Tamara Singleton’s favorite thing about being a counselor at W.W. Samuell High School is helping students realize their full potential to achieve their academic and personal goals. Because of her efforts, she was named 2015 Dallas ISD Counselor of the Year at a special reception earlier this month.
“It is wonderful to observe students transition from good to great, overcome obstacles, and graduate from high school college- and career-ready,” Singleton said. “I hope the many conversations that I have with students are encouraging, sincere, and broaden opportunities for them to excel in life beyond their expectations.”
Counselors are nominated for the award by their principals. Then, Counseling Services selects a panel of judges from Student Services to review the nominations and score the top nominees, narrowing the field to five finalists. The executive director of Student Services makes the final determination for Counselor of the Year.
Samuell principal John Vega said in nominating Singleton, the Division 2 finalist, that she has “a keen sense of advocacy for the students at this campus, and has a strong knowledge core as it relates to her position as counselor/advisor. Her decisions are student-based.”
Some of Singleton’s many accomplishments include providing her principal with pictures and updates of seniors in action and coordinating the Seniors that Rock program that showcases seniors receiving military, college, and scholarship acceptance. She has worked on an eight-year partnership with Deloitte through the Fairway to Success Program, which has provided more than $1 million in scholarship offers to deserving seniors. The campus was selected to participate in the Man Up Conference for African American and Hispanic male students. Singleton, along with her team, has won the CREST award two years in a row.
This year’s other four finalists are Kyria Parker-Hart, Julian T. Saldivar Elementary School, Division 1; Kimberly Mitchell, Celestino Mauricio Soto Jr. Elementary School, Division 3; Krystal Thornton, H.I. Holland Elementary School at Lisbon, Division 4; and Jennifer Jones-Jackson, W.H. Gaston Middle School, Division 5.
During the reception, winners of the Outstanding Schools of Character and the Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas (CREST) awards were also recognized.