Two Gwinnett County Public Schools counselors and an administrator earned state recognition from the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA).

Teshia Stovall Dula, of Hull Middle School was named school counselor of the year, while Ashley Watson, of Norcross High School was named supervisor of the year.

Laura Spencer, of Ivy Creek Elementary School in Buford, was first runner-up for school counselor of the year. Ivy Creek is part of the Mill Creek High School cluster.

With 17 years’ experience, Spencer is a veteran school counselor who is an advocate for her students’ best interests, school leaders said. Spencer was instrumental in launching Kids Hope, a successful mentoring program at Ivy Creek Elementary, and she sponsors several clubs such as radKids, which is a safety education program, and the Mindfulness/Yoga Club, in which students learn ways to cool and calm themselves prior to the start of the school day.

Laura Ross, Five Forks Middle School Counselor and 2020 National School Counselor of the Year, wrote a letter of recommendation for Spencer, calling her a model of school counseling excellence.

“I have been fortunate to work alongside Laura Spencer at the district and state level as she shines as a model of school counseling excellence. What shines the brightest about Laura is her genuine heart for students, her positivity that radiates in all she does, her community building skills, and her willingness to be a school counselor leader.” She added, “I refer to Laura as shining bright because of the positivity that radiates from her anytime she interacts with others whether it is a student, parent, or colleague.”

The GSCA awards are given to individuals every year in recognition of their commitment to, performance in and support of school counseling.

GSCA is a private, non-profit association comprised of school counselors, counseling and guidance directors, supervisors, administrators, counselor educators and other individuals involved in related activities who have an impact on a student’s success and well-being at school, work and home.

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