Six School District of Palm Beach County educators, three school counselors and three school administrators, were recognized for their accomplishments implementing and supporting comprehensive school counseling programs at their schools.
Comprehensive school counseling programs empower students to imagine a bright future; take the steps to create academic, social and college-career opportunity; and believe in their ability to be successful.
The Palm Beach School Counselor Association (PBSCA) School Counselor and Administrator of the Year award recipients are:
• Elementary Administrator of the Year — Principal Gayle Harper, Northboro Elementary School.
• Middle School Administrator of the Year — Principal Guarn Sims, Village Academy.
• High School Administrator of the Year — Principal Anthony Hamlet, Palm Beach Lakes High School.
• Elementary School Counselor of the Year — Jeremiah Vencel, Hidden Oaks Elementary School.
• Middle School Counselor of the Year — Courtney Elkin, Eagles Landing Middle School.
• High School Counselor of the Year — Theresa Hartl, Seminole Ridge High School.
The purpose of the School Counselor of the Year award is to recognize a school counselor whose leadership, advocacy, collaboration and support has led to the development and implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs and advancement of the profession.
“I feel very honored to be recognized by the Palm Beach School Counselor Association as a leader in my profession,” Hartl said. “I am lucky to have a job that I truly love and get daily inspiration from the amazing accomplishments of all of my students.”
Harper said she works to make sure students are successful.
“I was surprised, but very elated to receive such special recognition,” Harper said. “We all work to ensure the success of our students because it’s the right thing to do, but it feels great to be recognized for it.”
Elkin said she shares the honor with her fellow counselors.
“For me, I felt very surprised and flattered by my principal’s kind words,” she said. “I only wish that the recognition was by school, as at Eagles Landing, we function as one cohesive counseling unit more than individuals, so I feel that Lance Gondek and Jean Redinger, our other two Eagles Landing counselors, should be acknowledged as well.”
Vencel said he was privileged to receive the award.
“There are so many worthy counselors who work diligently to serve their schools and community, and I feel extremely blessed and privileged to earn this honor,” he said. “What a pleasant surprise.”
In addition to recognizing these educational leaders, PBSCA awarded scholarships to two high school seniors, Charles F. Green of Seminole Ridge High School and Emily Mochel of Cypress Bay High School.