Frederick County Public Schools’ Behavioral Health and Student Services Supervisor Janet Shipman is proud to announce that the Maryland School Counselor Association has once again named an FCPS counselor Maryland’s School Counselor of the Year. The 2020 Maryland School Counselor of the Year is Kathleen Klecan from Brunswick Elementary School.
This is the third year that an FCPS counselor has earned the MSCA’s top recognition since 2016. Cathy Kazio of Crestwood Middle was named Maryland School Counselor of the Year 2018, and Dr. Laura Jones was feted at The White House along with other state’s winners in 2016.
This year’s award recognizes Klecan for inspirational and innovative work, garnering national recognition for a model program at her school. At Brunswick Elementary, 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 students’ abilities to handle transitions and exhibit self-control, according to Principal Justin McConnaughey.
Based on survey data, Klecan helped create a pattern of Monday morning meetings that are making a difference, McConnaughey adds. She shares mindfulness activities on the school’s morning announcements as a starting point for continuation in classrooms. She also chooses students at the end of their fourth grade year to serve as mentors in fifth grade, inviting them to use summer materials she creates to prepare them before the school year begins. In addition, she organizes an annual Peer Mentor Conference that elementary mentors attend at Frederick Community College.
There were 26 nominations for the state-level recognition this year. Before being named Maryland School Counselor of the Year, Klecan was designated Maryland’s 2019 Elementary School Counselor of the Year.
She will receive formal honors at the Maryland School Counselor Association gala during National School Counseling Week in Annapolis, Friday, February 7, 2020.
Left to right at Brunswick Elementary are FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, Maryland School Counselor of the Year and Brunswick Elementary School Counselor Kathleen Klecan, FCPS Instructional Director Kathy Prichard and Brunswick Elementary Principal Justin McConnaughey