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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop


Not just a lady in a wheely chair
Jadis Veal
Alex with her beloved dogs Cinnamon and Sugar

 Though a lot of people walking the halls in Sentinel may not be aware of the ladies in the office, other than those who you give your money to, and who gives you a pass to get out of your class. But, the people in those wheely chairs are much more than just another staff member. They hold power! … Okay, a little exaggeration. But, just because you don’t see them everyday or have to listen to them talk about symbiosis for 50 minutes during class, doesn’t mean that they don’t have something valuable to add to the school. 

The story shared with you today is that of Alex Corbett, who is Sentinel’s wonderful activities secretary. As a person, Corbett  is described by the frequent visitor to the office, Hayden Olson, as always “bringing the energy when [he] comes!” Right across from her is Malissa, who says she is “extremely kind, helpful, caring, and a great colleague to have.” Sentinel is lucky enough to have her as part of the Spartan family.

But, it’s not just Corbett who is part of the Sentinel staff and has a wonderful contribution to the school, but also her husband who happens to be Coach Meriwether! Go Spartans, am I right?

When not at her job and participating in our Sparty Party, Corbett loves all things outdoors. In the winter she enjoys her lavish season pass at Lost Trail for snowboarding. In the summer she never fails to go to the lake nearly every weekend. But, year-round she loves to spend time with her pups Cinnamon and Sugar, relaxing in the silence of her home. It’s hard to deny that she takes great advantage of our Montana resources year-round.

She also has a great passion for all the work she has done in her years. All of which root in the large goal of helping and interacting with people (mostly kids), which she claims stems from her parents who were both probation officers. She thought about teaching, being a lawyer, or doing social work, and now does her best to try and help those she sees in any avenue of work she is in. This is no exception to the work and atmosphere she brings to Sentinel.

Before coming to Sentinel, Corbett did CSCT (Comprehensive School and Community Treatment) in classrooms on the reservation and at Hellgate Elementary. This is where she could help kids who have poor emotional regulation or disturbances with her compassion and grace. When Covid hit, Corbett, like many, was forced to look for other avenues of income which were more stable. This led her to delve into social work in Revali county which she loved, but would eventually find taxing.  

She then came back to the school setting because of the “hard and emotionally difficult job.” However, while talking to Corbett she will never downplay or neglect the “beauty” she sees in social work. Though, as many people in such strenuous jobs do, she looked for a new avenue of work with more structure. She expressed with grace, the love she has working with kids of all ages, but there is a notable hardship of jobs like social work. The emotional weight it can take on people is undeniable, and a break from such deprivation is needed. 

So that’s what she did. She took a step back and ended up working with all of us lucky enough to be at Sentinel. She even mentions how she likes working with older kids a little bit more because of the maturity and self-expression we have. Having to process and try to understand kids who can’t express what has happened to them or what is actively happening to them, can be heavy. She now gets to interact with kids without the taxation of making life-changing decisions for people, which can be healing to take a moment to collect yourself from.

 People she was able to find peace with were her parents. Since they also dealt with the toll of troubled youth and those facing hard situations where you play decision maker, they were easy people to lean on. Having a sounding board for things like that is important and arguably necessary for lines of work that require the mental capacity for such hard situations. She found when she wasn’t able to provide for herself in such an emotionally draining job, she wouldn’t be able to provide for those who needed her. This is when she realized a more constant job would be necessary 

Through her past jobs, it’s hard to deny that she is a person who strives to help others. An additional impactful moment for her, was when she worked at a group home for pregnant and parenting teens in college. This truly set in motion the passion she would further choose to pursue. She wanted people to see that, despite whatever hardship they are facing at that moment, it wasn’t the end of their story.  

At Sentinel, she is able to exemplify those values and have a community she loves, as well as a new balance for herself. She hopes now to go back to school soon and get her master’s degree and become a licensed addiction counselor and a licensed social worker. Will that lead her back to Sentinel? Maybe. She is uncertain of the path that will take her, but of course, there is time to decide.

All in all, the time Corbett has spent with us at Sentinel, which has been nearly a year, has been beneficial not only to herself but also to the school. I believe us lucky to know and have such a beautiful and kind soul in our corner.  

Being able to know the lovely faces in the office shouldn’t just be because you’re late and need a pass too often, but because you wanna take the time to get to know those who work here. Maybe you’ll make a new friend or someone to say hi to when you pass. It’s hard to argue that having a friend in the office isn’t beneficial sometimes!

About the Contributor
Jadis Veal, Illustrator
"Where's everyone going? Bingo?"- Leon Kennedy