2019 School Counselors of the Year

2019 School Counselors of the Year

Frederick County Public Schools Counseling and Student Support Coordinator Janet Shipman is proud to announce that the Frederick County Association for Counseling and Development recently recognized three of our school counselors with awards on April 16 at ThorpeWood. They are Laren Anderson, Ashley Frushour and Kathleen Klecan.

Laren Anderson received the 2019 High School Counselor of the Year Award. Anderson was an innovator in restructuring the English Learners (EL) program at Frederick High. She created an EL Pathways to Graduation form to help students and families navigate and track requirements. She helped develop a Frederick Community College tour for EL students and arranged for FCC staff to administer an FCC college-readiness assessment at Frederick High. Students no longer have to visit FCC individually to take the assessment. This has helped them become more engaged in school, improving attendance and decreasing dropout rates. She created a process to better identify homelessness and to review and address disproportionately low EL participation in honors courses. She helped change requirements so that EL students’ work in a middle school English As a World Language course will earn them high school world language credits, just as non-EL middle school students earn credits for French and Spanish courses. In addition, she has continued professional development work to gain board certification in life coaching and in hypnotherapy with a focus on mindfulness and restorative practices. 

Ashley Frushour received the 2019 Middle School Counselor of the Year Award. At Middletown Middle, Frushour developed an afterschool program called Girl Talk, in which high school mentors meet bi-weekly with middle school girls to share strategies for building friendships, developing leadership skills, and supporting the community. She also started a weekly Lead the Way group to share interactive lessons that focus on leadership, collaboration and communication. Lead the Way students plan the move-up day for elementary schools, and they provide friendly faces at middle school parent-information and back-to-school nights. She helped create and implement a schoolwide career day; with more than 40 presenters, students rotate through six during the event. Frushour works with the community to help promote an afterschool program called Safe House at a local church; there middle school students can get homework help, play games, create art, and socialize. She partners with churches to support Blessings in a Backpack food resources for students in need. Continuing her growth through professional development, Frushour attended the first Share Your Voice conference with representatives from multiple agencies and worked with a student panel discussing their challenges and vision.

Kathleen Klecan received the 2019 Elementary School Counselor of the Year Award. Her Brunswick Elementary principal says that Klecan is inspirational and innovative. She spent many hours applying for American School Counseling Association certification, garnering national recognition for a model program at her school. She created and pairs a series of mini-lessons with groups she leads to assist students having difficulty coping with strong emotions. Her work has resulted in a more positive school climate, with an increase in student abilities to handle transitions and to exhibit self-control. When data from surveys showed a decline in perception of overall respect for students and families and in the school’s ratings as a positive place to work, Klecan helped create a pattern of Monday morning meetings that are making a difference. She trained in mindfulness activities and shares them on the school’s morning announcements as a starting point for continuation in classrooms. She chooses students at the end of their fourth grade year to serve as mentors in the fifth grade, and she invites them to use summer google classroom materials she creates with optional activities to prepare them before the new school year begins. She organizes a Peer Mentor Conference that elementary mentors attend at FCC. 

Each winner will receive formal honors at the Maryland School Counselor Association gala during National School Counseling Week in February.                                                 

2019 School Counselors of the Year photo

Left to right:
2019 FCPS School Counselors of the Year Laren Anderson, Kathleen Klecan and Ashley Frushour receive their awards at ThorpeWood.