Cougar For Life!


Elena Grubova, Reporter

I was greatly honored to interview our FDR AP of Guidance, Mr. Arnold Gottlieb. The following are highlights for our New Dealer interview.

In what ways do you balance the needs of students, parents, and school administrators?

“The most important thing is that students always come first, so you are always trying to find the balance between any conflicts. If you talk to all: students, parents, and the school administration, we are all here for one reason, the students. I think that once you share with parents or the school administration, the problem being faced, we all share the best interest in solving that particular problem. If we’ll combine everyone together students, teachers, and parents, we see that we are all working for the best future and success of the students. The main goal is for them to graduate and be a productive part of our society.”

How do you keep up with current issues that the students and guidance counselors are facing?

“Well, there are whole bunch of ways. The best way to know what’s going on is by being in touch with the student. I’m in the position where I don’t have a case load of the students like the other counselors have, but it’s very important for me to understand what’s happening, whether it’s counseling or the mental health of our students. The best way is to really to speak with the student, to understand what he/she is going through and being constantly available and in touch with the guidance counselors. 

What type of the students are you most drawn to? Which students do you have the most difficulty working with?

“I think for people who know me, there are not really a lot of students that I can’t work with, that’s just the nature of being a guidance counselor. A counselor needs to be able to work with all different types of students. So, there isn’t any particular one that is difficult. Sometimes, students are a little bit hard to understand, but you have to figure that out. Some students are like a puzzle, and you need to figure out what things are important to them. Then, based on what’s important,  you have a better idea how you can communicate with him or her and help them to overcome what is affecting their academic skills and personal lives. I think that students that are here to get an education, and they do understand that perfectly, those are the easiest to work with. The mission of our school is to get all our students a high school diploma and get them into college. We really want students to start working on their goals in life. I never had, and will not have, any students that “I like” or “I don’t like”. I like everybody! My job as an assistant principal is to treat all of our students equally.”

What changes have you made already to the guidance department? Any more changes coming?

“We are trying to give the guidance counselors more opportunities to work with students as much as possible . There is a lot of paper work that guidance counselors are responsible for doing on a daily basis, so we are trying to develop new ways of doing all the paper work quicker. Therefore, counselors can have much more time to work with students. I think over time we will see that more and more. Right now, if you go to any of the guidance counselors, they are always there and ready to talk to you. There are counselors at campus doors in the morning when you first come in, and that’s new for this year. We are trying to make counselors more visible.  If you need help as you walk in the door, that’s what they are there for.”

What do you feel you can bring to our school to help kids?

“I’ve been here at FDR for 15 years as a guidance counselor, this is my first year as an assistant principal, and I was a student here in FDR! I graduated from FDR High School, so FDR has been my home for a very long time. There are a lot of things that I have worked on as a guidance counselor and continue to work on as  an assistant principal. We go and look for the students who are interesting in attending FDR, we bring them into our Cougar family, and do freshman orientation to help students adjust to high school. We also do parent orientation. Those are the things that I helped create as a guidance counselor, and I’ll continue to work on as the AP of Guidance.”

Do you have anything to say to the Cougars at FDR?

“Being an FDR Cougar myself, as a graduate of FDR, I’ve been here for a long time. I’m honored to be in this position. I’m just look forward to helping students, and guidance counselors, whenever they need me. I want to help everyone at FDR to meet their goals, here at FDR and beyond.”