SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR 

Honors a school counselor who is running a top-notch, comprehensive school counseling program at the elementary, middle, or high school level.  Oklahoma's winner is submitted to the national level.

Lee Acers

2019-2020 Oklahoma School Counselor of the Year


The Oklahoma School Counselor Association (OSCA) is pleased to announce that Lee Acers has been selected as the Oklahoma School Counselor of the Year for 2019-2020 (#scoy20). Lee, a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, has been a school counselor for Oklahoma City Public Schools since 2012. She previously served as a counselor at non-profit agencies in the Oklahoma City area and in Thailand.

The School Counselor of the Year program honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.

Acers was selected based on several criteria including: school counseling innovation, evidence of an effective comprehensive school counseling program, leadership and collaboration, professionalism, and advocacy.

Acers’ efforts have resulted in the development of successful programs for students. After surveying stakeholders to assess the needs of her school, it was clear that improving attendance was important.  Lee implemented a program that resulted in her school having the highest first quarter attendance rate of all elementary schools in the Oklahoma City Public Schools district, sustaining improved attendance throughout the year. Acers’ collaboration with local agencies brought more social-emotional support to her school. Those services include grief support groups, a therapy dog program, substance abuse prevention, and the Linwood Lion Leadership Team that focuses on building empathy and leadership skills. She also hosts a monthly Career Cafe, in which local professionals come speak with students to introduce them to and help them understand various careers.

Multiple supervisors and colleagues praise Mrs. Acers for her leadership. She provides professional development to school staff to help support their teaching of high-need students.   She serves as a reviewer for schools that have applied for the American School Counselor Association Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP).

Fellow OKCPS school counselor Bivian Geno says “Ms. Acers is very well regarded by our counselor colleagues, her school staff, and the community because she has a tireless work ethic, commitment to quality, and an impeccable ability to finish what she starts.” Linwood Elementary School Principal Susan Combs says Mrs. Acers “works collaboratively with staff to support students’ needs in several small group settings. As a result of these efforts our discipline referrals and suspensions have dropped for this school year. Mrs. Acers is exceptional in her profession, seeking numerous avenues to support the moral and mental health of our learning community.”

Lee Acers will travel to Washington, D.C. in January 2020 to be honored with the winners from every other state and to attend a black-tie gala where the American School Counselor Association will announce the national School Counselor of the Year

Previous Oklahoma School Counselors of the Year

2018 - 2019 Sarah Kirk, Monroe Elementary School, Norman Public Schools

2017 - 2018 Misty Bible, Broken Bow  Public Schools

2016 - 2017 Dr. Michelle Taylor, Adair High School, Adair Public Schools

2015 - 2016 Nick Hughes, Limestone Technology Academy, Sand Springs Public Schools

2013 - 2014 Lori Pettus, Eisenhower International School, Tulsa Public Schools

2012 - 2013 Bobbie Fields, Tulsa Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Michelle Dodgen, Weatherford Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Katie Burk, Sterling Public Schools (K-12 SCOY)

Charlotte Hunter, Oklahoma City Public Schools (Outstanding School Counselor Advocate)

2011 - 2012 Ken Elliott, Edmond Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Beth Dillard, Putnam City North High School, Putnam City Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2010 - 2011 Kay Middleton-Price, Muskogee Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Lisa Edwards, Edmond Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Janet Anderson, Moore Public Schools (High School SCOY)

Marylu Oakes, Seiling Public Schools (Multi-level SCOY)

2009 - 2010 Carolyn Nees, Moore Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Robbie Smith, Keys Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Mary Brenner, Woodward Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2008 - 2009 Rebecca Barry, Shawnee Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Linda Salter, Moore Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Karen Dawson, Tulsa Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2007 - 2008 Barbara Shelton, Moore Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Janelle Miller, Moore Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Laura Watts, Tahlequah Public Schools (High School SCOY)

Cheryl Riggs, Central Public Schools (Multi-level SCOY)

Wendy Perry, Moore-Norman Technology Center (Other-level SCOY)

2006 - 2007 Kathy Simmons, Midwest City Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Cheri Lou Gastineau, Burns Flat-Dill City Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Fran Bewley, Sallisaw Public Schools (High School SCOY)

Kristin Ramirez, Blair Public Schools (Multi-level SCOY)

Mary Jane Pruitt, Kiamichi Technology Center (Other-level SCOY)

2005 - 2006 Suzanne Price, Norman Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Beverly McCombs, Crescent Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Rhonda Malahy, Putnam City Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2004 - 2005 Sandra Bright, Weatherford Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Ellen Harkey, Idabel Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Becky Delozier, Adair Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2003 - 2004 Margaret Durham, Moore Public Schools (Elementary SCOY)

Gerri Kroutil, Mustang Public Schools (Middle Level SCOY)

Kelly Collins, Midwest City Public Schools (High School SCOY)

2002 - 2003 Marta Allen, Nicoma Park Public Schools

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