During National Counseling Week (Feb. 8-12), we salute GCPS counselors for their commitment and caring as they help students explore a world of possibilities. Academic options… behavioral choices… the pursuit of college dreams… personal struggles… students today are faced with many decisions. On the road to success it is possible for students to take a wrong turn. In Gwinnett County Public Schools, our counselors are in step with students during their K–12 journey, making a difference and serving as a guide. They support students so they can reach their academic potential, removing obstacles to learning and providing academic support to ensure student success. They also help create a positive school environment that assists students as they find their path to a successful adult life. Counselors provide direction as students develop leadership skills, hone social skills, and learn about problem-solving, effective communication, and teamwork. It has been said that life is a journey, not a destination. And while school counselors are focused on the destination—graduating successful students—they also help students explore and traverse their world today. GCPS’ comprehensive, data-driven counseling program is key to that journey, allowing students to explore not just ordinary possibilities… but extraordinary possibilities. Congratulations to counselors, leaders, and schools honored at the Feb. 4 recognition event, and four schools--Arcado Elementary, Couch Middle, Grace Snell Middle and Twin Rivers Middle-- for earning national RAMP recognition.
This year, a new award was presented at the recognition breakfast. This new recognition was created in response to a change in the state awards program. In 2014, the Georgia School Counselor Association separated the Counselor Administrator and Counselor Advocate honors into two awards. In Gwinnett, the “counselor advocate” award will bear the name of its first recipient, Louise Radloff, a longtime School Board member who has been a supporter of school counseling and who was a driving force behind the hiring of elementary school counselors in Gwinnett. This award will be given annually to a non-school employee (parent, community member, School Board member, etc.) who supports counseling.
From the top: School Counselors of the Year Amy O’Neal of Alcova Elementary; Rachel Kusher of Five Forks Middle, and Kelley Griffin of Mill Creek High.
Dr. Sarah Skinner, Principal of Radloff Middle School is the 2016 Gwinnett County Mary Joe Hannaford Counselor Administrator of the Year.
Dr. Joyce Chandler, Georgia House of Representatives, District 105 is the 2016 Legislator of the Year.