Diana Holub enjoys cooking and baking. She likes to garden, travel in the summer, and spend time on her computer. However, the Hillsboro High School counselor with more than 30 years of education under her belt admits that mostly her life revolves around helping students and thinking of ways she can better prepare them for the next phase of their life.
“I just really enjoy the students,” Holub said. “It is fun to help them find what interests them, and then rewarding to help them get future placements for their lives after high school.”
Holub, who also teaches sixth grade physical education and health, said being flexible was a very important part of her success.
“I’ve learned that I can’t come to school with my day all planned out,” she said. “Something always changes.”
On Friday, Holub thought she would spend the day working on pre-enrollment schedules for eighth- through 12th-grade students.
“It turned out I was needed to monitor some online classes, then I taught my sixth graders, did a phone interview, counseled a number of students who came into the office for some one-on-one time, and now here it is the end of the day and I am just getting to the pre-enrollment forms.”
Flexibility and changing game plans are not new to Holub who has an avid interest in sports (especially the Kansas Jayhawks) and has coached all sports at the middle school level at one time or another.
“I’ve always enjoyed coaching but when I took on counseling I needed to be available for kids who needed to come in after school hours,” she said. “It was hard to give up, but I am comfortable now with my role and my priorities.”
Holub started out her education career as a middle school teacher at Rural Vista and then Centre. She came to Hillsboro 25 years ago for a better job opportunity and said she has always appreciated the many good qualities of USD 410.
“We have such a strong parental support system here,” she said. “The kids are raised right and know how to behave, we have excellent facilities, and technology and curriculum here are kept up-to-date.”
Busy at all times of the school year, Holub said spring was especially exciting because of enrollment opportunities for the students.
“The Career Pathways classes we have are very popular with the students,” she said. “We have a culinary arts class, a video game design course, global information system studies that include map making and plotting. We even have principles of biomedical science in which students just recently separated DNA.”
Students who want to add Career Pathways courses into their schedule come to Holub and fill out a wish list. Then she works with teachers and administrators to build a class schedule, based on the students’ lists, to fit in the classes they would like to take.
“It has become harder in recent years because we share some teachers between middle and high school. Coordinating those time slots gets tough,” Holub said. “But we work very hard to get each student where they want to be.”
In addition to working with class schedules for next year, Holub said Work Keys, a math and reading certification program associated with ACT tests, was keeping her busy. She also has been working with Project Lead the Way, an engineering pathways course that will be ready for students next year.
“I have test scores to discuss with students, letters to get out to parents, scholarship information to share — time management is a big issue right now,” she said. “There are times I lay awake at night thinking of all I need to do yet.”
Nevertheless, for Holub, all the effort is worth her while, especially when a student finds a good fit for what they want to do after high school.
“Just last week I helped a student finalize his plans to join the military,” she said. “That was very rewarding to help him get where he wanted to go. I just really enjoy helping the kids and being here for them.”