2018-19 Counselors, Social Worker of the Year
2018-19 Counselors, Social Worker of the Year
Posted on 11/06/2018
Pictured, from left to right, are BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin, Alyson Curley-Dempsey, David Craig, Jennifer Anthony, Jayme Benfield, and David Thompson.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Congratulations to the BCS School Counselors and Social Worker of the Year! These four extremely skilled and dedicated professionals have been recognized by their peers for their leadership, outstanding programming, and variety of supports they provide to students, family, and teachers.

They were honored with certificates and accolades at the Nov. 1, 2018 Buncombe County Board of Education Meeting.

“It’s what they do every day with our students, teachers, and parents that makes the difference in our schools,” said David Thompson, Director of BCS Student Services.

Jayme Benfield, of Weaverville Elementary School, has been named the 2018-19 BCS Elementary School Counselor of the Year.

In 2017, the American School Counselor Association recognized Weaverville Elementary School Counselor Jayme Benfield for her comprehensive counseling program, which includes guiding students in behavior, attendance, nutrition and health, as well as offering services for teachers, parents and administrators.

After a student talks to Benfield, “you immediately notice a positive difference in the child,” said a fourth-grade teacher. “Worry, fear, anger, or sadness seems to have lifted and you see a new child equipped with strategies to help them.”

With programs like “Walk and Talk” and “Kicking It Club,” Benfield teaches both students and faculty how to help themselves, and she embodies BCS’ Compassionate Schools Model – which keeps students engaged and learning by creating and supporting a healthy climate and culture within the school.

Pictured, from left to right, are BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin, Alyson Curley-Dempsey, David Craig, Jennifer Anthony, Jayme Benfield, and David Thompson.Jennifer Anthony, of Valley Springs Middle School, has been named the 2018-19 BCS Middle School Counselor of the Year.

Teachers call School Counselor Jennifer Anthony the “backbone” of the Valley Springs Middle School Counseling Department.

“She always has a calm, unflappable presence during stressful situations,” said a fellow Counseling Department staff member. “She is also a creative and determined problem-solver. In addition to serving our students and faculty, I can always count on her professionalism and wisdom when I need to talk over a situation with someone I trust. She is an amazing counselor and well-deserving of this award.”

Anthony’s program is comprehensive, Valley Springs teachers said. She makes personal visits to transitioning sixth-graders and answers their questions. She supports athletic events, oversees the PEP Peer Tutor program, and helps organize the school’s Career Day. She relates well to all students and collaborates with colleagues to create a positive learning environment.

David Craig, of Community High School, has been named the 2018-19 BCS High School Counselor of the Year

Teachers at Community High School (CHS) call School Counselor David Craig a “Swiss Army knife.”

“He serves in so many different ways, I have never seen a counselor be so multifaceted in a school setting,” said a CHS math teacher. “David not only seeks to support the students emotional, social, and academic well-being, he also supports teachers in the same way.”

Craig champions the Community Resiliency Model, which is associated with the Compassionate Schools Model and focuses on resetting the natural balance of the nervous system and mitigating the negative impacts of trauma-related stress.

Alyson Curley-Dempsey, of Johnston Elementary School, has been named the 2018-19 School Social Worker of the Year.

Alyson Curley-Dempsey is able to relate to both parents and students “in a way that encourages trust,” said a fourth-grade teacher at Johnston Elementary School. “She's a constant in many students' lives and was able to help out more than one of my students this year in profound ways. … Aly is there and aims to help in any way possible.”

A kindergarten teacher at Johnston said Curley-Dempsey demonstrates “compassion and understanding” in everything she does.

“She is an amazing problem solver, and an overall amazing person,” the teacher said. “We could not do it our jobs as teachers without her.”
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