Kentucky Guardsmen recognize hard work of local school counselors

Story by Mackenzie Hanes, Kentucky National Guard Education Liaison

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Staff Sgt. Justin Newman got the opportunity to honor the Woodford County High School counselors during school counselor appreciation week Feb. 3-7 and presented them with certificates of appreciation. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Stephen Martin)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard greatly values the educators who work tirelessly to provide top level education to the students of the Commonwealth.  One week per school year, the organization particularly like to focus on the hard working individuals who inhabit the Guidance Office. During School Counselor Appreciation Week, Feb. 3-7, several recruiters across the state of Kentucky presented their counselors with certificates of appreciation.

The certificates were signed by the 2nd bn, 75th Regiment Recruiting and Retention Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Fred W. Bates, V., and Command Sgt. Maj. Scottie Sloan.

Sarah Greenwell of Breckinridge County High School said, “You didn’t have to do this, we are just doing our job,”  after receiving a certificate from Staff Sgt. Mark Vibbert.

“Although they are just doing their job, as they say, I know that their hard work is contributing to better academics and opportunities for their students,” replied Vibbert.

School Counselors focus so much of their time and effort on providing students with the tools they need to grow academically, personally and vocationally. We all know a school counselor who has worked into the late night hours writing letters of recommendation or working well into the middle of summer on the Master Schedule. The majority of the counselors’ time is spent behind the curtains bubbling circles and sharpening pencils preparing non-stop to give their students the opportunity to shine.

“I know they work so hard, and I appreciate all they do for me and I know my Soldiers appreciate everything they do for them,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Newman, Career Counselor for Woodford County, who has helped 15 students from the area become proud Citizen-Soldiers over the past three years. These counselors also do the best they can to work with the Guard recruiters as they have the common goal to help their students find a career they can love with education benefits they can use. Counselors are always there to write the high school letter to help a student enlist, or the grade checks needed to help keep that student on track for graduation.

“We couldn’t do what we do helping the best and brightest, if it wasn’t for the best and brightest School Counselors in the country,” said Newman.

With winter weather plaguing the state during Counselor Appreciation Week, many school counselors spent their special week at home with snow days.

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Woodford County School Counselor Allyson Lusby received a certificate of appreciation during school counselor appreciation week Feb. 3-7. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Stephen Martin)

“We made sure to get those certificates to the counselors as soon as possible. It’s important that they know we see their hard work, and appreciate their efforts,” said Staff Sgt. Ray Vongunten of Daviess County. “I know every time I walk into the school to talk to a counselor about a student, the counselor will do all they can to help that student achieve his or her goal and reach for their dreams.”

In fact, this year’s theme for the American School Counselor Association Conference is ‘Building Magical Futures.’ The counselors of the Commonwealth are essential in helping students build their futures as they become the next generation of the best and the brightest.

 

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