National School Counseling Week honors those who care for us all year

Elliot Wang, Staff Writer

National School Counseling Week is a week-long period during which administration attempts to focus on allowing students to show appreciation for their counselors. This year the celebration ran from Feb. 4-8.

According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), an organization dedicated to supporting counselors and their various objectives, “National School Counseling Week 2019 … will be celebrated … to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.”

This school has prepared its own plans to celebrate this event. Counselor Robert Kurtz said that the administration paid for the counselors’ lunches on Feb. 7, and consulted certain teachers to ask their students to write about what their counselors have done well. These letters were read during special announcements given throughout the school each day for the entire week. “I’ve felt very appreciated this week,” Kurtz said.

Despite the fact that Kurtz said that he was grateful for the benefits he received throughout this event, he also said that he did not think that it was something that was completely necessary. Kurtz said that he viewed it as something that reminded him of the reason that he became a counselor, to make an impact on students’ lives. “I don’t think people get into any profession for the positive notes or encouragement from families or great letters you get, but I do think it is a nice thing to have. It keeps you motivated and always reminds you of why you get into this profession, because you care about kids,” Kurtz said.

Several students have also stated their appreciation and gratitude for their counselors. Senior Mohammed Ahmed expressed a high opinion of his counselor, stating that he believed his counselor shared his interests and did her best to fulfill them. “My counselor wants the best for me. She tries to make sure that my schedule is manageable and uses her experience to help me choose what’s right for me,” Ahmed said.

Senior Matthew Wood had a similar opinion, saying that his counselor had helped him sufficiently. “I’m really glad I have my counselor. He’s done a lot for me,” Wood said.

MCPS has stated on its website some of the qualities that they value in school counselors. MCPS said that exceptional counselors “must show outstanding leadership; understand the individual needs of students, encourage their talents and cultivate their self-esteem; foster collaborative relationships with colleagues, students, their families and the community; use technology to enhance student learning; and use data to help drive decision-making.”