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Roth named state's top school counselor

Clockwise, from left, are Tammy Roth, Morris Area School Counselor, Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson, Melanie Hankins, a counseling intern at Morris Area in 2007-2008, and retired Morris Area Elementary School teacher Francie Turner.

Morris Area School District Counselor Tammy Roth was selected as the Multilevel School Counselor of the Year at the Minnesota School Counselors Association's Recognition Gala on May 4.

Here are some exerpts from her acceptance speech:

"It is truly an honor to be selected as the MSCA Multilevel School Counselor of the Year. Peer recognition is always extra special, because colleagues, more than anyone one else, have an appreciation for the unique challenges of the job. They know first hand just what it takes to succeed. ... My educational career actually began in K-12, but as a music teacher. Being a music teacher, I spent a lot of one-on-one time with students during private lessons, and was one of the few teachers that was a consistent presence year after year. As a result, students often felt comfortable telling me about issues in their personal lives. It was only after several such experiences that I felt I should pursue a master's degree, not in music, but in school counseling. Entering the field of school counseling has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. ... I believe that the counseling services at the high school have become more efficient and effective. I truly believe that having the strong foundation provided by an elementary counseling program is of immeasurable benefit when those students reach high school. That history of relationships, curriculum, and common language, is an indispensable tool in the counseling process.

"In closing, I would like to give thanks to all who influenced me on this incredible journey.

"To my students, who remind me every day why I became a school counselor.

"To you, my peers, who always hold me to the highest standards.

"And especially, to my friends, family and colleagues, who have encouraged and supported me these past years."