Three Hudson school counselors recognized
Hudson School District was honored three times over by the Wisconsin School Counselor Association last month. Counselors Sarah Flier of Willow River Elementary, Aria Krieser of Hudson Prairie Elementary and Kelly Curtis of EP Rock Elementary received the Program of Promise Award for their counseling programs.
The three were part of 10 programs recognized from around the state.
"What's really cool is the three of us did it," Kelly Curtis said. "It was neat to be recognized like that."
The awards were based off an accountability report that showcased the work the counselors have done in their schools. It included reports on an individual data-driven project, climate and safety and student results in academic, career and social.
"It educates about what we can do as school counselors to help their kids," Curtis said. "It's a great way to acknowledge school counseling programs that really work."
Flier said counseling is something that works in the background, and its success is less obvious than the success of other school subjects like math and science. This report shows the effect that the counselors have.
"It gives people a better idea of what we do," Flier said. "We teach skills so that these kids can learn."
Curtis said the data helps show counselors, as well as principals and families, the impact counseling can have in hard numbers, rather than just a general idea.
"What we do as counselors, it seems intangible," Curtis said. "You don't recognize how powerful the programming really is."
The report also allows the counselors to see gaps in the data. Each of the counselors found specific areas to work on in their own schools, including gender and socio-economic gaps.
"There's a lot from it that you get," Krieser said. "It was a long process but it was an eye-opening process."
And the report and recognition are not the end. They can use the information on gaps to plan how to close them.
"Where do we go from here," Aria said.
Curtis has done the report in the past, and found it effective. Her first time gave her a series of "aha" moments, leading her to make it part of her process.
"I knew in my mind that counseling really works," Curtis said. "For me it was really powerful to see it in black and white."
Krier and Flier did the report for the first time this year.
"This was the first year I felt like I could do this, I want to do this," Krieser said.
It started off as a challenge for Flier, but was an exciting process for her.
"It's really given me a good focus," she said. "How we can best have our program be effective."
Beyond the award, Krieser said she appreciated the camaraderie of the event.
"It's more about the support and the love and knowing that what we do matters," she said.
The counselors said they appreciated the team effort between the three Hudson counselors on this project, and the camaraderie between all the counselors in the schools.
"We have a really strong elementary team," Curtis said. "We work together really well."
Curtis said the staff and administration also are a huge support.
"Everyone is working toward the same thing here," she said.
The three award winners plan to work with the other school counselors on the project next year.