Amanda Bustamante, a school counselor at Paso Del Norte School in the Socorro Independent School District, is a finalist in the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) 2020 School Counselor of the Year awards program.
Bustamante previously was named the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) 2019 Texas School Counselor of the Year, which put her in the running for the national recognition as the representative for the state of Texas.
“I am extremely honored and humbled by this opportunity! I hope to be an impactful advocate for ALL kids, as well as the profession of school counseling,” Bustamante said. “The role of school counselors is pertinent to the social and emotional well-being of all stakeholders in the educational setting. I am excited to be able to learn from school counseling leaders across the nation so that I can be the best school counselor for my students.”
The ASCA national award honors exemplary 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.
“We are so proud of Amanda. She is a phenomenal leader with an enormous heart for students,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of school counseling. “Amanda is committed to following the ASCA national model and providing a data driven program for all students. She is a true advocate for students and community as well.”
Bustamante is one of four finalists from across the nation. The other three finalists are from Missouri, Georgia and Ohio.
“These School Counselor of the Year finalists have demonstrated their commitment to the values and mission of the school counseling profession,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director, in the association’s press release. “The research is clear: school counselors have a significant impact on students’ academic achievement, social/emotional development and postsecondary planning. The annual School Counselor of the Year award highlights their dedication, contribution and excellence.”
The School Counselor of the Year judges panel selected the finalists based on several criteria, including school counseling innovations, exemplary comprehensive school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills, and contributions to student outcomes.
“I have the best calling in the world and I am blessed to be able to do what I do every day,” Bustamante said. “A synergistic approach to educating the whole child is a powerful thing, and I look forward to collaborating with my campus team, our district leaders, and the amazing counselors that I will be building relationships with to make this world a better place one child at a time.”
ASCA will announce the 2020 School Counselor of the Year in late fall. Bustamante will be honored at the National School Counselor of the Year Gala in January in Washington, DC.
Bustamante previously was a counselor at Hurshel Antwine Elementary School and a math and science teacher at Lujan-Chavez Elementary School and Sun Ridge Middle School.