School counselors play a key role in helping Utah's children learn about themselves and their talents, how to treat others, how to deal with personal issues and the educational and career paths they might pursue.
The Utah School Counselor Association (USCA) is sponsoring an "I Love My School Counselor" award and is asking Utah students, former students and adults to nominate their favorite Utah school counselors. People who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help them.
A select group of counselors will receive awards in February during a Utah School Counselor Month event.
"Utah's children and youth sometimes face tough dilemmas and issues, and there are many school counselors who have served as a listening ear, presented fresh insights, introduced financial or community resources to help children and families deal with their issues," said Valerie Ross, president of the USCA. "Problems such as suicide, bullying, and making sure all students have access to educational and real-world opportunities often require complex solutions that take sensitivity, skill and a lot of time to work through.
Our "I Love My School Counselor," campaign gives students and parents a special way to say thank you to those counselors who have made a significant difference in their families' lives."
To nominate an outstanding school counselor for the "I Love My School Counselor" award, email the counselor's name and school, and a 200-word or more description of their good works to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 31, 2014.
Nominators will be contacted by email if their nominee has been selected. The Utah School Counselor Association will invite the winners and those who nominated them to a special awards event in February.
Utah has approximately 700 school counselors in its public schools, and is one of only five states in the nation that has a comprehensive, statewide school counseling program that measures success through student outcomes.
To achieve maximum program effectiveness, the America School Counselor Association recommends a school-counselor-to-student-ratio of 1:250, and that school counselors spend 80 percent or more of their time in direct and indirect services to students.
The national average is 1:150; and although Utah has been nationally recognized for its school counselor program, Utah's ratio is currently 1:350 in its secondary schools and 1:700 in grades K-12.
Utah's school counselors have also received national recognition in the School Counselor of the Year competition, with a top ten winner in 2011, one of the top five in 2012, and two national honorable mentions in 2013.
For more information visit www.utschoolcounselor.org.
About the Utah School Counselors Association Utah School Counselor Association (USCA) represents the profession of school counseling and provides a united and single voice for school counseling in the State of Utah.
USCA believes that guidance and counseling must be an integral part of every student's educational experience.
Utah professional school counselors develop and deliver comprehensive school counseling programs and tailor them to the needs of their students in order to promote achievement. These programs are comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature. For more information, visit www.utschoolcounselor.org.