Gwinnett County Public Schools named its top counselors during a special recognition ceremony at GCPS headquarters in Suwanee Feb. 8.
Receiving honors were:
- Elementary School Counselor of the Year: Jennifer Diaz, counselor at White Oak Elementary in Sugar Hill
- Middle School Counselor of the Year: Andrea Hodgin, counselor at Lanier Middle in Sugar Hill
- High School Counselor of the Year: William Blair, counselor at Meadowcreek High in Norcross
- Additionally, school district officials named Dana Pugh as the recipient of the Mary Joe Hannaford Counseling Advocate of the Year Award. Pugh is principal of Bay Creek Middle School in Grayson.
"I'm totally surprised," said Pugh, after the ceremony. "But, I'm really honored that they would recognize me in this fashion because I really have a passion for what the counselors do and how they help our students be successful each and every day, how they support our teachers, and our community as a whole."
At Bay Creek Middle, the key to a successful counseling program is "allowing the counselors to have the flexibility to do their jobs," he added.
Now, the winners of the Counselors of the Year awards will move on to the regional level of competition. In all, there are more than 300 counseling professionals in the Gwinnett County school district.