Terri Tchorzynski is a Professional School Counselor at the Calhoun Area Career Center (CACC) in Battle Creek, Michigan, and has been named the 2017 National School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Through a data-driven, comprehensive, and student-centered approach to school counseling, Terri and her team have received both state and national recognitions. Behind Terri’s leadership, the CACC’s counseling department has been recognized by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) for exemplary practices in college/career readiness, and was the second school in the state of Michigan to receive the nationally recognized achievement of being a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP). Terri has also been recognized as a Top Presenter for MDE’s Career and Technical Education Conference, an Honorary Counselor by the Michigan School Counselor Association, as well as being named the 2016 Michigan School Counselor of the Year.
Terri started her career in education as a high school English teacher after obtaining her degree from Central Michigan University. She often draws on those experiences in the classroom to improve her practices as a school counselor when working with students, parents, teachers and administrators. Terri earned her Masters in School Counseling degree from Spring Arbor University and is in her 8th year as a school counselor at the CACC. Aside from the data-driven, comprehensive approach to school counseling, she attributes many of her successes as a school counselor to the relationships she builds with her students. Terri truly believes that building a trusting relationship with students is at the core of helping students find their success in life.
In her spare time, Terri loves spending time with her husband and two boys, coaches a girls varsity basketball team, and enjoys working out, attending sporting events and spending as much time in the sun that Michigan weather will allow.
I truly find pure motivation in helping others find success - whether that be my students, co-workers, or fellow counselors. I have had several influential people in my life who have helped me become the person that I am today, and I strive to be one of those people that others can reflect upon as a person of influence. Knowing that I have the power to help, inspire and influence others truly motivates me to keep working hard in the profession that I love.
My latest accomplishments
I was recently named the 2017 National School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association. I received this honor during a White House ceremony by First Lady Michelle Obama during her final speech at the White House. As a result of this great honor, I now have the opportunity to present and speak to counselors and educators all over the United States.
Next big goal
My next big goal is to use my recent recognition in the counseling profession to advocate for the role of school counselors. The role of school counselors is often misunderstood so I would like to influence as many people as I can so they can develop a more comprehensive understanding of how school counselors can positively impact the student development in academics, social-emotional learning and college/career readiness.
I would also like to use this opportunity to educate more school counselors in how they can best advocate for both their students and our profession. I would like to develop more training opportunities for counselors so they can learn how to develop a comprehensive, data-driven, student-centered approach to school counseling that will benefit all stakeholders - students, parents, community members, administration, teachers and support staff.
Why is choosing your own path important?
I believe that everybody has a true calling in life that will allow them to find true happiness and satisfaction in how they contribute to society. As a school counselor, I feel as though I am in a unique position to help young minds find this calling. I tell my students all of the time - if you can find a path in life that aligns with your strengths and a path that brings you true happiness - then pursue that path! The truly influential people in our world - the true trailblazers - have found that success because they have found a calling they are truly passionate about, and a large part of my role is helping others find that passion.
Favorite place on campus
I absolutely love spending time anywhere outside on a college campus, as well as the workout facility.
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