2012 Awards Winners

Awards Winners

L–>R  Linda Fortin, Maureen Rundle, Jennifer Duffy, Andree Sapp, Joyce Connell, Bob Astrowsky, Rosemarie Thompson (accepting for Regine Dejean), President Ron Smith

Career Achievement: Linda Fortin and Maureen Rundle

Maureen Rundle received her MSED and CAS at SUNY Brockport and has been a school counselor for 26 years. Having experience as both an elementary and middle school counselor, she has been working as a middle school counselor at Hilton Central School District since 1990. Linda Fortin earned her MSED from University of Rochester in 1983 and her CAS in School Counseling from SUNY Brockport in 1993. She worked as a Juvenile Counselor for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Dept. for 5 years, and began her career as a School Counselor in Hilton in 1989. Linda has worked at the elementary level, but primarily at the middle school level, in Hilton for over 20 years. As a team, Maureen and Linda’s primary focus is advocating for their students and families.

Their middle school counseling department is well known for extensive group work following Yalom’s model with modifications to fit the developmental needs of their students. As an exemplary program it has been copied and implemented in other districts. Maureen and Linda published an article describing this model in, The NYSSCA Journal Fall 2006/Winter 2007 edition. They also co-authored, along with U of R professor Karen Mackie, a chapter in the book, Critical Incidents in Counseling Children, published by the ACA in 2007.

They have supervised many counselor education students over the years and Maureen has taught at SUNY Brockport. Together they have presented numerous workshops at the local and state level, and to graduate classes at both the University of Rochester and SUNY Brockport. Currently serving the third year of their term, they were elected to the Executive Board of NYSSCA as Co-Governors for Region 8 in 2010 and received the Western New York Lifetime Achievement Award at that regional conference the same year.

Maureen and Linda are most deserving recipients of NYSSCA’s Career Achievement Award and we congratulate them!

Outstanding Program: Beekmantown High School Counselors

The Beekmantown high school counselors learned about Recognized ASCA Model Programs (RAMP) via various professional development conferences and because of collaboration with SUNY Plattsburgh. The RAMP designation means that a school counseling program adheres to national standards as set forth by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The RAMP application process is the culmination of the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. They believed that becoming RAMP designated could help their program be more organized and educate others about what counselors do.

This 3 year endeavor began with a needs assessment sent to parents, students, and teachers. Goals were created based on the identified needs. An initial program review provided an outline of their strengths and weakness within the academic, personal/social, and career domains. After completing the initial assessment, they focused on making their program more data-driven, responsive, and standards-based. An advisory council comprised of counselors, teachers, parents, administrators, board members, and community stakeholders brought in valuable feedback. Surveys were administered to analyze and show the difference they were making and indentify areas

for improvement. Because they working through the RAMP application process they knew their program was greatly improved and more focused.

NYSSCA is proud to honor the Beekmantown School Counseling Department with the Outstanding Program Award in recognition of their achievement in becoming the first school in New York State to achieve RAMP status designation by ASCA. High School Counselors Jennifer Duffy & Andree Sapp received the Award.

School Counselor of the Year: Joyce Connell

As the Coordinator of Guidance, at Pleasantville High School, Joyce works tirelessly for the students, parents and school community. When she took over there was little in the way of comprehensive school counseling programming. She has added meaningful workshops, evening presentations, morning coffees and guidance classes. Joyce is never satisfied with the status quo. She is constantly improving the services provided and aligning them with the NYSSCA Comprehensive Model. Joyce has implemented:

* Junior transition class to prepare students for the college search process.

* Freshman orientation program called The Link Crew: engaging older students as mentors to work with freshmen.

* Freshman seminar class aimed at teaching study skills, goal setting and time management, in addition to supporting freshman parents through this transition.

She ensures that information is accessible to all via a quarterly newsletter and up-to-date webpage, as well as morning coffee sessions with parents.  Joyce is a member of several professional organizations including Westchester Directors of Guidance, WPRCA, and NYSSCA.

According to her colleagues, Joyce’s energy is contagious! She is always ready for the next big thing. She supports her colleagues, students and families and has touched the lives of many through her guiding, caring and compassionate nature. NYSSCA is pleased to recognize Joyce Connell with this year’s School Counselor of the Year Award.

President’s Awards

  • Robert Astrowsky has spent more than 40 years in the NY City school system first as a teacher and subsequently as a school guidance counselor. Since July 2006, he has been the assistant to the UFT president and assistant secretary to his union. Bob is also Executive Board liaison for the UFT and its School Counselor chapter.  In serving the union at the local, state and national levels, Bob has always advocated for school counselors to be included and continues to encourage school counselors to be involved.
  • Regine Dejean has been with the NYC Department of Education since 1985. Regine’s work experience in education includes: teacher for special needs students, special educator support at NYC DOE Teacher Center, and NYC high school counselor.  Regine serves on the Executive Board of the Guidance Chapter of the UFT and is Graduate Liaison for the NYSSCA Executive Board.