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A Way Forward Wednesday July 8, 2020

One of my favorite things about my job is seeing how ASMS changes lives. I love having a front-row seat to see the growth process from day one to graduation day. When our students cross the stage, I am overwhelmed with the memories of each challenge they faced and how we as a community could help the student grow through it. When we go through the interview process with new students, I always enjoy telling them about the school and all of the opportunities that students have to take advantage of here.

Many students say ASMS is where they found “their people” -- they finally felt challenged academically and felt like they fit in with peers for the first time. It can sound like paradise, and in a way, it is! However, the challenge of ASMS can take a toll on students. Many new students struggle with homesickness when they first arrive. The adjustment of having to take care of yourself for the first time can be shocking. The biggest challenge our students face is outside of the classroom: Time management.

ASMS has so many things going on after school to help students unwind, and many students struggle to choose fun vs. responsibility. If they fall into the vortex of not managing their time well, it can quickly spiral out of control, which leads to stress and anxiety. We have had countless students meltdowns over feeling behind in class and their lives being out of control. When we start to ask questions to pinpoint where things started to spiral, it is often lost in gaming, socializing, procrastinating, and social media.

The Department of Student Affairs is here to help with that transition. We oversee everything from residential life to student health and well-being to weekend activities. We offer skill training, support group conversations, and personal counseling for all of our students. Next year we are also excited to provide a comprehensive orientation course for all first-year ASMS students. We will help them learn to live independently on a residential campus, teach them personal and academic success strategies, and support their overall mental health.

Student Affairs is here to help with everything, but we are a team with our students and parents! I want to prepare parents for that phone call from their students. It is essential that they do not feel alone during their struggles. You may get a phone call of “I don’t like it here. I want to come home. I can’t do this” If that happens, call or email us. Be an encourager of your students. Remind them of why they chose ASMS. If they feel lonely or= overwhelmed, please point them in our direction, and we will reach out to them. These are all normal feelings that most students experience while transitioning to the campus.

We tell parents and students if they face a classroom problem to reach out to the teacher. If they encounter an issue outside of the classroom, reach out to Student Affairs. Students and parents are not alone in this. It takes a village for your student to reach graduation day. The Department of Student Affairs takes pride in helping our students grow to solve their problems outside the classroom and to attain self-actualization throughout their time at ASMS.


Kara Whitney
Director of Student Affairs

The Department of Student Affairs
Phone Number: (251) 441-2130

Director of Student Affairs - Kara Whitney (
Coordinator of Student Affairs - Joyce Boatman (
Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs - Katrina Thompson (
Personal Counselor - Lacey Broadus (
School Nurse - Kathy Kilcrease (

  • Jul 08, 2020