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Hillsboro High School counseling earns national and state honors

Counselors run a “model program” to help students plan for a bright future

Affirming the faculty’s dedication to students’ academic, career and personal development, Hillsboro High School picked up two major awards from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and Tennessee School Counselor Association (TSCA).

Hillsboro is the second school in Tennessee and one of just a handful of schools in the country to ever earn the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation. This is an honor given only to exemplary counseling programs that reach every corner of school life and make data-driven decisions to improve education for all students.

“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” said Jill Cook, assistant director and RAMP coordinator for ASCA. “This designation distinguishes these schools and encourages school counselors nationwide to continue to strive for success.”

“We are so pleased with the work of the school counseling department at Hillsboro High School,” said Nicole Cobb, executive director of school counseling services for Metro Schools. “The counseling team is ensuring that all students have access to a rigorous academic experience that will prepare them academically, socially and emotionally for college and career. They help students plan for a bright and fulfilling future. They serve as a model not only for other Metro schools but schools across the state of Tennessee and the country.”

For his support of these vital efforts, Hillsboro assistant principal Craig Hammond is the Tennessee School Counselor Association’s (TSCA) statewide Principal of the Year. This is the first year TSCA has given this award, and Dr. Hammond earned it for his significant contributions to counseling at Hillsboro, as well as his support to recognize the importance of a comprehensive counseling program within the school.

“School counselors cannot perform their important work without the support of strong leadership from administration,” said TSCA President Beverly Anderson. “We were especially impressed with Dr. Hammond's vocal advocacy for counselors and counseling services, his leadership in gaining school-wide support to embrace counseling best practices, and his leadership, which helped Hillsboro High School earn the coveted RAMP status.

“The students at Hillsboro High School are stronger because of his support of professional school counselors.”

These awards come just weeks after Hillsboro Executive Principal Dr. Terry Shrader won a prestigious award from the University of Tennessee. Last month, Dr. Shrader learned he is this year’s recipient of the William J. and Lucille H. Field Award in Support of Excellent in Tennessee Secondary School Leadership. He received a standing ovation from his fellow Metro principals at the announcement. When he formally receives the award at a ceremony next month, he will share his expertise on effective school leadership and lessons learned with UT graduate students who are or are aspiring to be school leaders.

“I tell my friends from my old districts that I have had the chance to work in great places, but there is none as good as MNPS,” said Shrader.