VS Memorial’s Laura Mesa Named School Counselor of the Year

VS Memorial’s Laura Mesa Named School Counselor of the Year photo  thumbnail143160
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Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School guidance counselor Laura Mesa has been distinguished with the New York State School Counselors Association’s School Counselor of the Year Award. She was recognized with this honor based on her outstanding service, which includes creative school counseling innovations, effective counseling programs, leadership skills and contributions to student enhancement.

To be eligible for this honor, candidates were required to fulfill a number of criteria. Ms. Mesa demonstrated a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program, leadership and collaboration, access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences, collaboration with stakeholders, continual professional development and communication skills. According to the NYSSCA, “applicants strive to be model citizens of their community as well as the school counseling community and their broader professional community. They maintain high moral standards in their personal and professional conduct.”

For 17 years now, Ms. Mesa has empowered and supported students at Memorial. She has reached thousands, both over the course of the school day and beyond it. In addition to her responsibilities as a counselor, she serves as the moderator for the ASPIRA Youth Leadership Development Club and PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Services), both of which encourage students to challenge themselves and be active and engaged contributors to the school community by applying their leadership skills to generate positive change. 

Ms. Mesa displays an intense passion and dedication in helping to foster a culture of “growth mindset” in students. She works closely with educators and colleagues in her commitment to excellence. She has unconditional regard for her students and families and strives for all students to reach their personal, social and academic goals.

“Ms. Mesa is a passionate and dedicated school counselor,” said Memorial Junior High School Principal Bret Strauss. “She is committed to bringing out the best in our students and works tirelessly through her role as school counselor and through multiple extracurricular activities to motivate students and assist them in reaching their full potential.”

Ms. Mesa was formally honored at the annual NYSSCA Conference Awards luncheon, held Nov. 22 at Honor’s Haven Resort and Conference Center in Ellenville, New York. The celebration’s theme was “Inspire, Empower, and Embrace.”