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Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

From academic counselor to Wellness Center advisor, Tatum Maciel strives for positive change

Naima Dickerson
Maciel enjoys her new job in the Wellness Center.

In the midst of the peace in the Wellness Center, Tatum Maciel sits with a student explaining ways to improve their day, as they sit on a light blue couch in the living room with ocean videos projected on the board, and uplifting music flowing through the air. 

The well-known previous academic counselor, Tatum Maciel, has become the wellness advisor for the 23/24 school year due to the budget cuts of last year, and an open opportunity in the Wellness Center. Although new to the position, Maciel has been taking the advisor role in stride. 

“It has definitely been an adjustment, learning something completely new,” Maciel said. “But I think that’s half the fun of it, . . . learning as I go.” 

From assistant basketball coach to academic counselor to wellness advisor, Maciel has filled many roles on Buena’s campus. Now she is beginning to take hold of her new position and work toward raising awareness about mental health for teens. 

“There’s so many big dreams I have for the Wellness Center and I’m looking forward to gaining my confidence in the role,” Maciel said. “I want to have a lot more lunchtime activities and campus-wide activities that can connect students to resources.” 

As Maciel enters her journey in the Wellness Center, the support she has received has been the most helpful part of the transition, as the wellness peers help Maciel plan events and run the center.

“I have my wellness peers [who] have helped me figure out everything since they have more experience with this,” Maciel said.

Senior Thasmeah Sardar who has been a wellness peer for 3 years is feeling good about the transition with Maciel and is looking forward to the future with her.

“She’s doing everything [in]the best interest of the program, and I’m excited to show the school what we got.”

— Thasmeah Sardar

“There is a lot of mutual respect between Ms. Maciel and the peers,” Sardar said. “She’s doing everything [in]the best interest of the program, and I’m excited to show the school what we got.” 

Assistant principal Tiffany Dyer, who hired Maciel for the wellness advisor position, considers Maciel to be trustworthy,caring, and someone you can build rapport with. 

“We had a temporary employee in [the Wellness Center] last year, and at the same time the district downsized the number of counselors,” Dyer said. “It was  the perfect combination of factors.” 

Maciel has been doing well in her new position and plans to make the Wellness Center well-known around campus. Mental health is an extremely important topic to her, and she wants to make an impact at Buena. 

“I want students to be able to identify what they’re feeling and feel comfortable and confident enough to be able to ask for help on the surface,” Maciel said. “An important part of mental wellness for me is being self-aware.”

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About the Contributor
Naima Dickerson, News Section Editor
Naima Dickerson is a sophomore at BHS and is in her first year at Buena Speaks. When she is not cheering or planning an event for ASB, she likes to get Starbucks with friends, make playlists, and practice driving.

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