County middle and high school counselors get special recognition
by By JOYANNA WEBER Banner Staff Writer
Feb 10, 2013 | 620 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GOAL ACADEMY counseling intern Jessica Rigsby enjoys a coffee, while talking to Bradley Central High School counselor Jenny Matson during Counselor Appreciation activities. Banner Photo, JOYANNA WEBER
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Goal Academy and community partners honored school counselors during National Counselor Appreciation Week.

Counselors from Bradley County schools — middle and high schools — were invited to enjoy free breakfast or lunch, a soothing massage and a foot spa at Westwood Baptist.

“Westwood (Baptist Church) has spearheaded a lot of this because they saw a need,” Rhonda Parris, counselor at Goal Academy, said.

Every position in a school has a specially recognized day, she said.

While many have heard of and give gifts for “Teacher Appreciation” or “Principal Appreciation,” few recognized the counselors for the role they play.

“Counselors are the go between. They bridge the teachers and student, parent and students and administration and teacher,” Parris said.

Cheryl Smartt, Westwood senior pastor Steve Smartt’s wife, said this was the first time the church had partnered with Goal.

Because a counselor’s role is behind the scenes, their work often goes unrecognized, Smartt said.

She said the church wanted to be a part of letting them know they are appreciated.

“(It’s a) great way to reach out to those who do so much in our community,” Smartt said.

Smartt said she hopes the appreciation event will become an annual one.

Bradley Central High School counselor Jenny Matson said she was “very appreciative” of the event.

Counselors work to identify and help students who are at risk of falling behind or dropping out of school.

Goal Academy serves as the alternative school for the Bradley County schools. The school has a 89 percent graduation rate.

“Which is kind of unheard of for at-risk students,” Parris said.