By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Alexandra Huguelet, Ed.S., school counselor at Mary Lin Elementary School, has been named 2016 Georgia School Counselor of the Year (GSCY) by the Georgia School Counselor Association.
Known for her positive attitude, love of children, and commitment to improving school climate and culture, Huguelet was nominated for the award by former colleagues. Her selection was based on essays, a video submission, and data from her previous elementary school showing a 47 percent decrease in student discipline referrals. Through her work as a school counselor, Huguelet serves as an advocate who strives to remove academic, social, and emotional barriers to student success.
The GSCY award honors professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates – and often lifesavers – for the nation’s students. Huguelet will be honored during a special ceremony on Nov. 2 in Macon, Georgia.
“I’m still in shock,” said Huguelet, who joined the Mary Lin school community in August after spending four years at Powder Springs Elementary School in Cobb County. “It is such an honor to be recognized by your peers, and this award shows how effective school counselors can be.”
In her role as school counselor, Huguelet pulls from a variety of curricula and national standards to engage students. She uses methods such as visual arts, drama/role play, yoga, and deep breathing techniques to help students communicate and cope with anxiety, anger, or other challenges they may face.
Huguelet also works with students in large and small groups. She focuses on a wide range of issues from basic school success skills like responsibility, leadership, self-control, bullying prevention, and goal setting, to changing family dynamics and coping and social skills.
“I am really excited to be a part of the APS community,” she said. “School counselors have national standards developed by the American School Counselor Association, which allows me to create a comprehensive school counseling program to meet my students’ needs. This is a new model that APS is embracing for school counselors, and it aligns perfectly with social-emotional learning.”
Huguelet said she’s fortunate to receive the support of parents, teachers and students, and to work in an environment that allows her to address the whole child, based on each student’s particular needs.
“As a school counselor, the most rewarding part is the hugs, smiles and love notes from students,” said Huguelet, who is currently working on her doctorate degree in counseling and student personnel services at the University of Georgia. “Kids are so loving and appreciative, and the feeling you get helping them is indescribable. That’s why it’s so important for me to provide students with a safe place to be heard at school.”
Principal Sharyn Briscoe is proud to welcome Huguelet as Mary Lin’s new school counselor.
“She brings warmth, patience, and a quiet voice to the students,” Briscoe said. “Although she has only been here for a few months, all of the students already know her and trust that she will listen to their concerns. She continues to promote No Place For Hate, has implemented a peer leadership program, and a new counselor advisory board. We won the counselor lottery!”