A Delaware counselor has been chosen as one of five finalists from around the country for an award honoring the best school counselor in America.
Kristin Nye from Anna P. Mote Elementary School in the Red Clay Consolidated School District will represent the First State for the American School Counselor Association School Counselor of the Year Award.
“To get this recognition now feels like a spotlight is being put not only on the great work we’re doing here in Delaware, but the great work that we’re doing at our school,” Nye said.
She’s in her 19th year as a school counselor and eighth at Mote Elementary.
Throughout her career, she said she’s prioritized making a real, concerted effort to work with local and state agencies to advocate for mental health.
She even helped develop the wording for House Bill 100 back in its earliest draft five years ago. That bill passed in 2021 and included an $8 million investment to provide mental health services in the state’s elementary schools.
“My biggest mission is to make all people recognize that mental health is health,” she said. “I work strongly to learn about how the brain works when students are dysregulated, what happens to the brain when students experience poverty or trauma, and then using that science to back up the ways that I intervene.”
No Delawarean has ever won the award, which was first given out in 2019.
Counselor aware criteria
The association’s national model guides school counselors to develop programs school that:
- Are based on data-informed decision making
- Are delivered to all students systematically
- Include a developmentally-appropriate curriculum focused on the mindsets and behaviors all students need for postsecondary readiness and success
- Close achievement and opportunity gaps
- Result in improved student achievement, attendance and discipline
The finalist announcement comes on the heels of Delaware declaring Appoquinimink School District’s Bunker Hill Elementary School and Capital School District’s Kent County Secondary Intensive Learning Center as this year’s winners of the Sapphire Award for Excellence in School Counseling.
Mote Elementary Principal Lauren Young said the school and district are lucky to have Kristin, especially in a time when so much attention has been paid to social emotional learning and behavioral health.
“To have somebody that really does truly understand the needs of students, the needs of children and to be able to work with administration in providing those supports for all of our students has been dynamic,” Young said.
The school doesn’t have to put out as many proverbial fires, she said, because it operated proactively, including celebrating and reinforcing positive behaviors.
The winner will be announced in mid-November at a celebration in Washington, D.C.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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