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Jackson Junior High counselor wins state honor
You could say Brenda Etzold leads by learning.
The eighth- and ninth-grade counselor at Jackson Junior High School, administrators say, has been a big part of some successful programs at the school. Etzold's record of success has earned her the 2010 Missouri Middle/Junior High School Counselor of the Year.
The honor, presented by the Missouri School Counselor Association, is in recognition of Etzold's "commitment to her students, her school and her profession," according to a news release.
"The quality of interaction Mrs. Etzold displays with our parents and students is unmatched," said Jackson Junior High principal Cory Crosnoe.
Jackson School District superintendent Ron Anderson said Etzold took a leadership role in the implementation of an advisory program, visiting successful programs in Missouri and Arkansas and gathering ideas to adapt at her school. The Jackson Junior High Advisory Hour includes time for reading, guided study and tutoring. Etzold was instrumental in designing the advisory curriculum, according to the release.
"Some exciting things have happened in that building the last few years, and she has been a major part of it," Anderson said. "The advisory program is something we are very excited about because it is something students participate in every day. It makes a big difference in their lives."
Etzold credited the school's teachers for the program's success.
"They are going above and beyond working with kids to help them be more successful," she said. "I'm just am so impressed with our teachers and our administrators and the work they do to make things better for our kids."
Etzold, a counselor at the junior high for 10 years, also has designed and implemented a career exploration program using the Missouri Connections website for students to create and update career portfolios and personal plans of study. She has served as a mentor to new counselors, and she has participated in the Missouri Professional Learning Communities Summer Academy, continuing her training through the Southeast Regional Professional Development Council for the past two years.
Anderson said the honor is a great mark of distinction for the Jackson School District.
"When an employee gets that kind of award, it's huge," he said. "We applaud her for her hard work."
Etzold was among several honorees recently recognized at the awards luncheon during the Missouri School Counselor Association's fall conference. She admitted to some nerves in accepting the honor among 1,100 of her peers attending the conference.
"I was just really appreciative and honored that my principal took the time to nominate me," Etzold said.
614 E. Adams St., Jackson, MO