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School Counselor Appreciation Week: Recognitions

Feb 04, 2019 | Community Relations

Happy School Counselor Appreciation week! Join us in celebrating these incredible individuals that serve our students and campuses tirelessly each day. From student schedules to lending a listening ear, it takes an extraordinary person to fill such an essential role on our campuses. We are grateful for our counselors and are excited to spotlight some of these individuals throughout the week!


From creating catchy tunes to instill important values to her students, to developing a wide range of activities to educate students on self-growth, Anita Oliphant is the epitome of passion.

Ms. Oliphant is constantly in search of innovative and creative ways to keep her students engaged and makes herself available to students and parents whenever they have a need. She aims to make personal growth exciting through her encouraging attitude, exuberant animations as she tells a story, and many resources available for her students as they grow and experience new challenges.

 As a first-year counselor in our District, Ms. Oliphant strives to build strong and lasting connections with her students. She seeks to make her open-door policy known by not only her students, but teachers, parents and the community as well. She is intentional in the way she builds relationships and through this, her impact far exceeds the doors of Thomas Elementary.

We are thankful for Ms. Oliphant’s liveliness and compassionate spirit and for her devotion to her role as school counselor.


1621 Place was created for LCISD students that choose to attend school in a more flexible learning environment. The campus offers various programs shaped depending on student needs and the curriculum is designed to allow students to work at their own pace. Students come to 1621 Place for a variety of reasons, but they ultimately choose to be at this campus and they carry an immense resilience to accomplish their goals. Ms. Macha is right there every step of the way cheering them on.

While this campus may be less traditional, 1621 Place students are held to the same standard as any other campus in our District and Ms. Macha uses the enrollment wait-list as motivation to keep her students focused on academics. With an abundance of ideas to improve 1621 Place, Ms. Macha’s devotion to her campus, students and each of the programs offered is undeniable. She is the first to jump at the chance to advocate for her campus and students, refusing to let either stay stagnant.

Due to the school’s smaller student population, Ms. Macha has been able to create and foster personalized relationships with each and every one of her students. She is the biggest cheerleader for her students and takes pride in watching as they overcome obstacles in order to chase their dreams. The size of the student body allows Ms. Macha to celebrate every victory, even the small ones, showcasing how sometimes the little things truly are the big things. Ms. Macha pushes each person that walks through the doors of 1621 Place to be the absolute best they can be. She is the encouraging force that drives her campus towards success each day.

We are so thankful for Ms. Macha’s unwavering dedication to her students and 1621 Place as she transforms the lives of students who need it most.  


Lamar Junior High Counselor Dana Nowlin is insightful and honest as she serves her students with their best interests at heart. It is evident through all her hard work that she loves her students as if they were her own. She supports her students by playing an active role in keeping up with not only their mental health needs, but social and academic needs as well. As school counselor, Ms. Nowlin serves as a liaison between teachers, parents, and administrators- always keeping the greater good of her students in mind. With children coming to Lamar Jr. High from all different walks of life, Ms. Nowlin strives to tailor her role to provide for each student on an individualized basis.

From situations that may seem trivial to the life changing circumstances, Ms. Nowlin meets each situation intently. When a student walks into her office, Ms. Nowlin picks up the conversation right where they left off last. She makes a point to display devotion to her students through remembering even the tiniest details they may share and keeping up with the ever-changing concerns of a junior high student. Rest assured, students at Lamar Jr. High have no doubt that Ms. Nowlin loves them unconditionally and will always have their back. She recognizes that her students are at an age where she has the opportunity daily to help mold them into who they’re meant to be, and she tries diligently to do just that.

We couldn’t be prouder of the way that Ms. Nowlin cultivates a family-like environment at Lamar Junior High. She is a bright light in our Lamar CISD family!


