Counselor Megan BledsoeAfter being named the Washington School Counselor of the Year, Megan Bledsoe is now one of five finalists for the 2021 National School Counselor of the Year. The Discovery Middle School counselor is the only finalist from the West Coast.

A review panel selected the finalists based on criteria including school counseling innovations, exemplary school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student outcomes. The award is given by the nonprofit American School Counselor Association.

Recently Bledsoe shared her thoughts on working at Discovery Middle School, her role, student social-emotional health and a little bit about herself.

You have worked at Discovery for more than a decade. What makes the school special to you?
I love Discovery! I have been here for over a decade because of the students, families and staff. I am daily impressed and energized by the innovation and hard work of our Discovery staff and the insight, resilience, creativity and support of our families and students. My heart will always be at Discovery.

What does counseling look like right now for you?
Right now counseling is a bit more challenging, but I have been inspired by my colleagues to come up with creative solutions. A lot of what I do is similar to what I did in person, but now just over Zoom: I have meetings with students and families, I drop into classes to check in with students, I do classroom presentations, I run several clubs and groups and I have drop-in office hours. I also make a whole lot more videos than I used to!

What tips do you provide to families for maintaining a sense of balance in their children’s social-emotional health?
The best tip I can give to families right now is to know that it is OK not to be OK. The important thing is to ask for help when you need it, talk to family and friends when you are struggling and take time to take care of yourself. Doing these things not only helps you, it also models that behavior for your child. Find daily routines and family traditions, and remember to exercise and have fun together as a family! We will get through this together.

What are some of your future counseling goals?
I suppose it is the same as it always has been: Find the best possible strategies to help students.

A few words that describe you:
Caring, pragmatic and a little silly 🙂

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
Hang out with my family, read, play board games, walk, bike, hike, watch comedies, do yoga and double dutch jump rope whenever I can!

The National School Counselor of the Year will be announced in late fall 2020. The recipient and finalists will be celebrated in a series of virtual events and will participate in briefings and webinars during National School Counseling Week, Feb. 1–5, 2021.