George Washington Middle School Receives Recognition for Counseling

George Washington Middle School has become one of only 600 schools in the United States to be designated a ‘Model Program’ by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

The school’s program was recognized for being comprehensive and showing exemplary commitment to its students. The award is even more special as this is the first national designation for counseling in the history of Alexandria City Public Schools.

The school was selected for the award by a panel of school counseling professionals from across the country. They were each given the task of analyzing 12 areas of the program to assess whether the students were fully surrounded by social-emotional, mental health, academic, and career-focused counseling supports.

George Washington has six school counselors who provide classroom lessons, group counseling, and individualized supports to students in grades 6 through 8. The George Washington team of Bernadette Brown, Kimberly Shoemaker, Emily Boydstun, Stacey Thomas, Benjamin DeRigge, and Heather Clark were all acknowledged for their commitment and skills.

We are truly humbled by this recognition, and thankful for the support we have received. We also share this acknowledgement with our students, who are the focus of our work.  It is because of their trust in us that we are able to help them throughout middle school,” said Stephanie Smith, Director of School Counseling at George Washington Middle School.

The honor of being a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) is awarded to schools that align with the criteria set in the ASCA National Model. It recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.

ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, career, and social and emotional development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society.

This designation distinguishes these schools and encourages school counselors nationwide to continue to strive for excellence,” said Jill Cook, ASCA assistant director and RAMP coordinator.

This is an outstanding accomplishment and we are extremely proud of our school counselors. Our school counselors touch the lives of our students in so many important ways and they earned this recognition,” said Dr. Marcia Jackson, Director of School Counseling for Alexandria City Public Schools.

The department will publicly receive the honor during a special ceremony at the American School Counselor Association’s annual conference in New Orleans in July.

ACPS, George Washington