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F-M counselor among top eight nationwide

Heidi Green, in her office.
Heidi Green, in her office.

Heidi Green, Director of Counseling Services for Fayetteville-Manlius School District, has been named one of the top eight school counselors in America. 

Ms. Green is among more than 250 elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors nationwide who were nominated for the School Counselor of the Year award. The award, which is presented by the American School Counselor Association, honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates and often lifesavers for the nation's students.

As Director of Counseling Services for the district, Ms. Green's leadership includes coordinating and facilitating counseling services for the district, as well as supporting a caseload of high school students.

One of Ms. Green's greatest accomplishments has been implementing the use of Naviance, a web-based software program to assist students in the career planning and college process, to F-M High School and many other high schools in Onondaga County.  This technology provides access to data regarding careers and colleges and brings added enthusiasm to classroom seminars.  It enables educators to evaluate and adjust programming and enhances data-driven decision-making.

"Heidi's character is clearly built upon the foundation of hard work, ethical decision-making, and love of children," said Kelly Sajnog, a former assistant principal at F-M High School who is now principal at Pine Grove Middle School in the East Syracuse-Minoa School District. "She is truly a remarkable person and her dedication and contributions to the children of this school district are worthy of recognition."

Ms. Green is a strong leader in her field, serving on the Superintendent's Cabinet and as New York State delegate to the NACAC National Assembly (National Association for College Admissions Counseling).  She is also the recipient of the Readling Award from SUNY Oswego, an honor for educational administration students given to a graduate who, by peer nomination, is voted most likely to make a significant contribution to the field.

Ms. Green's leadership on curriculum mapping at Fayetteville-Manlius was one of the fundamental reasons for her nomination.  She led the district's counselors in aligning the counseling curriculum to the ASCA standards, working to ensure accountability and support the development of all students in the school district.

Ms. Green said she takes joy in being an advocate for her students and helping them succeed. That could include helping the student get into college, enroll in vocational training or overcome a personal difficulty.

“Each students’ success is individual to that student,” she said. “It doesn’t look the same for any two kids.”

Her push to institute the Naviance system and to lead the district in curriculum mapping is an extension of helping students succeed.

“At F-M, we’re recognized as a school of excellence,” Ms. Green said, “but we always want to be asking the question, ‘What else can we do to support students, and really all students.”

The School Counselor of the Year awards program was open to all 100,000 members of the school counseling profession. The top eight school counselors were nominated by their peers and administrators and judged by a select panel to be the "best of the best."

The candidates were judged on several criteria, including: creative school counseling innovations, effective counseling programs, leadership skills, and contributions to student advancement.

"School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well-being of students and their success," said Richard Wong, Executive Director, American School Counselor Association. "They have unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address students' academic achievement, personal/social and career development needs."

Green, along with the other seven finalists, will be flown to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 27, for three days of celebratory events.  The honorees will have meetings with their Members of Congress, attend a Congressional briefing and reception, and be formally recognized at a black-tie gala.

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