Hawaii School Counselor of the Year honored during ceremony with former First Lady Michelle Obama

09-Feb-2018

Keolu Elementary counselor, Bianca Yanuaria, represented Hawai‘i in Washington, D.C. at the American School Counselor Association’s 2018 Counselor of the Year ceremony. Yanuaria was selected out of more than 600 public and private school counselors across the state.

Earlier this month, Keolu Elementary counselor, Bianca Yanuaria, represented Hawai‘i in Washington, D.C. at the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) 2018 Counselor of the Year ceremony. Her practice and programs to maximize the academic, career, personal and social development of her students made her the standout choice for the Hawai‘i School Counselor Association (HSCA) state counselor of the year. Yanuaria was selected out of more than 600 public and private school counselors across the state.

“It’s an honor to represent the state as the School Counselor of the year. It’s humbling to be recognized for doing what I’m passionate about, which is helping students realize their potential and to make sure they are ready to face any challenge life throws their way,” shared Yanuaria. “Mahalo to these wonderful counselor associations for this opportunity and for supporting school counselors like me.”

The School Counselor of the Year program recognizes individuals who have helped students and advocated on their behalf in school and in life. The ceremony and awards gala, which featured keynote speaker former First Lady Michelle Obama, took place on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 at the Kennedy Center and Union Station in Washington, D.C.

In honor of National School Counseling week, the Hawaii State Department of Education recognizes Yanuaria for her accomplishments.

“Congratulations and mahalo to Bianca and all of our school counselors for their dedication to our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Bianca’s innovative programs are a wonderful example of how our schools are encouraging students to find their voice and promoting teacher collaboration.”

Yanuaria has implemented a variety of fresh and creative initiatives at Keolu Elementary including a recess program aimed at teaching conflict resolution, an attendance program that has helped to reduce chronic absenteeism from 17 percent to 6 percent, wove her guidance lessons and counseling into her school garden, and started an Aloha Committee to help build relationships among the school’s faculty.

“We are honored to endorse Bianca as our Hawai‘i School Counselor of the Year. While she is still at an early stage in her career, she has fully embraced her role and this can be seen through her accomplishments at our school,” added Gay Kong, Principal, Keolu Elementary. “Her continued professional learning has led to ingenious practices with our students.”

Yanuaria has been the School Counselor at Keolu Elementary for four years. She is a Maui High School alum and graduate of the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and California State University, Sacramento with a master’s degree in Counseling.

“School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well‐being of students and their success,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., executive director, American School Counselor Association. “They have unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address students’ academic achievement, career development and social/emotional needs. Through the school counselor of the year award, we are able to acknowledge their diligence, commitment and excellence.”

ASCA is celebrating 2018 National School Counseling Week from Feb. 5-9. The goal of the week is to focus focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. For more information about ASCA, click here, and for information about HSCA, click here.

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: (808) 586-3232

Email: Donalyn_Dela_Cruz@hawaiidoe.org

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