recognizing a leader in school counseling

Congratulations to Olympia High School Counselor Kim Reykdal, one of six finalists for the 2016 National School Counselor of the Year award (Photo: From Left to Right, Steffany Heredia an AVID senior from Olympia High School and Kim Reykdal posing for pictures)!  Mrs. Reykdal is known across the state for both her support of Olympia High School students and the excitement she exudes when she is championing the field of school counseling, college access and student success.

To celebrate this honor, Mrs. Reykdal recently traveled to D.C. to attend a series of advocacy opportunities and celebrations, including the School Counselor of the Year reception at the White House.  The highlight of the event was listening to the First Lady Michelle Obama give her remarks, praising school counselors for the important work they do to support student growth and achievement. The First Lady quoted one of Mrs. Reykdal's students named Alex, an Olympia HS senior, who captured it best by saying “one day Mrs. Reykdal approached me during lunch to give me a scholarship application, highlighted and annotated just for me.  I sometimes think she cares too much!  If she has information for students, she will hunt them down just to give it to them!” Watch the video of The First Lady's remarks here.

Mrs. Reykdal is a full-time advocate for students!  She is currently serving in her second term as a Tumwater School Board director, starting her sixth year as co-chair of the Washington School Counselor Association’s Advocacy Committee and is a member of the Washington State Reach Higher Steering Committee—a White House initiative to support school counseling for college readiness.

Supporting School Counseling for College Readiness

Reach Higher GroupWashington State joined over thirty other state teams at the third annual White House convening for strengthening school counseling and college advising.  Facilitated by the National Consortium for School Counselors and Postsecondary Success, the convening is in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative and the call for improvements to school counseling and school-based college and career counseling systems. At the convening, state teams had the opportunity to strategize with states across the nation and  review best practice models.


Through school counselor leadership and collaborative partnerships, NCSCPS hopes to dramatically increase the number of traditionally underserved students prepared for, entering, and succeeding in postsecondary education by focusing on ways to strengthen, align, and expand the college-going pipeline locally, and concomitantly, at the state and national levels. NCSPS conceptual framework can be found here.

For more information on the Washington State work for Reach Higher click here.

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