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Max Hansen was surprised to hear the news that he has been named Wisconsin State Elementary Counselor of the Year at an all school assembly last week.

Max Hansen named state elementary school counselor of the year

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Max Hansen named state elementary school counselor of the year
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Hudson Prairie Elementary school counselor Max Hansen has been named as the Wisconsin School Counselor Association's Althea Brach Elementary Counselor of the Year.

The announcement was made at a student and staff assembly at the school Friday. Hansen was not aware of the award prior to the announcement. On hand were Hansen's family, Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, school board member Pat German, Student Services Director Cory McIntyre and deputy superintendent and Director of Personnel Nancy Sweet.

Hansen has worked in the Hudson School District for 36 years as a teacher and school counselor. In their nomination letter, colleagues Angela Goebel and Dave Gorman wrote, "Many students and adults in the school and the community benefit from Max's strengths and skills. His commitment to the students, parents, and colleagues has been tireless and extraordinary. Max is an individual of exceptional knowledge, wisdom and skill who is befitting extraordinary recognition."

They also wrote that Hansen can be seen before school starts, greeting students as they get off their buses, in classes teaching developmental guidance lessons, talking with parents, and working with students individually and in groups.

"He is able to provide the individualized support necessary whatever the situation and help reduce anxiety, elicit laughter, or simply listen. Hansen annually co-facilitates a five week Love and Logic class for parents in the district. He creates a very welcoming and safe atmosphere that allows parents to share openly in discussions."

Mark Gillen, program director of the School Counseling Program at UW-River Falls, said, "I was reminded of the multitude of programs Max is associated with when I attended a breakfast for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Not only was Max there but he went out of his way to visit with many of the "little brothers and sisters" who had gone through his elementary school. His impact as a school counselor and child advocate goes well beyond the walls of his elementary school." Gillen was also on hand for Hansen's surprise award.

Throughout his career, Hansen has demonstrated leadership on student support teams which are essential to the district's Response to Intervention (RtI) student learning support process used throughout the district to assist students to meet higher academic achievement expectations. He has been an active participant in the student special education referral process and is highly knowledgeable regarding special education procedures. Hansen also plays an integral role in all aspects of the districts Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Hansen has served on the Counselors Association Board of Directors and provided leadership in the profession statewide.

Hansen will officially receive the award at the Wisconsin School Counselors Association annual conference in Madison later this month.

Meg Heaton
Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
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