Kapunahala Elementary School Counselor Ramona Kahawaii was awarded the 2017 Counselor of the Year and last week went on to represent Hawaii at the America School Counselor Association's (ASCA) annual recognition ceremony in Washington D.C.
"We would like to congratulate Ramona on being selected by the Hawaii School Counselor Association for this honor," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Through her efforts at Kapunahala Elementary and in the community, she has helped to advance school counseling and maximize the educational, academic, career and social development of her students."
The School Counselor of the Year program recognizes individuals who have helped students and advocated on their behalf in school and in life. State finalists receive a trip to Washington D.C. where they participate in a congressional briefing, meet with their members of Congress and attend a School Counselor of the Year Gala.
"I always knew I wanted to work with children," said Kahawaii. "When I finally make that connection with the students and I know I'm making a difference it makes my job so worthwhile. It also helps that I have amazing colleagues at Kapunahala, which is why I've been at this school for 15 years."
Kahawaii has been a counselor at Kapunahala Elementary since 2005, prior to that she was a counselor at King Intermediate and Kapolei High schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Family Resources degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters of Science in Psychology and Counseling from Chaminade University of Honolulu.
The Hawaii School Counselor Association (HSCA) also recognized Kristin Silva as the Secondary School Counselor of the Year. She is a National Board Certified Counselor and has been at Washington Middle School for 16 years.
"HSCA would like to thank Ramona and Kristin for their leadership, service to their schools and communities, and for their innovation and contribution to the school counseling profession," said Brad Kusunoki, president, HSCA.
For more information about the ASCA, click here.