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Sequoyah Elementary School counselor being honored on Veterans Day

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Sequoyah Elementary School counselor and veteran Shaun Grange with his wife Hillary and sons Eli and Peyton.

Sequoyah Elementary School counselor and veteran Shaun Grange is being honored for his service on this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.  

According to Grange, he is happy and grateful to his school for recognizing not only him, but other veterans as well.  

"I love that Sequoyah wants to honor, not just me, but all the veterans in our community," Grange said. "I feel very honored to have been able to serve my country alongside great men and women, many of whom I am still friends with today."  

Grange said he joined the Army-National Guard in August of 2001 because he always thought about being in the military and it was the best way he could attend college.  

"My military occupational skill was 13 Bravo - Field Artillery Cannon Crew Member," Grange said. "I would love to say that I picked that military job because it was cool and fun, and it was, very much at times, but the truth is I chose it because the time spent learning the training for that job was short and close to home."  

The counselor said he did his basic training and job skill training out of Fort Sill near Lawton. 

"I spent six years in the Army-National Guard with my home station being based out of Seminole," Shaun said. "I was assigned to the 1/160th Field Artillery Battalion, Bravo Battery." 

The veteran said he was born in Perry, moved quite a bit when he was a child but eventually settled in Choctaw when he was 11-years-old.  

Grange graduated from Choctaw High School in 1998, attended the University of Central Oklahoma and majored in History Education. 

"After completing my Army training and getting assigned to my Home Station, I finished my Bachelor's Degree in 2003 and became a teacher and coach for 14 years," Grange said.  

The counselor said for those 14 years he taught and coached in Oklahoma City, Hobart and Mustang and after that he decided to pursue his Master's degree in counseling. 

"I graduated with my Masters in Counseling from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017," Grange said.  

He wanted to become a counselor because during his time teaching, he found a passion and talent for helping students through difficult times and choices.  

"A close friend of mine, who was in a similar situation decided we should go back to school and get our masters with the ultimate goal of becoming a licensed mental health therapist, which I accomplished in 2019," Grange said. "When I am not performing my school counselor duties at Sequoyah, I work part time at CREOKS Health Services in Shawnee, a non-profit organization, as a mental health therapist."  

The counselor said he loves his job because he can be there for people.   

"What I love most about my job is helping others, getting to work with kids and building positive relationships with them, and the people I work with, who are some of the best around," Grange said.  

However, while he loves his job, Grange said there are difficulties that come with being a school counselor.  

"The biggest challenge for me as a school counselor is lack of mental health resources for children that have endured tremendous trauma or have very poor home lives," Grange said. "Despite schools' very best effort to try and help, schools are just not equipped to handle some of the issues that some kids have and there are very few programs in Pottawattamie County." 

Grange said he will continue to help students and he hopes in the future this generation of students can have a more prosperous life than the generation before.