As part of National School Counseling Week, celebrated this year Feb. 6-10, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) highlighted the key role school counselors play in the academic success and overall well-being of all Gwinnett children. In doing so, the school district named its top counseling professionals of the year. In addition, the district recognizes outstanding counseling programs that show evidence of counseling program advocacy and goals that use data to guide program design, delivery, and evaluation. This year’s 21st Century Comprehensive Counseling Award went to Duluth High School. In addition, the counseling programs at four Gwinnett County schools were recognized for meeting the criteria to become a Recognized ASCA Model Program by the American School Counselor Association. Arcado Elementary School, Twin Rivers Middle School, Couch Middle School and Grace Snell Middle School are among a select group of more than 600 schools nationwide that have received this national recognition since the program’s inception in 2004. Couch Middle School and Twin Rivers Middle School are two of only five schools in the nation that were recognized by ASCA as Programs of Distinction after earning a score of 58 or higher out of a possible 60.
The 2017 GCPS top counseling professionals are:
- 2017 Gwinnett County Elementary School Counselor of the Year
Amy Crapo of Norcross Elementary School
- 2017 Gwinnett County Middle School Counselor of the Year
Shamira Pierson Porter of Radloff Middle School
- 2017 Gwinnett County Secondary School Counselor of the Year
Dr. Samela Reid of Parkview High School
- 2017 Gwinnett County Mary Joe Hannaford Counselor Administrator of the Year
Penny Palmer Young, Principal of Arcado Elementary School
- 2017 Gwinnett County Counselor Writer of the Year
Simone Sheppard of Rosebud Elementary School
GCPS counselors continue to be among the most recognized with state and national honors. Recent honorees include Stacey Miller, a 2016 semifinalist for the national honor, Jennifer Diaz, a finalist for 2015 National Counselor of the Year; Andrea Hodgin, a semifinalist for the 2015 national honor; and Robin Zorn of Mason Elementary, who was named the 2014 National School Counselor of the Year.
For more about the award winners and the counselor’s role in GCPS, news media representatives can contact Dianne Thompson, director of advisement and counseling, at 678-301-7372.