School counselor at Alamosa High School Cory Notestine recently earned the title of American School Counselor Association 2015 School Counselor of the Year.
Notestine has helped his high school students in Alamosa, Colo., expand their horizons by implementing programs that place them in community college and university courses, and thus improves the school's college acceptance rate overall.
“Currently we have 499 students at Alamosa High School. The student body reflects the cultural heritage of this area and is comprised of 64 percent Hispanic and approximately 30 percent Caucasian students, as well as students of other racial make ups,” said Notestine in an interview with Learning First Alliance.
“I think what I’ve learned most from working in both [urban and rural] environments is that you need to determine the true needs of the student body, which often shifts over time. Both environments require a school counselor that is able to provide preventative programming that will be developmentally appropriate and serve the needs of the students. I’ve also come to understand that these two cultures are different, and I’ve grown personally and professionally as I’ve worked on behalf of the students and their families.”
Around 82 percent of the class of 2014 earned early college credits through the counseling-department-driven concurrent enrollment programs.
The School Counselor of the Year candidates are reviewed and selected for acknowledgment based on their creativity in counseling innovations, leadership, effectiveness, and overall improvement of the student body. All counselors get their nominations from their state school counseling association.
“As I read his application and listened to his interview responses, I recognized in Cory a deep understanding and passion for school counseling and his ability to articulate the value of school counselors for all grade levels,” said Jeff Sherrill, member of the School Counselor of the Year Selection Committee and associate director at the National Association of Student Councils at the National Association of Secondary School Principals in an ASCA press release.
Notestine and the finalists and semifinalists will celebrate the honor by going to Washington, D.C. for a series of festivities, including meeting members of congress, and First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony the following day. First Lady Obama and actress Connie Britton, a high school counselor on the television show ”Friday Night Lights,” will be delivering honors during the ceremony, which will be streamed live whitehouse.gov/live at 1:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 30.
Article by Jason Papallo, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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