scheduling or a personal obstacle faced by students, she has devoted her time and energy into fixing each one.

“I have always wanted to be able to help them. There are a lot times that I do things that are not directly with the student, but the times that I’m actually with the student are the most memorable,” she said.

Every student within the building has been impacted by her constant efforts in some form throughout their high school career. Many are grateful to have received her help and guidance, but an even greater appreciation is experienced by each senior class.

“The seniors many times are the most needy. They’re trying to finish up high school and transition into college. I really like helping them – from admission process to scholarship applications and all that’s involved with financial aid,” she said.

For her, it is most rewarding to see the product of this preparation within former students – to know she has helped contribute to their success. Alumni and present law student, Colby Qualls, is amongst those most grateful for this.

“Mrs. Willyerd’s commitment to her students does not stop once they walk across the gymnasium floor to receive their diploma. Even after high school, she would be willing to go the extra mile for alumni. Such examples of this are helping prepare a recruitment session at BIC for colleges that were lead by these same alumni, or even convincing her sister, Judge Barbara Halsey to accept interview requests for collegiate assignments. Her diligence in whatever assistance she can be to both current students and alumni is a testament to her patience, compassion, and commitment to our school and community,” he said.

I’ll have to find something to do on Saturday mornings.”

— Doris Willyerd

Though she will no longer hold a position at BIC after 37 years of service, the effects of her dedication and love will continue to grow, and her legacy will always live within the school.

“It’s like a second family here. We’re protective of each other, and though we may not always agree on everything, we agree to disagree and go on. We get close and involved. We want to hear about each other’s families, and just care about each other,” she said.

Though she will miss her fellow teachers and students, she looks forward to what the next chapter brings – one with a lower level of stress.

“I’m looking forward to putting together my own little recipe books and things like that,” she said. “I have three grand-dogs and I enjoy hearing about them. I’ll have to find something to do on Saturday mornings.”