Humans of West: Amy Murphy


Joseph Potts

“I just love the students at West. It’s a great population of kids that work hard, and it’s just a fun place to be.” guidance counselor Amy Murphy said.

How did you become a counselor?

“I originally was a teacher, then I got my master’s degree in counseling. So now I’ve been a counselor for 17 years.”


Did you always wanted to be a counselor?

“I’ve always wanted to be a counselor, but I knew that I needed to get a master’s degree. To afford it, I wanted to be a teacher first then go back so I could pay for my masters degree to be a counselor.”


What do you do as a counselor?

“All day long I help students with academic issues, social issues, emotional issues, and work a lot on career planning too.”


How do you manage over 400 kids?

“It’s tough. You deal with crisis first and then you work throughout academic career concerns. It’s just  trying to prioritize what’s most important, and then at the beginning of the year we see all our seniors. So in between I have other issues to deal with that are most immediate, then I pull seniors down and have a meeting with them about their future.”


Do you face any challenges taking care of all these kids?

“I wish I could spend more time with each one. I don’t have enough time. I would like to be able to do more.”


How do you overcome this challenge?

“I just try to do my best at seeing [students]. Sometimes I use email or I meet in person. Just anyway I can keep in contact and answer questions and help students all day long.”’


What is needed to be a counselor?

“You need to have a master’s degree. So first I went to college and got my undergraduate degree in psychology and I had to get a master’s degree in educational counseling.”


What’s your favorite part of being a counselor?

“My favorite part is helping each individual student, working with students and helping them navigate life and their future.”


What do you like about West?

“I just love the students at West. It’s a great population of kids that work hard, and it’s just a fun place to be.”


What is your home life like?

“It’s good. I have two boys in elementary school, so I get to spend time with them after school and do fun things on the weekend and then put all my energy through the week at West.”


What inspires you to be a counselor?

“I have just always enjoyed helping people. When I was in high school my friends used to say ‘you’re so good at helping me with my problems’, so then I just continued doing that.”