The Oklahoma School Counselor Association recently announced School Counselors of the Year and School Advocate of the Year for 2011-2012. The winners will be recognized at the 9th Annual Oklahoma School Counselor Association Summer Conference, held Thursday June 7, 2012 at the Moore Norman Technology Center at 13301 S Pennsylvania Ave.
“The role of school counselor and advocate is vital to students, parents and educators,” State Superintendent Janet Barresi said. “We know these people often are the heartbeat of the school. They know each child who is struggling. They provide resources and a listening ear and they share a role in each success. Congratulations to this year’s awardees.”
School Advocate of the Year is Charlotte Hunter at Oklahoma Centennial High School in Oklahoma City. Hunter is a National Board Professional Certified Teacher who believes “School counselors are critical to school success and student achievement. Counselors use their unique skills to assess student needs seeking the best solution for each individual.”
Bobby Fields, at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Tulsa, is the Elementary School Counselor of the Year. She said she “became a school counselor in order to make a difference in children’s lives. Working in a school setting allows me to provide both preventive services to students functioning well at the present, as well as handle crisis situations for those who are struggling.”
Middle School Counselor of the Year is Michelle Dodgen at Weatherford Middle School. She strives to ensure her students have evidence-based programs to help each student become successful. She is working to kick off a youth leadership club in this upcoming school year. Eddie Bennett, principal, says “Michelle deeply cares for each individual on our campus and works very hard each and every day to provide the utmost care for all.”
Katie Burk, at Sterling High School, is the High School Counselor of the Year. Burk said she wants her students to look forward to their guidance lessons. She researches for effective and creative ways to help student become individuals of good character. Brenda Huitt, a Title 1 teacher at Sterling High school, said, “I have been involved in education for approximately 25 years and something that makes Katie stand out as being a special counselor is not only her involvement in many activities, but the way she approaches her duties. She always has a smile and positive attitude. She enjoys her job and truly cares about the students in her school.”
The conference will have sessions on bully prevention, teen dating violence, child abuse, OSCAR and supervision/ethics. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; the conference will go until 3:15 p.m.