The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Joy of Niles West: Joyce Van Alstin

Counselor Joyce VanAlstin

When a student first steps into high school, they are often greeted by their school counselor. Throughout the next four years, that same counselor guides the student during their high school journey. From ensuring that students are enrolled in the right classes, to making sure that students walk across the stage at graduation, school counselors play a vital role in a student’s life. Joyce Van Alstin has worked at Niles West for the past 35 years, helping students succeed and graduate from high school.

When Van Alstin came to Niles West, she was originally a physical education teacher. But after she earned a master’s degree inĀ  counseling, she made the shift and became a school counselor. Aside from being a counselor, Van Alstin is also an assistant cross country coach, and a sponsor of peer leaders and freshman cabinet.

Counselor Katie Romack has worked alongside Van Alstin for the past year and truly enjoyed her experience having Van Alstin as a supportive co-worker.

“She has been a huge help for me as a first-year counselor especially getting the hang of everything. She’s always offered to help with any questions I have, or just checking in to see if I am doing okay. She’s super caring and wants to make sure that myself and the other counselors are all supported which is really great. She is a huge leader for our department,” Romack said.

Students who had Van Alstin as their counselor are grateful for everything she has done for them, especially during the process of selecting classes.

“My experience has been great, she has always helped me with whatever issue there was and tried the best she could to get the classes I wanted. She has helped me find the right classes for me and explained the most beneficial classes to take. She also gave suggestions such as taking dual enrollment and AP classes,” senior Abe Chirayil said.

Similarly, senior Nida Ahmed also found Van Alstin to be a super supportive and helpful counselor.

“I transferred into Niles West my junior year and Ms. Van Alstin has been very helpful with figuring out my classes and transferring my credits from my previous school. I appreciate everything she has done for me at my time at West,” Ahmed said.

As Van Alstin retires, she will miss the Niles West community.

“Aside from laughing with my colleagues, I’m going to miss the kids a lot since I know their journeys and where they come from. I plan on keeping in touch with whoever takes my job since I would want to know how the students are doing especially a lot of my juniors as they move forward to their senior year,” Van Alstin said.

Throughout her years at Niles West, Van Alstin found the diversity to be the best part of the school.

“It’s the families and the students that make West the best, it’s the coming of cultures that is unsurpassed anywhere else. This is truly an amazing place to be,” Van Alstin said.

Students and staff will miss Van Alstin after her retirement.

“Ms. Van Alstin is a wonderful counselor, the students and the staff will definitely miss her, her blizzard sales and her baking,” Romack said.

Niles West congratulates Ms. Van Alstin on her retirement and wishes her the best of luck with everything she takes on in the future!

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