School Counselors to receive information regarding rising demands, declining fundsby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Feb. 14, 2013, under Press Releases
- Friday, Feb. 15, 7:30 – 9 a.m.
- DoubleTree by Hilton – Reid Park, 445 South Alvernon Way
As February marks National School Counseling Month, approximately 325 school counselors attending the 33rd annual Southern Arizona School Counselors Symposium will receive new information on how to prevent escalating violence, reinforce new graduation requirements, and more.
While counselors continue to do everything possible to help students pursue careers, their own may be jeopardy.
Alan L. Storm, Ph.D., the Pima County Joint Technical Education District (JTED) Superintendent/CEO, will deliver the keynote address.
“School counselors are always the first to go when it comes to budget cuts,” Storm said. “But, they are the ground troops within the educational system. They are the heart of the school.”
The Washington D.C.-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities ranks Arizona first in the nation in the depth of education budget cuts since 2008. Moreover, the expiration in May of a temporary sales tax for education, along with the defeat on of Proposition 204, which sought to extend the 1-cent-per-dollar tax, has Arizona schools bracing for budget cuts and many school counselors bracing for possible unemployment.
William Hubbard was “riffed” (reduction in force) from Santa Rita High School in the wake of budget cuts after 20 years on the job as a teacher and counselor.
“We work really, really hard and it seems like we’re always the first to go along with librarians and administrative jobs,” Hubbard said. “I believe that there is a direct correlation between the cutbacks in guidance counselors and the rise of problems in schools.”
Professional school counselors are certified/licensed educators with a minimum of a master’s degree in school counseling and assist with a student’s overall well-being in academic, career and personal/social development. They work with a student’s mental health, academic achievement, attendance, post-secondary planning, contact college recruiters, conduct home visits, meet with parents, instruct, offer crisis counseling and conflict-resolution.
Their workload isn’t light either. The Arizona School Counselor Association (AzSCA) says Arizona has the second highest student – counselor ratio nationwide at 750-to-1. California tops the list at 1,000-to-1. The American School Counseling Association recommends 250-to-1.
Mindy Willard, the recent recipient of the School Counselor of the Year Award, will also be recognized. Willard is a school counselor from Sunset Ridge Elementary School in Glendale, AZ.
For more information, contact Greg D’Anna, email@example.com