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Appreciate School Counselors!

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Celebrate our hard working school counselors February 1-5, 2016!

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School Counselors Leadership

National School Counseling Week is celebrated each year during the first week of February. KPBSD currently employs 16 certified counselors who serve over 3,500 middle and high school students.

School counselors are professionals who hold a master’s degree and often have a background in both education and counseling. A critical aspect of the work they perform is serving in a leadership role in the schools they serve. The most important part of a school counselor’s job is to promote student success. To this end, they advocate, collaborate and work for system change.

Over the years, KPBSD school counselors continue to serve as leaders, not only in their school sites and in KPBSD, but also at the state and national level as well. Highlights include:

  • Natalie Kant, Skyview Middle School, Alaska 2014 Counselor of the year and Alaska’s 2016 State representative, attended Michelle Obama’s Second Annual Counselor of the Year event in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2016. First Lady Obama emphasized a movement of support to increase awareness of the critical role school counselor’s play in the education and preparation of students for jobs and successful lives. The First Lady said, “What you all do is not a luxury; it’s not an extra. Just the opposite—the work you do is absolutely essential!”
  • Erin Neisinger, Soldotna High School, has been selected by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to represent the state of Alaska and attend NACAC’s Legislative Conference and Action Meeting in Washington, DC, in late February. She will be meeting on Capitol Hill with Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young to advocate for college access for all students.
  • Leslie Fazio, Kenai Central High School, is currently serving on the Alaska School Counselor Association (AKSCA) as the chair of the Professional Recognition and Scholarship committees, and co-chair of the Technology committee. As of July 1, 2016, she will move into the role of President-Elect.
  • Natali Jones, Itinerant Counselor for Nanwalek, Port Graham, Susan B. English, Nikolaevsk, Chapman, and Homer Flex school, is the current Secretary and chairs the Suicide Prevention committee for AKSCA.
  • Sammie Johnson, Kenai Middle School, also serves on the AKSCA board and is the chair of the Communications committee.

“Our school counselors are an important part of our overall instructional program. They work hard to provide resources and options for students in preparation for life after KPBSD. They also are initial responders in times of crises to support the needs of students and families. We are very grateful for they work they do with our students.” – Sean Dusek, superintendent

“School counselors play a vital role in the lives of students and the well-being of schools. From assisting in scheduling classes and helping students and parents plan for college and careers to providing students with both academic support and social-emotional support, counselors do it all! On a daily basis parents, students, teachers and administrators alike seek out counselors for their expertise, help, support and guidance. For all the many hats they wear, we want to sincerely thank our school counselors for all they do!” –John Pothast, director of secondary education and student activities

 

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Congratulations to KPBSD counselor, Natalie Kant, [Skyview Middle School], Alaska Counselor of the Year and the 2016 State of Alaska school counselor representative.

 

“I am very humbled to receive this incredible award for something that I love to do,” said Natalie Kant. “I am honored to be an employee of the KPBSD and absolutely love being a school counselor. My students, their parents, my colleagues and friends, my family and my school district have inspired me to always be involved and have motivated me to do my best. I love working with all students. Thank you for encouraging and challenging me to be the person I am today. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. I am very grateful for the influence you have had in my life. Thank You!” 

The national School Counselor of the Year program selects a winner and finalists each year based on several criteria: creative school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership skills and contributions to student enhancement. It is in its ninth year and is the launch event for National School Counseling Week which will be celebrated February 1-5, 2016.

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