By Hannah Lang
For guidance counselor Dianne Corneer, the chance to start anew has been a long time coming. Forty years ago, Corneer stepped into a job that would become a lifelong career. For students in the high school, Corneer has been a constant and guiding force. As a writer, I must admit that I am slightly biased – Mrs. Corneer has been my counselor for three years, and there’s no other counselor I would’ve wanted. Corneer helps with personal, extracurricular, or school related problems, and when senior year comes around, helps students plan for their future.
Though Corneer says deciding on a path will be difficult, she’s excited.
“I’m going to redefine myself. I am. I feel like a senior. Like, wow, the next chapter, this is so cool, there’s so many new things, so many new possibilities,” says Corneer, who is a living example of following heart over carefully laid out plans.
After being in the classroom for a single year, Corneer realized that being a teacher was not for her. Without an idea of where to go, Corneer focused on what she loved.
“I had been a student assistant in the dorms in college, and I really enjoyed it. You know, the kids would talk, and I enjoyed listening to them,” says Corneer.
She went back to school and got her masters in school counseling, and has been at the job ever since.
When asked about any definite future plans, Corneer responds that she plans on learning Spanish, teaching herself the guitar, and mastering her forgotten piano skills. However, the most important part of retirement to Corneer isn’t what she personally wants to gain, but rather what she plans on doing for students.
“I want to volunteer back here at Bozeman High. I want to judge senior projects or volunteer for Speech and Debate Tournaments when they’re here, or do whatever I can to hang around teenagers again,” she says.
Personally, I will miss Mrs. Corneer more than I will ever be able to express – she’s guided me through the trenches of high school, and I’m both happy and sad to see her go. Mrs. Corneer, you deserve the best. Your care for students is incredible, and I’m in awe of your diligence to them. And perhaps you put it best – it’s been an honor to have you in my life.
“In one phrase, to sum it up, it has been an honor. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years now, and every year it has been an honor to be invited into young people’s lives. To have kids let me in, to be part of their life, especially because teenagers are notoriously not anxious to let adults into their life much. So it’s been an honor, all those years, to have been part of high schooler’s lives. I just have so many memories. So many memories. And I’m a little scared now, like seniors. And the other thing that’s true, just like seniors, it’s almost the first of May, and I’m thinking, ‘I’m really leaving.’ Just like you guys. So you want to grab onto everyone’s that dear and say, ‘Oh wow, I’m gonna miss you.’ So yeah, I feel like a senior, which is fine.”
Have a happy retirement, Mrs. Corneer!
By Hannah Lang