As part of the recognition, school counselors Barbara Gift and Helen Huffer were honored for their role in planning and implementing the counseling program and successfully completing the extensive submission process that led to the recognition.
The association establishes national standards for school counselors that focus on academics, personal and social growth, and career development.
Washington County Public Schools strives to align the counseling program with the academic mission of schools, ensuring that every student has equitable access to counselors and that the school counseling program is comprehensive and delivered systematically to all students. Association recognition has been limited to approximately 400 schools nationwide since 2004.
Steve Burnett, supervisor of school counseling for the school system, said the counselors in county public schools are among the best in Maryland.
“Mrs. Gift and Mrs. Huffer have a substantial influence on student growth and achievement, and this recognition is the highest honor school counselors can receive,” Burnett said.
Gift and Huffer said they implemented “a data driven program that aligns with the school’s needs and benefits students and the community by focusing on their needs.”
“We are very excited about the honor,” they said.
Both counselors have been invited to be recognized by their peers and the association at the ASCA National Conference in Minneapolis on June 25.