Schools honored for counseling

LAWRENCEVILLE - Two Gwinnett County elementary schools have been honored for their commitment to comprehensive school counseling programs.

During its annual conference, the American School Counselor Association gave the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) Designation to 62 schools, including Berkeley Lake Elementary and Peachtree Elementary, according to Gwinnett County Public Schools.

The RAMP Designation recognizes schools committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program, a news release states. A panel of school counseling professionals selected the schools for the honor. The designation is valid for three years.

ASCA's model, which launched five years ago, has helped school counselors use data to identify the needs of students and to more effectively intervene in key areas, the news release states.

"The model clearly identifies not just the work that counselors do, but how students are different because of the work that counselors do," said Dianne Thompson, the school district's director of advisement and counseling. "It shows that counselors have an impact upon student achievement."

Thompson said she is thrilled the two schools won the award.

"Gwinnett counselors have long been known as leaders within the state and nation, and this is just another example of the exemplary work our counselors do on a daily basis," she said.

In related news, three county educators are up for state recognition this summer after recently earning regional honors from the Georgia School Counselors Association.

Karen Griffith of Berkeley Lake Elementary was named the 2007-08 Georgia Region 2 Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Helen Clark of Dacula High was named the 2007-08 Georgia Region 2 Secondary Counselor of the Year, and Grayson High principal Keith Chaney was named the 2007-08 Georgia Region 2 Counseling Advocate of the Year.

Before being named the top winners in Region 2, these three professionals were among four recognized by the county school district as local winners, a news release stated.