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Rowe Middle School's Holly Thompson recognized for advocacy statewide

Holly Thompson of Rowe Middle School recently was named 2015 School Counselor of the Year at the Oregon School Counselor’s fall conference.

SUBMITTED - Holly Thompson“It is such a great honor for both Ms. Thompson and for the North Clackamas School District,” said Michelle Jensen, OSCA awards chair. “I am hopeful that Holly will continue to receive some accolades this school year for the great work she is doing for Oregon students.”

Thompson told the Shamrock News that her award was largely due to her advocacy before the school board for more school counselors for the growing number of kids who need mental health services.

“They listened and created a lot of new positions,” Thompson told the Shamrock News. “I feel really honored to have that award, because it’s really an award for everybody here and for all the kids in the schools that I’ve worked in in the past.”

Thompson previously was a counselor at Gardiner Middle School in Oregon City, where she was responsible primarily for crisis-response counseling in the areas of self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicide. She works closely with mental health therapists from the Morrison Center, Clackamas County Behavioral Health, school psychologists, learning specialists and special-education case managers.

“More and more students are experiencing extreme mental health concerns, such as anxiety and school phobia, and school counselors have become crisis-response counselors without proper resources to successfully do their jobs” she told the Clackamas Review. “Schools with no school counselors due to budget cuts are left with teachers and support staff to do the jobs once held by professional school counselors.”

She added that school counselors are beneficial not only for students, but for teachers, families and communities as well.

“Children that are better equipped to handle the stresses of life are a benefit to everyone,” she said. “School counselors are a pivotal piece of the educational puzzle in terms of positive child development and the development of secure emotional intelligence.”