Kristina Guy, a counselor at the Western Maricopa Education Center Northwest Campus in Surprise, was named the 2021 Arizona School Counselor of the Year by the Arizona School Counselors Association.
The award, given to an counselor known to give tremendous time and effort to the kids at their school or district, was presented to Guy on Feb. 18 at the AZSCA annual awards ceremony.
The winner, according to the AZSCA, demonstrates leadership and collaboration in his or her work and promotes equity and access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students to maximize student achievement.
Ms. Guy said she was thrilled to be nominated and win the award.
“Receiving the award is a surreal feeling,” Ms. Guy stated in a news release. “The things I do for my students are to bring them as many options and opportunities for success. It is extremely fantastic to be recognized for all of that. It is a good feeling that I am seen and am doing things to make a difference for my students.
“Being eligible for the National School Counselor Award as well as a chance to put the great counselors of Arizona in the public eye. Let the world see Arizona is doing it right. Selfishly, I am really excited to bring being a Career Technical Education District counselor to the forefront. I get to show that career and technical education is good for all kids, not just “those” kids. I am humbled to have been nominated and still speechless that I was selected.”
Ms. Guy started working in education in 2003, transitioning to a counselor role in 2012. Since then, she has accomplished many things at West-MEC Northwest Campus, such as the Jumpstart to College and Career Event.
The event is for junior students, no matter their post-secondary pathway, to learn, plan, and prepare for what lies beyond graduation.
She is the only counselor on a campus with 590 11th- and 12th-grade students earning industry certifications in preparation for their post-secondary pathways.
Michelle Kurley, mother of recent Northwest Campus Medical Assisting graduate Emily Kurley, said Ms. Guy was crucial in her daughter’s success.
“We were in a situation where we didn’t know what the next steps were for Emily, and Ms. Guy encouraged us to just keep pursuing the applications, keep trying, and then apply for FAFSA. So we did, and that was a scary encounter but with her guidance, it was very easy, and she made it less stressful,” Ms. Kurley said in the news release.