Cristina Nuñez, counselor at Paso del Norte School, was selected as one of the six finalists for the 2018 National School Counselor of the Year Award by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
The award honors school counseling professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.
“Going through this process has been emotionally overwhelming in such a great way,” she said. “To get to this point in the process is evidence of teamwork, dedication and devotion to our students who deserve to have a great support system that leads to academic achievement. Our work and efforts are invaluable and I remain blessed and honored to be a part of the everyday challenges that our students face.”
Nuñez, who has 15 years of experience in education, said she is grateful to serve as a school counselor and partner with students, teachers and families by providing them guidance and support.
To date, Texas and SISD, have had one national school counselor of the year and one national top five finalist.
“Mrs. Cristina Nuñez is a superstar, and I am very proud to be a part of her team,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “She represents all of our wonderful counselors in SISD as well as our region, state, and now nation. She is already the National Counselor of the Year in my eyes!”
Nominations for the School Counselor of the Year award were selected by the state school counselor associations. The panel selected finalists based on school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills, contributions to student advancement and other criteria. Nuñez was named the 2017 Texas School Counselor of the Year by the Lone Star State School Counselor Association in May.
“School counselors are significant contributors to the overall well‐being of students and their success,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director in a press release. “They are uniquely qualified to address students’ academic achievement, career development and social/emotional needs. Through the School Counselor of the Year award, we are able to acknowledge their diligence, commitment and excellence.”
Nuñez and her principal, Nathan Ballard, will travel to Washington, D.C. in January where they will participate in a congressional briefing, meet members of congress, and be recognized at the School Counselor of the Year Gala.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) professional organization based in Alexandria, Va. ASCA promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change.