I was nominated for the New York State School Counselor of the Year. I was ecstatic when I heard this news. I was beyond speechless when I was actually chosen and presented with this award on October 31st at our State conference.
After being handed the award, Gloria Jean, president of NYSSCA, asked me to say a few words. I didn’t think I was going to be able to speak, as I was just fighting to keep the tears from streaming down my face. I did manage to say a few words and I thought I would repeat them here.
I am honored to have been chosen. I have been a counselor for more than 22 years, and am starting my 3rd year as a middle school counselor having spent the prior 15 as a high school counselor. It was if I had to relearn everything. The two positions are different. I started this blog as a way to keep a diary of what I did and the Facebook groups to help provide some insight as to what I was supposed to be doing.
Everyday I see and hear so many counselors doing such amazing things. I am impressed and inspired by their programs and events and their work with kids. The compassion and dedication to students and their work is incomparable, in my opinion, to any other profession.
One of my favorite stories that I share with my students is the Starfish Story. Where a young boy finds so many starfish washed upon the beach. Eagerly he starts to throw they back, as he knows they will die if not in the water. Soon he approached by an elderly man, who tells this little guy he is wasting his time. Disappointed and deflated the young boy gives up, but not for long. He begins to throw the starfish back into the sea, and once again the old man approaches the boys and says, “I thought I told you that you are wasting your time. You can’t save all these starfish. There are too many.” The young boy replies, “But, I made a difference to that one.”
As school counselors we are the difference. We need not to reach hundreds or thousands, but we need to reach “that one.” So many of you already have reached one. You have reached me. I am fortunate to work with you each day. From you I learn and I am inspired to do my best. I love the work I do with students. I am inspired to reach them and make a difference in their lives. I hope you all will remember this story and let it guide you to continue to make “a difference to that one.”
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