Counselor of the Year

Steps to Apply | Eligibility | Guidelines | Essay and Evidentiary Questions | Judging Criteria | Application Deadline

School counselors who wish to apply for GSCA Counselor of the Year and meet the eligibility requirements as outlined below may apply for consideration. Each geographical area (Northern, Metro, Central, Southern) will select up to four semifinalists. The state award selection committee will select one person to be named as Georgia School Counselor of the Year from among the sixteen semi-finalists. GSCA will nominate the Counselor of the Year and up to three finalists for ASCA Counselor of the Year consideration the following year.  In the event ASCA should change the number of Counselor of the Year nominees allowed by each state, GSCA will adjust the number of nominees accordingly.

Steps to Apply

  • Applicants must be a GSCA and ASCA member by November 1 of the year prior to application.
  • Visit
  • Click "Apply Today" to create an account and begin the application process
  • Note: You will be able to save your application mid-process and return at a later date to complete
    Deadline to apply is August 1, annually


  • The applicant must be employed as a full-time, practicing school counselor in Georgia as of the application deadline and have completed at least four years as a practicing school counselor.
  • The applicant must hold a master’s degree in guidance and counseling or equivalent and be certified as a school counselor by the state of Georgia.
  • The applicant must be a GSCA and ASCA professional member as of November 1 in the year prior to nomination/application.

GSCA School Counselor of the Year Guidelines

  1. Completed copy of the School Demographic Information Applicant’s resume in outline form (no more than two pages).
  2. Three letters of recommendation (no more than two pages each). The recommendation letters should contain a brief description of why the applicant should be selected School Counselor of the Year and information on how the applicant advocates for the profession and/or students.
    1. One from the nominator,
    2. One from the applicant’s supervisor if the supervisor was not the nominator,
    3. One from a colleague, 
    4. One from a community member, student or a student’s parent. (If nominator and supervisor are the same person, two letters must come from this category).
  3. Responses to the Essay and Evidentiary Questions.
  4. A video of the applicant (insure confidentiality and check with school/district policies regarding taping of students prior to filming). The video (3-5 minutes) should introduce you and your school and showcase your personality and style as a school counselor. Introduce yourself by name, stating where you are a school counselor and provide a few fun facts about yourself or your students. This is your opportunity to show your personality, so feel free to be funny or creative. The judges want to get a feel for who you are. When filming, remember that sound is important. Make sure we can hear you clearly. Light is also important. Make sure we can clearly see you on your video.

Essay and Evidentiary Questions

  1. How you have advocated for the profession throughout your career? (250-500 words)
  2. What were two or three of your school counseling program goals last year, and how did you address them? (250-500 words) What data demonstrates your progress in meeting these goals? (Data reports are not part of the 250-500 word limit for this question.)
  3. Give an example of a particularly effective collaborative effort you spearheaded with a stakeholder population (administrators, faculty, parents and/or the community). (250-500 words).
  4. What types of professional development opportunities have you participated in throughout your career, and how have they contributed to your professional growth? (250-500 words)
  5. How does your comprehensive school counseling program use leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change to make a difference for students? (750-1,000 words)

Judging Criteria

  • The applicant must demonstrate evidence of implementation of a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program (such as the ASCA National Model) and have been responsible for school counseling innovations or further development of programs supporting students’ career, personal/social and academic development.
  • The applicant must demonstrate leadership and collaboration in his or her work and promote equity and access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students to maximize student achievement. Applicants must also demonstrate collaboration with stakeholders. The activities or accomplishments recognized must have taken place within the previous five years.
  • The applicant must demonstrate continued professional development as well as proof of advocacy for the professional and/or students.
  • The applicant must have the ability and skills necessary to represent school counseling in a professional manner, including but not limited to high quality written communication and public speaking skills.
  • The applicant should maintain the highest standards of personal conduct and recognize that his/her personal conduct is held up to public scrutiny. 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.


Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted electronically to no later than August 1 annually.