Galloway aims to keep students on track

Participants in a recent college visit to Northern Arizona University are, back row left to right, Grant Hurley, Justin Galloway, Lavander Shortman and Jeremy Yellowhair. Front row, left to right, Wyona Atene and Durshanna Cody. (Photo courtesy MVHS counseling office)

Participants in a recent college visit to Northern Arizona University are, back row left to right, Grant Hurley, Justin Galloway, Lavander Shortman and Jeremy Yellowhair. Front row, left to right, Wyona Atene and Durshanna Cody. (Photo courtesy MVHS counseling office)

Vista Staff

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While most school employees are concerned with what students are doing in school, Justin Galloway concerns himself with what students will do when they leave.

Galloway, 34, is the new school counselor at Monument Valley High School. While he doesn’t have any previous experience as a school counselor, Galloway holds a Master’s degree in education community agency counseling from Auburn University, and an abundance of enthusiasm for helping students. Prior to becoming the new school counselor, Galloway practiced in-home mental health therapy for four years and also had his own therapy private practice.

“My goal is to get everybody on track,” he explained. He doesn’t want any MVHS seniors to discover they don’t have enough credits to graduate. He said if students stay on track their whole career, they will have more than enough credits to graduate. A focus will be making sure students have a plan for what they will do after high school, whether that is college, trade school or a job.

Galloway and his family moved to Monument Valley from St. Simons Island, Ga., over the summer. The trip was 2,000 miles geographically but a couple of light years culturally. The island, only 13 miles long and 4 miles wide is high density with stores and restaurants close by. The island also was home to many wealthy people.

“I could not have lived in a more different place,” Galloway said. “Everything was right there. Now if I want to go to Walmart I have to drive through three states, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.” Despite the differences in lifestyles and climate, some things are the same.

“People help each other out. That hasn’t changed,” he said. “A lot of it is the same.”

Galloway originally visited the area doing mission work for his church. He made his decision to move here in part to continue that work. The move represented a big change for his family. His wife Ashli wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about the change. “She grew up on the island,” Galloway explained. “She really did not want to come.”

Now that his family is here, Galloway said they are enjoying the experience primarily because of the people who have welcomed them with open arms.

The Galloways have three children, two girls ages seven and five, and a boy age two.

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