National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), was celebrated Feb. 6-10, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.
The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who “implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
Dr. Todd Martin, superintendent of Yadkin County Schools, cited school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.
Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a minimum of a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, career and social/emotional so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association, which is the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to more school counselors around the globe.
“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and personal/social skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”
“Our guidance counselors are professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to the things they need to be successful in school,” said Martin. “They work to ensure that students’ individual needs are met. These needs can include anything from working with students on how to handle situations with other students, providing college and career counseling, or providing advice on how to deal with difficult circumstances in the students’ lives. Our guidance counselors prove how versatile they are on a daily basis. We take care of our kids – and our counselors are a big part of that mission of caring for kids.”
Kristi Gaddis, director of Student Services for Yadkin County Schools, agreed, “Our school counselors are an integral part of the support services schools provide students on a daily bases. We appreciate all the ways they guide and direct the children of Yadkin County. We have an excellent group of professionals that go above and beyond.”