Mr. Florence Spotlight


by Mackenzie Khamvongsa and Zoie Martin

Former Panther, Brent Florence, is back in the Palo Verde environment to join the counselor committee. Excited to guide students and Junior varsity basketball, the Panthers have a new favorite teacher to be proud of.

Before rejoining the Palo Verde Panthers, Florence worked as a counselor at Canyon Springs high school for four years.

“I loved it, it was different from being at Palo Verde with an intercity school, I got along with all the kids. They were great. Some hard knocks, but I’m so glad to be back home at Palo Verde,” Florence says.

The different environments he was able to work with was a pleasing experience as he was able to interact with different students and aid in their academic and behavior mishaps, of course, each school having its pros and cons.

Following in the footsteps of current counselor, Mrs. Brown, Florence began his guidance career.

“Mrs. Brown is the main reason why I wanted to be a school counselor. She helped me out so much when I was a senior here at Palo,” recalls Florence.

The one to one interaction Florence had with Brown was such an impactful relationship that helping people and leaving a memorable mark was one of many things he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life.

As part of the 2004 state champions for Palo Verde basketball, Florence wanted to pursue basketball professionally or become an athlete in some way, but with an injured leg he suffered in his senior year, education became his main focus.  

From a Panther himself to a Rebel at UNLV, Florence majored in liberal arts and graduated with a bachelors in sociology. From here, he decided he wanted to be a college professor or work as a social worker. Eventually, Florence realized that becoming a school counselor would be a great career due to the fact that he loved engaging with others and it was, unfortunately, a struggle to find a job with a bachelors.

This year, Florence will take charge as the head JV boys basketball coach as well as working with varsity with former teacher Mr. Condron, hoping to take home first place.

“I’m looking forward to coaching, I’m looking forward to working with students, and I’m looking forward to just growing as a counselor and as a professional,” states Florence.

Every school year, it seems as if counselors deal with a great amount of schedule changes with students rather than more personal or academic problems focused issues, but Florence explains that there’s so much more to their career than we thought.

“I guess it depends. My last school had a lot more behavioral issues. At this school it’s been mainly about academics.. There’ve been a few students that have some emotional problems going on, but for the most part it’s been academics, lots of paperwork and credit checks, making sure students are on track for graduation,” Florence explains.  

Counselors give us someone to talk to and allow us to feel as though we have someone there for us in all circumstances. The Palo Verde staff has always helped us as students to become better people, and with the newest addition of Mr. Florence, a different aspect has been added to the Panther environment.