National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), has been celebrated this week, 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 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," according to Dr. Gina Cox, Director of Student Services at Tift County Schools.
School counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; 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. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
The Tift County School System is proud to recognize its counselors: MeLisa Utley (Annie Belle Clark Primary), Deidre Nixon (Annie Belle Clark), Melissa Dillard (G.O. Bailey Primary), Carletha Parson (Len Lastinger Primary), CaMicha Ryce (Northside Primary), Tammy Slaven (Omega Elementary), Tara Miller (Charles Spencer), Tiffany Kennedy (Matt Wilson), Vickie King (J.T. Reddick), Melissa Holland (Eighth Street Middle), Jimmy Dailey (Eighth Street Middle), Adrien O’Brien (Northeast), Traci Hill (Northeast), Paige Wells (TCHS), Courtney Deveraux (TCHS), Robin Parker (TCHS), Jean Guzman (TCHS) and Twilya Toombs (Sixth Street Academy).
"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."