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More than a schedule change

posted Mar 21, 2020, 5:59 AM by Andrew Tichy
By: Grant Gervais

Picture an office in the heart of Moorhead High School where the lights are dim, fidget toys cover a central coffee table, and a cloud of essential oils fill the room. It’s a very calming area. This is the effect MHS Counselor Maret Kashmark tries to achieve. Out of college, Kashmark landed a counseling job at Mahnomen and Naytahwaush, which led to Thomas Edison Elementary, George Washington Elementary, Robert Asp Elementary, and finally, Moorhead High School. Kashmark is now a senior counselor for Moorhead Area Public Schools, with a total of five years at MHS alone. Kashmark has 25 years, more than half of her life, dedicated to counseling. Kashmark is by all definitions, an expert at the job.

On a day to day basis, Kashmark, along with all of the other counselors at MHS, has to deal with a seemingly endless supply of schedule changes. This type of work has its perks, but the reason Kashmark enjoys her job most is because she gets to help students in need with their own personal grievances. The myriad of issues include anything from, social media issues, to abusive home lives. The most prevalent of the latter is mental health issues. 

Thinking back to Kashmark’s table, it was filled with fidget toys. These are one of the many tools she uses to reach kids with anxiety. In a position where she can’t prescribe any medicine or diagnose any disorders, Kashmark has to get creative. Her tool box includes fidget toys, breathing techniques, journals, and even something as simple as being there to listen. Kashmark makes the day-to-day struggles of anxiety and depression just a little bit easier. She estimates more than 50% of the senior class has needed her assistance with personal issues at some point.

From a student’s perspective, Mrs. Kashmark has been here for them since kindergarten. In the ever changing climate of K-12 schooling, Kashmark has been a rock of stability for many students floating down the rapids of high school. She’s an expert at her job, and she can always do something to help. From the senior class to Mrs. Kashmark, we thank her for her continued support. She truly is a great example of Moorhead’s “tradition of excellence.”