Greta Lundsgaard-Vaughn, the school counselor at Strawberry Hill Elementary, was named the School Counselor of the Year at the elementary level by the Iowa School Counselor Association.
“It was very humbling to be honored by my peers,” she said.
“I believe all school counselors are empathetic and want to help solve student problems, lend a helping hand, and be role models in society. Greta is all of that and so much more. She is one of the best. Greta adds so much to our students, school and community,” Strawberry Hill Elementary Principal Ellen Recker said.
“She is a passionate, caring, knowledgeable and dedicated counselor who leads by example. She exemplifies all of the greatest strengths and qualities of a highly effective school counselor. Strawberry Hill Elementary and the Anamosa Community School District are lucky to have one of the best school counselors in the nation. We are proud of Greta and are thrilled to share a small glimpse of what makes her an outstanding school counselor.”
Lundsgaard-Vaughn has been a school counselor for over 20 years and has been a long-time member of the Iowa School Counselor Association. She has advocated through the years to local and state legislators about the importance of having school counselors in education to support students, and she is passionate about highlighting the role of the school counselor. She is active with the PBIS leadership team and her district leadership team.
After finding out she had been nominated, Lundsgaard-Vaughn had to submit an application, including references, resume, how she’s advocated for counseling and a five-minute video explaining some of the things she’s done in the position. What has driven her passion for counseling throughout the years is the kids and trying to make sure they are successful. That’s done, not only by creating relationships with the students in the district and their families, but presentations and programs for students as a whole.
“A big part of my job is actually teaching classroom guidance lessons,” she explained, where they focus on the overall areas of social emotional learning, academics and even career.
That can cover areas like safety and learning how to control emotions. For the “career” area at an elementary level, that focuses on getting kids to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, what they are good at and what they are not.
In the end, putting kids in the best position to be successful is what the job is all about.
“I do this job because I love it. I do this job because I love the kids. I want them to be successful,” Lundsgaard-Vaughn said.