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SEB's own slice of Eden
School guidance counselor is an 'unsung hero'
Gene Eden photo for web
Gene Eden is a guidance counselor for students at SEB and High. Teachers say his dedication make him an "Unsung Hero." - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Southeast Bulloch High School assistant principal John Page has known guidance counselor Gene Eden for the 22 years he has worked at SEB. According to Page, Eden's dedication to the students at SEB Middle and High School is virtually limitless.
    Example: Eden volunteered to help Page with SEB's three-day “Overnight Basketball Camp,” during which time everyone slept in the gym, ate in the cafeteria, and played basketball non-stop in-between.
    Eden protested, “I brought an inflatable mattress, so it wasn't really all that rough.”
    According to Registrar Diane Wright, a 15-year veteran at SEB, whenever anything gets out of whack, Eden is the man that they go to because they know he can get it straight. In fact, Wright said she and her fellow staff members look to Eden because of his common sense approach to every situation.
    Fellow SEB guidance counselor Lucy Brinson, who is in her 12th year at the school, probably knows Eden better than anyone else at the school.
    “He is by far the greatest guidance counselor I have ever known,” she said. “The hours that he puts in at SEB are phenomenal. He bleeds blue and gold in the truest sense”.
    When told he was going to be an unsung hero at SEB, Eden kept trying to deflect the spotlight. Finally, Eden settled down and began to talk a little about himself. He said, “My parents (Fred and Julia Merle) owned the Claxton Enterprise (a weekly newspaper).”
    “As a freshman at Claxton High, I began playing on our basketball team against the kids from SEB,” he said. “When I was at Georgia Southern, I landed a one-year job as a 'Drop-Out Counselor' at Effingham High School. The next year, I took a job as Social Studies teacher at Effingham High. Three years later Dr. Tom Bigwood offered me a job at SEB.”
    Eden knew that this was his dream job: a guidance counselor at a small rural high school. They set him up in what had been the teacher's lounge in the old school, When Brinson came, they had to split that room into two offices. Sitting in his office in the new school, Eden admitted that despite all of its flaws, he still misses the old school.
    His wife, Sarah, is the art teacher at SEB Middle, and their son, Daniel, is a student there. One of the perks of Eden's job is that he gets to spend time around his wife and son. He currently serves as the SEB Middle School's assistant football and assistant boys basketball coach, and coaches the SEB high school golf team, which practices at the Smithfield Golf Course.
    Eden is thinking that 30 years may be enough. He stated, “Sometimes I think that this year (2009-2010) may be my last year here. Then again, I think about how my son Daniel is getting ready to come to the high school, and I decide that I ought to hang around for a few more years.”

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