GMS counselor among national finalists to be honored by former First Lady Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An official trip to Washington, D.C. next Friday will likely be a “first” for Erin Crooks representing Delaware as the First State’s school counselor of the year.

In the nation’s capital, the Georgetown Middle School counselor will be honored by former First Lady Michelle Obama as one of six finalists for national school counselor of the year honors.

Georgetown Middle School counselor Erin Crooks holds her award as the 2017 Delaware School Counselor of the Year.

Highlighting the Feb. 2 ceremony at the Kennedy Center will be Ms. Obama’s introduction of the American School Counselor Association’s 2018 School Counselor of the Year: Kirsten Perry, a counselor at a school in Chicago.

Ms. Perry is school counselor at Lawndale Community Academy, a pre-K through eighth grade school where she is sole counselor for more than 400 students. Click here to view Ms. Obama’s surprise phone call to Ms. Perry this week.

Last April, Ms. Crooks was named 2017 Delaware School Counselor of the Year by the Delaware School Counselor Association during its annual spring conference.

Prior to that, Ms. Crooks was named Middle School Counselor of the Year by the DSCA in February 2017. This past fall she named one of six finalists for national honors.

Ms. Crooks came to Georgetown Middle School as a school counselor in 2009 after spending the previous two years as a counselor at Georgetown Elementary School.

Among her priorities during the past nine years has been taking GMS students on visits to college campuses. In that span, she has accompanied more than 350 students on visits to the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Morgan State University, Delaware Technical & Community College, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland.

“I always think bringing students to college campuses even in middle school is so important because it is more than just taking a campus tour,” Ms. Crooks said in an April 2017 interview. “It’s allowing them to visualize themselves there and showing them there is more than just what they see in their own back yard.”

Ms. Crooks is co-chair of the Sussex County Inter-Agency Council for Children and Families and a middle school representative for the Delaware Goes to College Advisory Council. She also served as an adjunct professor at Wilmington University in 2015-16.

She resides in Millville with her husband and two children.

2018 School Counselor of the Year

Kirsten Perry, Lawndale Community Academy, Chicago Ill.

School Counselor of the Year finalists:

  • Crystal Brewer, Simpson Central School, Pinola, Miss,;
  • Erin Crooks, Georgetown Middle School, Georgetown, De.;
  • Geoff Heckman, Platte County High School, Platte City, Mo.;
  • Cristina Nunez, Paso Del Norte School, El Paso, Tx.;
  • Cassie Poncelow, Poudre High School, Fort Collins, Colo.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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