OCDE honors five counselors and two counseling advocates for National Counseling Week

Not only do school counselors play a vital role in helping students manage their emotions, they also guide students on the path to achieving their academic and career goals.

National School Counseling Week graphic

The Orange County Department of Education has selected five counselors and two counseling advocates from districts throughout the county as this year’s K-12 school counselors and school counseling advocates of the year.

This recognition comes just in time for National School Counseling Week, which is celebrated during the first full week of February. The special week annually acknowledges the unique contributions that these highly-trained counseling professionals have made on student achievement and overall school success. This week’s theme is “School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big” in honor of the supports that school counselors offer like academic planning, goal setting and advocacy for students’ needs.

The Orange County School Counselor Recognition Program, led by OCDE, was created five years ago to highlight Orange County’s top professional counselors and their positive impact on the students and campuses they serve.

Nominated by their colleagues and students, the following honorees were recognized at the 2023 Orange County School Counselor Symposium on Feb. 8.

2023 School Counselor of the Year awardees

Elizabeth Grothe, Western High School in the Anaheim Union High School District

Angela Badillo, Canyon High School in the Orange Unified School District

Monica Mejia, Segerstrom High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District

Aubrey McMorris, Thurston Middle School in the Laguna Beach Unified School District

Bianca Contreras-Garcia, Loma Vista Elementary in the Tustin Unified School District

2023 Counseling Advocate of the Year awardees

Katie Treat, Coordinator of Career Counseling in the Orange Unified School District

Dr. Cammie Nguyen, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services in the La Habra City School District