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 Awards Committee will select one person to be named as Georgia School Counselor of the Year from the sixteen semi-finalists. GSCA will nominate the Counselor of the Year for ASCA Counselor of the Year consideration the following year. 

Steps to Apply

  • 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 school 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 application.

GSCA School Counselor of the Year Application Requirements and Guidelines

  1. Completion of "Applicant Information" and "School Demographic Information" in online portal
  2. Applicant’s resume (maximum of 2 pages)
  3. Four letters of recommendation (maximum of 2 pages each)
    • The letters of recommendation should contain a brief description of why the applicant should be selected as School Counselor of the Year and include examples of how the applicant advocates for the profession and/or students. 
      • The first letter should be from the applicant's supervisor or administrator.
      • The second letter should be from a colleague of the applicant.
      • The third letter should be from a community member, student, or student's family member that has worked with the applicant.
      • The fourth letter can be from any of the above categories.
  4. Responses to five essay questions with supplemental documentation
  5. Short presentation (maximum of 5 slides in PowerPoint)
    • This presentation should introduce you and your school to the judges, while showcasing your personality and style as a school counselor.  Feel free to be creative.
    • Include a clear picture of yourself as well as pictures of interventions (check for school/district policies about photography first) that will highlight your school counseling program.
  6. Submit application by August 1.
  7. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the GSCA Professional Recognition Chair.

Essay and Evidentiary Questions

  1. How have you 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, social/emotional 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.