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National School Counseling Week

School Counselor hugging two students
Have you hugged a school counselor recently? You should! February 1-5 is National School Counseling Week.

We have about 400 counselors working to support our children and help them be successful in school and in life. Counselors assist students with academic goals, career planning, personal issues, family situations, and medical challenges. For some students, a counselor is their biggest advocate, seeing them through to graduation.

National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. By serving as a leader and an advocate, and through collaboration with other stakeholders, school counselors promote equity and access to opportunities for all students.

Our School Counselors by the numbers:
  • 140 Elementary School Counselors
  • 102 Middle School Counselors
  • 127 High School Counselors
  • 24 SAP Counselors
  • 5 Transition Counselors
  • 54 RAMP Schools (Recognized ASCA Model Program for School Counseling)
  • 133 Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • 2015 NC School Counselors of the Year for Middle School and High School
  • 2016 National School Counselor of the Year Finalist 

When asked why she chose to be a school counselor, National School Counselor of the Year Finalist Durenda Johnson Ward said, “I love helping others succeed. I wanted to help students first hand. I wanted to come into the school system and impact students’ lives.”

Speaking of Ward, Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School eighth grader Brianna Tamarez said, “She’s always there, always a shoulder to lean on.”

Another Centennial eighth grader, Zaira Van Hemert, said Ward helped smooth her transition from elementary to middle school. “She helped me through it. She makes me feel comfortable. I feel I can be open with her. I have an amazing counselor who has my back all the time.”

We’d like to thank all our amazing school counselors for helping ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, so we can reach our Vision 2020 goal of annually graduating at least 95% of our students ready for productive citizenship as well as higher education or a career.
So hug a school counselor when you see them. They've earned it!