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Sara Moore, AKSCA 2016 Advocate of the Year

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Alaska School Counselor Association's 2016 Advocate of the Year Award goes to KPBSD Sara Moore!

"Sara Moore has done a terrific job with our students for many years. Even in retirement she is making a positive difference with our students! Congratulations on the award!" – Sean Dusek, superintendent

In 1996, beginning in #KPBSD at Soldotna High School, Sara then served as a districtwide counselor specialist from 2012 to 2016 when she retired, then returned to be the transition lead school counselor for the 2016-2017 school year.

Sara Moore said, "Receiving statewide recognition for advocacy is a testament to both our district and to the colleagues I have worked with over the years.

By recognizing the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model as the framework for counseling programs in our schools, the KPBSD leadership team supports the role school counselor's play in student achievement in the areas of academic, career and personal and social development. The KPBSD school counseling program is viewed as a model for other districts and KPBSD school counselors have a long history of statewide leadership in multiple areas. According to ASCA, "Effective school counseling programs are a collaborative effort between the school counselor, parents and other educators to create an environment that promotes student achievement." I am inspired by the tireless efforts our school counselors make every day to this end!  

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As school counselors, we best inspire students through a program that strives to reach every student. By providing both direct classroom instruction and individualized guidance, we help students to set both academic, and career and life goals as well as provide them with the resources and education necessary to reach those goals. We encourage students to realize there are many paths to their goals despite the myriad of challenges and hurdles they might face along the way. In our attempts to grow student learning and achievement, school counselors make every effort to encourage student development, not only as individuals, but as contributing members of families and communities. One of the most exciting aspects of my work has been to observe the developmental changes in students as they acquire the skills and attitudes necessary to transition to the workplace, higher education and, or career and technical training upon completion of their high school experience. As I move into retirement, I know I will continue to encounter past students in the community and look forward to hearing of their journeys!"

John Pothast, director of elementary and secondary education said, "I have found Sara to be a tireless supporter of what we do in our school counseling programs. For years she served as one of our best, and go to counselors in the district, not only serving the students in her building, but also being a mentor to every other school counselor. For the past few years we have been fortunate to have Sara serve in the capacity as our Districtwide Counselor Specialist. In that capacity she has coordinated all of the professional development learning opportunities for our school counselors, including leading the school counselors group through the process of developing a more meaningful evaluation process that is tied to national school counselor standards. She has worked with staff, students and parents in postsecondary career plans and transitions and has developed, and helped school counselors implement, PLCP plans for all secondary students. Sara has officially retired from her roles as school counselor and counselor specialist, but like so many great educators, she just can't seem to remain retired!"

The Advocate of the Year award recognizes a special individual or group for their assistance in furthering the mission of school counselors in Alaska. The Advocate of the Year may have developed or implemented a new program that affects the wellbeing of students/staff; they may have initiated improvement in counseling services; or they may have provided outstanding opportunities for the professional growth of counselors. Whether an administrator, community group, or other individual in or out of the school environment, the recipient of this award represents true advocacy for our profession.

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