IRSD celebrating National School Counseling Week

SELBYVILLE – Indian River School District is in the midst of the week-long celebration of National School Counseling Week.

Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), it is being celebrated from Feb. 5–9.

Erin Crooks, a counselor at Georgetown Elementary School, was honored last week in Washington, D.C., as one of six finalists for National School Counselor of the Year. Ms. Crooks and the five other finalists were recognized by former First Lady Michelle Obama at the Kennedy Center on Feb. 2.

This special week will focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are impacted as a result of their work.

National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who “implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century,” IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele said.

In a proclamation, Mr. Steele cited school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.

Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

In the Indian River School District, Erin Crooks of Georgetown Middle School was one of six finalists for the 2018 National School Counselor of the Year Award sponsored by ASCA. She was named Delaware’s School Counselor of the Year in April 2017, making her eligible for the national award.

IRSD had two previous state Counselor of the Year award winners: Cheryl Carey in 2016 and Lisa Hunt in 2005.

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week’s festivities.

Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the counselors at their local schools. More information can also be found on ASCA’s website, www.schoolcounselor.org.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. ASCA has a network of 50 state associations and a membership of more than 34,000 school counseling professionals.

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