School counselors celebrate National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), was celebrated from Feb. 1-5 to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who “implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century,” according to Dr. Randy Bledsoe, superintendent of Elkin City Schools.

Dr. Richard Brinegar, chairman of the Elkin City Schools Board of Education, cited school counselors for being “actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents and for their work in partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world.”

School counselors focus on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational and career development; work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential as they set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.

Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director, said, “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

Staff, students, parents and community members are asked to contact and “thank a school counselor for the work he/she does every day with all children.” Also if people have specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs, they should feel free to contact the school counselors at their local schools. More general information can also be found on ASCA’s website,

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association, which is the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to more professional school counselors around the globe.

Elkin City Schools recognized and expressed appreciation for Paige Jackson Edwards, school counselor at Elkin Elementary, Julie Gilley, school counselor at Elkin Middle and Elkin High schools, and Mary Ann Osment, school counselor at Elkin High School, and for what each of them do for the students, staff, and community.

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