New Guidance To Sahuaro – Mr. Frerking


Sierra Ayers, Reporter

Counselors have always been a huge part of the school community. You go to them for schedule changes, credit concerns, advice, to cry, your future even. They’re always there to help, and although we don’t realize it, during our years at school we depend on counselors quite a bit.

Sahuaro has gotten a new addition to the Cougar family, Mr. Blake Frerking. A former teacher turned guidance counselor has emerged and joined our school, eager to meet all the new faces. From attending 3 different colleges with 3 different degrees, living in Alaska, and even being a part of the military, Mr. Frerking has had his share of life experiences.

He attended college at the University of Arizona for Psychology and Business, Northern Arizona University for Teaching (where he specialized in Special Education and Reading), and lastly the University of Southern Mississippi for a final master’s degree in Education. That amount of school over the years takes so much dedication, and I can barely get through high school!

Mr. Frerking enjoying his time in Alaska

“We’re very happy to be back in Tucson,” says Mr. Frerking. He and his wife moved from Alaska, where they both taught. “I taught for 15 years and this is my 14th year working as a school counselor.”

Alaska was a real treat, a place some only imagine living. His biggest adjustment to adapt to was the slow change between sunlight versus darkness, being that half of the time it was constantly dark or constantly light. Your sleep schedule would take a huge hit and your motivation would surely plummet.

His favorite change was the introduction of the internet in Alaskan schools. The school he taught at was one of the first schools to be hooked up to the internet, (when Amazon first started up). It allowed his school to have such a huge advancement and completely changed his experience as a teacher.

On the topic of why he switched from teaching to counseling, “I was looking for a change. I wanted more individual time with the students than you get in the classroom,” Mr. Frerking remarked. “Funny enough, I don’t have as much contact with students in here than I did as a teacher.”

He discussed how he used to teach at an international school, teaching students from over 52 countries. Meeting so many new faces with so many different backgrounds would open anyone’s curiosity to the world. He has since traveled, living in places all over the country, like Alaska, Iowa, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and of course, Tucson. One of his hobbies we discussed was his love of traveling. He has traveled to beautiful places like Tanzania, Spain, and just about everywhere in Europe.

He also talked about his time in the military as an electronic technician for about 6 years, the Navy to be precise. He was stationed at the Spain Rota Naval Base during the first Gulf War. He spent the first month of his military career sitting on a beach in Hawaii, due to the war breaking out while he was newly stationed.

He also loves to ski, which is why staying in cold places like Alaska was no issue for him. He used to play football in high school as well, being someone who generally partook in sports throughout his life. He also enjoys reading, specifically factual and informational books. He has no time for novels or fiction, only focusing on as much knowledge as he can get from literature.

His start at Sahuaro couldn’t have happened at a more confusing time though. Not only is this his first year at Sahuaro, but it is also his first time with TUSD. “He’s a really good counselor and he’s super helpful with making sure I have what I need for my classes and making sure I have the right ones. He also is good at responding really quickly which is nice,” says senior Emma Dyson.

Although the school year has just begun, he has already impacted all the lives of the students he counsels. Even I, Senior Sierra Ayers, have had the pleasure of interacting with him and relying on him. He is a positive new face and works as hard as he can to help each one of his students.

Don’t forget to visit the counselor’s corner in the office building for any concerns or questions you have, they would be happy to have you!