OCDE honors nine school counselors for contributions to student success

Counselors honored through OCDE's Counselor Recognition Program
Nine school counselors were praised for their contributions to student success at Wednesday’s Orange County Board of Education meeting. The inaugural awardees through OCDE’s Counselor Recognition Program are (from left) Janice Duzey, Julie McGinis, Luz M. Arellano, Nichole Rosa, Roshni Patel, Kim Goodwin, Alexis Goddard, Mireya Vazquez and Patricia Calkins.

Nine local school counselors have been honored through a new awards program established by the Orange County Department of Education in partnership with the College Board and OC Pathways.

OCDE’s Counselor Recognition Program was launched this year to highlight the county’s top counselors and their contributions to student success. Awards were handed out in three separate categories, each with their own unique criteria — K-8 Counselor, OC Pathways Counselor and College Board Counselor.

This year’s winners were announced Feb. 5 during National School Counseling Week and introduced at Wednesday’s Orange County Board of Education meeting. They are:


  • Mireya Vazquez, Lead School Counselor at Century High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Nichole Rosa, Professional School Counselor at Laguna Beach High School in the Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Luz M. Arellano, Professional School Counselor at Beckman High School in the Tustin Unified School District


  • Alexis Goddard, Professional School Counselor at Las Flores Middle School in the Capistrano Unified School District
  • Patricia Calkins, Professional School Counselor at Ambuehl and Bergeson elementary schools in Capistrano Unified
  • Roshni Patel, Professional School Counselor at Santiago Charter Middle School in the Orange Unified School District


  • Janice Duzey, Professional School Counselor at Costa Mesa High School in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District
  • Julie McGinis, Professional School Counselor at Foothill High School in Tustin Unified
  • Kim Goodwin, District Lead Counselor in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District

“Counselors play a critical role in the success of our students, assisting with everything from academic scheduling and college applications to mental health,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. “Through the Counselor Recognition Program, we aim to spotlight those who are working tirelessly to advance college and career readiness while promoting equity and opportunity for all. By doing so, they are elevating their schools, their profession and our entire county.”

About these awards

Known for the SAT and Advanced Placement program, the College Board is a national not-for-profit that connects students to college success. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy, and it provides resources and professional development for school counselors. The College Board Counselor Award was established to recognize counseling professionals who demonstrate leadership and advocacy while promoting programs and services that increase equity. Eligible candidates build collaborative partnerships, encourage family involvement, leverage relevant data and pursue consistent professional development to ensure college and career readiness for all students, with an emphasis on underrepresented populations.

The K-8 Counselor Award honors those who are committed to developing and maintaining comprehensive school counseling programs based on the three American School Counselor Association domains: academic, personal/social and career/college supports. Recipients must demonstrate leadership and advocacy on behalf of their profession, as well as support for the multi-tiered system of support framework that is being scaled up statewide to address students’ academic, social and behavioral needs.

Led by the Orange County Department of Education in collaboration with a consortium of 10 community colleges, the OC Pathways initiative connects educators and industry leaders to prepare students for high-demand, high-skill and high-wage careers. The OC Pathways Counselor Award was created to recognize counselors who effectively utilize resources and assessments to encourage student awareness of their own interests, aptitudes and goals. Eligible candidates assume a leadership role in OC Pathways and advance college and career readiness, career technical education and career pathways opportunities in their schools and districts. They also work to align the efforts of K-12 districts, higher education, businesses and industry leaders while engaging in ongoing professional development.

In addition to being recognized at the OC Board of Education meeting, the nine recipients will be celebrated in front of their colleagues at the upcoming Orange County Counselor Symposium in fall 2018. The trio of College Board Counselor Award winners will also attend the 2018 American School Counselor Association Conference, with expenses paid by the College Board.