Amy Monk’s passion for District initiatives, presence on campus and commitment to Huggins Elementary is unparalleled. Ms. Monk admires the District for understanding the importance of not only meeting academic, but emotional, social and personal needs of every student. She credits her flexibility with how she serves her students to her administrators who provide her the freedom to go all out each day. It is unmistakable how Ms. Monk strives to be fully present in all that she does. She focuses on each moment as it comes, exhibiting great patience and mindfulness.

Before beginning her journey with Lamar CISD last year, Ms. Monk worked as a teacher with at-risk high school students.  She fell in love with the demands that her students brought to her daily and claims her past position prepared her more than anything else on how to excel as a counselor. Through lessons learned with her previous students, she feels equipped to do the foundation work with her current students to prevent them from going down the wrong path in life. 

Ms. Monk dives deep as she teaches the students at Huggins the importance of good character. She believes that when you teach character and the students truly buy in to the truths you’re giving them, they’ll be excited to engage with the content. Ultimately through this, an exceptional school climate will be established. Ms. Monk wants her students to be enthusiastic about what they’re learning so that they are excited to come to school each day. She longs to make each student understand how valued they are not only in the halls of Huggins, but to the world. 

Join us in thanking Ms. Monk for her warm-hearted nature and relentless commitment to her students and our District.


Whether you’re in passing or walking into her office, Ms. Smith is notorious for greeting everyone warmly with a smile. Ms. Smith finds that emphasizing the importance of respect, acceptance and compassion is the most rewarding, and sometimes most challenging, part of her role as school counselor. Children at the junior high level are so easily influenced and she feels the need to instill these important values within them, especially as they prepare to move on to high school. 

Ms. Smith not only acknowledges the differences among her students, she embraces them. She challenges her students to do the same by celebrating each other’s differences and learning to empathize with those less fortunate than they are. Ms. Smith continually emphasizes the importance of focusing on personal growth with junior high students. While it is important to encourage her students to go out and make a difference, she believes it is equally as important that the community play their part at the same time. 

She believes not only should the teachers and parents play an active role in the growth of the students, but the community should be equally as engaged. These three driving factors combined will best teach students how to be productive, respectful citizens. Ms. Smith believes that when all three of these factors are equally involved in the growth of our students, then we will truly begin to see the society we long to see.

We are grateful for Ms. Smith’s fun-loving personality and the wisdom she continues to share with her students, campus and community.


From 7,200 minutes of guidance lessons logged this year alone, to taking a fervid approach when teaching the importance of acceptance at one of our most diverse campuses, Laura Robinson is a powerhouse to say the least.

When Ms. Robinson says she interacts with every student on her campus within a school week, she truly means it. Through her daily guidance lesson courses, Ms. Robinson has the opportunity to love on her students for three hours each day. Her goal through each session is to have her students hear, understand and live by the lessons they learn. She claims that the biggest reward is watching her kids take an active role in learning the six pillars of the District’s Character Counts initiative. She embodies what it means to lead by example and takes great pride when she hears her students using the Character Counts vocabulary she tries so earnestly to embed in their young minds.

The nature of a counselor’s role often leaves their days to be unpredictable and non-stop; one-way Ms. Robinson slows down is by taking the time to read sweet little notes she’s received and by finding reasons to recognize students. She’ll seek out almost any reason to send a positive “just because” note to a parent letting them know just how great their child is. Through her continuous acts of kindness she displays that, regardless of your circumstances or how busy you are, there is no excuse to be anything but kind. She is humbled by the opportunity she has to make an impact in the lives of her students and strives to always be the person that they need.

Ms. Robinson’s quick wit and ability to balance whatever comes her way makes her the ideal person to fill such an important role on one of our campuses. Laura dances her way through the day with a pep in her step and an ultimate willingness to do absolutely all that she can for the sake of her students. We appreciate all that you do, Ms. Robinson!


Thank you to all of our wonderful counselors for ensuring our students are well taken care of. We hope all of you had a fantastic School Counselor Appreciation Week!