Guidance Counselor, Ocean Enthusiast
by Melissa LaScaleia
Introduce me to your family.
I have one daughter, Britni (now Britni Belair because she got married), and a son-in-law, Billy. My parents and my sister live in Florence, SC. I have a fish, a turtle, and a grand-dog named Folly, an Australian Shepherd.
Where are all the places you came from? What area of the Grand Strand do you now call home?
My family moved from Bishopville to Florence, SC when I was five years old. I graduated from Francis Marion University in Florence with a biology degree, and also received my master’s from there in secondary counseling. I lived in Darlington, SC, thirty minutes from Florence, for ten years, teaching biology. I moved to Myrtle Beach just after Britni was born, and I’ve been here for twenty-eight years. I call Surfside Beach home.
What did you do once you arrived in Myrtle Beach?
I took care of Britni, and once she started school, I worked at Socastee High School as a guidance counselor for twenty-three years.
What is your favorite place in this area?
I always loved the Ocean Lakes Campground area, and that surrounding area near the old Air Force Base. Growing up, we’d spend our summers at Ocean Lakes; I worked there during college. Today I live in Long Bay Estates which is just down the road. It’s right on the beach and close to the Market Common, and it’s still my favorite part of this area.
What are your favorite things to do here?
I love going to the Market Common; walking on the beach; visiting the Myrtle Beach State Park Pier and The MarkshWalk in Murrells Inlet. I also like trying to spot dolphins and sea turtles in the ocean. I play cards with my friends and enjoy puppy sitting for them. After being retired for two years, I got bored, so I went back to work as a guidance counselor at PALM Charter High School.
What do you like the most about living here?
Being able to walk on the beach any time I want. My therapy is the sun and the ocean.
How has your lifestyle changed or what new activities have you taken up since moving here?
I’ve been here many years, and as you get older, things of course, change. I miss my daughter being little, and always taking her with me everywhere I go.
What is one thing that your neighbors don’t know about you?
Most of my neighbors thought it was great that I’m retired and can do whatever I want. But I’ve alway loved helping people, and working was something I really enjoyed that gave me a sense of purpose. I find it exciting to help guide the lives of these students as they are growing and developing. Not only can I help them, but they help me; they keep me young. If it weren’t for these kids, I wouldn’t know how to do half the stuff I do on the computer.
Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Myrtle Beach?
I miss The Pavilion Park more than anything. It was like a permanent carnival installation with rides that you could visit anytime.