Henson counselor named national award semifinalist

Henson counselor named national award semifinalist

Sonya Ford, a school counselor at Matthew Henson Middle School, was recently named a semifinalist for the 2015 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) School Counselor of the Year award. Ford is one of 16 semifinalists chosen from school counselors nationwide. The awards program honors counselors who serve as student advocates, are innovative, contribute to student achievement and coordinate effective counseling programs.

In addition to the 16 semifinalists, the ASCA chose five finalists for the award. Earlier this year, Ford was selected to represent Maryland school counselors as the 2014 Maryland Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Maryland School Counselor Association. As a semifinalist for the national award, Ford will be recognized at the ASCA School Counselor of the Year gala in January.

Ford has been a counselor with Charles County Public Schools since 2008, and has worked with students at both the middle- and high-school levels. She started her career with the school system at North Point High School, and moved to Henson in 2012. As a counselor, Ford works with students on personal, academic and social goals, and career development. She develops and implements programs that build and support positive relationships, and a positive school climate. Ford also supports parental and community involvement by sending parent newsletters, managing both a girls mentoring and peer mediation program, and coordinating schoolwide events such as Career and College days.

Ford said she is honored to be named a semifinalist on the national level. “I am humbled and honored to be selected as one of the 16 semifinalists for the 2015 ASCA School Counselor of the Year. I do not take this honor lightly; I am representing all of the awesome school counselors in Charles County Public Schools and the great work we all do each day on behalf of the students we serve. My counseling team helps to make my job not a job, but a joy,” she said.

Ford’s selection as a national semifinalist is not the first recognition she has received for her work in school counseling. In addition to holding the 2014 Maryland Middle School Counselor of the Year title, Ford was nominated for the national award in 2011. She was also the Maryland Elementary School Counselor of the Year in 2004. Prior to joining Charles County Public Schools, Ford held school counseling positions in both Howard and Prince George’s counties.

Ford received a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in psychology and a master’s degree in school counseling from The Johns Hopkins University. She also holds advanced certificates in teaching and counseling from Hopkins, and received her doctorate degree in counseling psychology in 2009 from Argosy University.

Visit www.schoolcounselor.org for more information on the ASCA.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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