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2020 School Counselors, Social Worker of the Year
2020 School Counselors, Social Worker of the Year
Posted on 01/29/2020
Pictured are (from left) School Counselors of the Year, Amy Jamerson, Alison Rhodes, and Lois Peterson; 2020 BCS School Social Worker of the Year Shelly Roeder; North Carolina School Social Worker of the Year Molly Pittman, and BCS Student Services Director David Thompson.BCS Communications

Congratulations to the BCS School Counselors and Social Worker of the Year!

North Windy Ridge Intermediate School Counselor Amy Jamerson, A.C. Reynolds Middle School Counselor Alison Rhodes, Enka High School Counselor Lois Peterson, and Clyde A. Erwin High School Social Worker Shelly Roeder embody the dedication and professionalism of our school counselors and social workers.

School counselors use evidence-based methods to help students develop social and emotional skills that help them make the most of their classroom learning and daily life. School social workers build key connections among school staff and families and serve as integral parts of their communities.

BCS Student Services Director David Thompson recognized these four professionals at the Jan. 16 Buncombe County Board of Education Meeting:

Amy Jamerson, North Windy Ridge IntermediateELEMENTARY/INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR - Amy Jamerson, North Windy Ridge Intermediate

Mrs. Jamerson goes above and beyond for the care of her students and the support for her colleagues. She is positive, nurturing, compassionate and a true professional through and through. Amy is the unsung hero of BCS counselors. She combines all of the other traits that make a great school counselor. She is also very hardworking and extremely knowledgeable. She is the "504 queen!"

Among her accomplishments are:

- Operating a Running Club at school one afternoon weekly serving more than 50 students culminating in a 5K race for all students
- Implementing and leading PBIS to Exemplar School
- Implementing MTSS and being a member of the MTSS Leadership Team
- Leading staff through Compassionate Schools Model - culminating in a team professional development with Horse Sense of WNC
- Hosting two different school systems visiting our district to demonstrate PBIS and Compassionate Schools
- Leading our staff with bi-weekly Leadership Groups, grouping students, plus providing lessons for all staff members
- Leading our North Buncombe District in setting up, planning, and delivering three different sessions for parents who have students with attendance problems, serving parents in the whole district from K-8.

This is all in addition to running an exemplary counseling program that includes classroom lessons, group sessions, individual sessions, and parent sessions.

Alison Rhodes, A.C. Reynolds Middle SchoolMIDDLE SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR - Alison Rhodes, A.C. Reynolds Middle School

Alison is an innovator. She is constantly looking for ways to improve her practice and serve the students at A.C. Reynolds Middle School in a meaningful and accessible way. While I worked with her last year, she was working toward her Board Certification, which is no small feat. During that time, she took the lead in using data from the SSRIE surveys to form student group interventions.

She created and maintains the "calm spot." She was key in coordinating the school-wide use of Second Step during Rocket Time, and she was quick to respond and coordinate the presentation of the "See Something, Say Something" curriculum to all students at the school in the wake of the school shooting in Florida last year. This year, she started a SAVE club and worked with students as they led a heartfelt weeklong response to the loss of Riley Howell and student fears around gun violence. She is trained in mindfulness and shares her knowledge throughout the district and the school.

Alison Rhodes is the epitome of the person-centered, compassionate, professional school counselor. She intentionally creates a warm, calm, and inviting counseling suite in which to provide services to students and to support and collaborate with school staff.

"Innovative," "passionate," "authentic," and "courageous" describe her approach to school counseling. She has a heart for service, self-respect and empowerment and inspires students to become leaders in efforts to seek social justice and promote kindness and inclusiveness of all people.

Alison has worked to ensure that the Compassionate School Programs is becoming woven into the fabric and culture of Reynolds Middle. A large part of that involves becoming a nationally licensed mentor of the Mindful Schools mode. She teaches mindfulness to students and supports staff in making mindfulness an integral and sustainable part of the classroom environment.

Lois Peterson, Enka High SchoolHIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR - Lois Peterson, Enka High School

Lois is a Nationally Board Certified School Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She consistently goes above and beyond her required duties to provide mental health services, academic support, and career/college counseling for students. Lois often makes connections with her students in the community- touching base with them at their respective after school or weekend jobs to reinforce the values of education and work ethics. She is an excellent team player with her colleagues and administration. Lois is spearheading the Opioid Prevention/Education initiative at Enka High School and is to be commended for her additional efforts in that endeavor.

Lois will tell you that she's a "work horse, not a show pony" but the truth is she will gladly assume any role that she believes will help her students. She is a tireless worker and actively seeks any opportunity to be of service. Two of her many initiatives since she has joined Enka High School are enhancing and expanding college week (adding many activities designed to build a college-going culture) and leading the efforts to highlight and reduce the opioid epidemic (forming, leading a student committee that reaches out to both students and teachers). She's also a big reason why Enka High School has so many students involved in distance learning! A.B. Tech should add her to the payroll, because she spends many hours recruiting students and facilitating their access to ever-expanding online opportunities. It's a joy to have Lois as a colleague. She's organized, a big producer, and a good friend.

Shelly Roeder, Clyde A. Erwin High SchoolSCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR - Shelly Roeder, Clyde A. Erwin High School

Shelly is a bundle of positive energy and motivation. She is compassionate and hard-working and slow to take any credit. She can turn any pity party quickly into motivational seminar- and you believe you can do anything. She listens, really listens, but then hears what you are really struggling with and makes you think you can do anything- and that's with her co-workers. Just imagine what she does for students! She can ask the hard questions, but in a way that you don't feel like you need to defend yourself; you just truly want to join with her and find a solution.

Shelly serves her school with diligence and humor. She also has many positions in leadership for BCS as a whole. She is an essential leader in developing a new Threat Assessment protocol and on the crisis team. In both circumstances she was willing to do anything asked of her and was fully present looking for solutions.

Buncombe County Schools and Erwin High School are extremely fortunate to have a school and district leader who speaks her mind, advocates for students and other social workers, challenges pre-conceived ideas and fosters collaboration. She is so totally deserving of being recognized as School Counselor of the Year.

Mr. Thompson also recognized BCS Social Worker Molly Pittman who recently was named North Carolina Social Worker of the Year by the N.C. School Social Worker Association.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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