Norma Wright, a counselor at Billy Earl Dade Middle School, is Dallas ISD’s 2015-2016 Counselor of the Year. She, along with fellow counselors from schools across the district, were honored at a special reception on Tuesday, May 3.
Wright emerged from 42 total nominees as Middle School Counselor of the Year. The other three finalists are:
- Carla Patrick, Elementary Counselor of the Year, J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard
- Nellesia Tolliver, High School Counselor of the Year, Justin F. Kimball High School
- Robyn Fall, Counselor’s Choice Winner, W.H. Adamson High School
In nominating Wright, Dade Principal Tracie Washington wrote that the counselor enters Dade with a servant’s heart to create an environment of accountability, advocacy and leadership. “Charged with the responsibility of strategically designing a guidance program that influences our school culture, she creates an environment that others dream of, where the principal/counselor role is aligned, serving passionately in her calling.”
Wright agreed that her being a counselor is a calling. “It is the work in serving the needs of any educational community that has driven me to be equipped with the skills necessary to meet the needs of that community,” Wright wrote in her nomination form. “We dice the children on academics, and performance, but the focus has to be on the whole child. It’s my unwavering commitment to building relationships that keep the core of the school on one heartbeat.”
Also honored were 30 campuses as Schools of Character and 26 campuses as winners of the state CREST Award (CREST stands for Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas).
Dade Middle School staff have been recognized in other ways this year as well. Principal Tracie Washington was named Secondary Principal of the Year and Ellyn Favors was recently named Secondary Volunteer Coordinator of the Year. Dade is part of the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) initiative, about to wrap up its first year.
Washington gave words of encouragement during the event, before one of her counselors was awarded the top prize.
“I get excited in the work that you do. You are transforming schools every day,” Washington said. “You are the keepers of the vision.”
Other guest speakers included Tamara Singleton, last year’s Counselor of the Year, who is now assistant principal at W.A. Blair Elementary; and Lynette Howard, principal at J.P. Starks.