All this week, students and staff are encouraged to thank their school counselors.

STAFF PHOTO: OLIVIA SINGER - Staff and students leave notes of appreciation for school counselor Lauren Carroll at Harvey Clarke Elementary School.February is known to be the month of love. It seems fitting that it is also the month National School Counseling Week takes place, where many schools and their students demonstrate their appreciation for their school counselors.

Each year, the first week of February is designated as National School Counseling Week. This year, it takes place from Monday, Feb. 5, through Friday, Feb. 9.

Beth Graser, spokeswoman for the Hillsboro School District, said announcements through the district's communication pages were sent out early in the week to staff and students in the district to "encourage people to thank a school counselor."

STAFF PHOTO: OLIVIA SINGER - A bulletin board with messages from staff and students is set up in the faculty room of Harvey Clarke Elementary School.Other schools have taken their appreciation even further. Harvey Clarke Elementary School in Forest Grove has created a bulletin board in the staff room covered with messages from students about the things they love about their counselor, Lauren Carroll.

Carroll has been the counselor at Harvey Clarke for "about three years," said lead secretary Denene Jones.

"We love our counselor. She is great, so we want to spoil her," said Jones.

This year's theme from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is "School Counselors: Helping Students Reach for the Stars," which Jones said staff are using at Harvey Clarke to promote the importance of counselors.

ASCA's website also has a photo and video challenge going this week, materials such as appreciation posters and stickers for schools to order, and certificates to download and give to counselors.

Gwen Torsen, a counselor at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove, said she has been in the district for 22 years and that students and staff are always "very sweet" recognizing herself and other counselors during that week.

"Classrooms are writing notes and staff have been buying us lunch every day to honor us," said Torsen. "It is quite a treat."

She said many other individuals have recognized her by sending her kind messages and that the school board also gives out certificates of appreciation each year.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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