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Megan McDougal is 2020 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year

By Doug Hauserman | April 2020

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Following a day of advocacy and celebrating six of Nebraska’s finest counselors, Megan McDougal was announced as the 2020 Nebraska school counselor of the year at the Annual NSCA School Counselor of the Year Dinner in February. McDougal is a school counselor at Bell Elementary School in the Papillion LaVista Community Schools. During her 13 years as a school counselor with the district, she has been instrumental not only in implementing a comprehensive school counseling program at her building but also in helping all elementary schools more closely align their school counseling programs with the ASCA National Model. Mary Derby, Principal of Bell Elementary, said of McDougal, “She models dedication, commitment, integrity and leadership for her school colleagues.”

The announcement of McDougal as school counselor of the year was preceded by a celebration of all the finalists and semi-finalists for 2020 recognition. Other finalists were Tasha Osten of Raymond Central Jr./Sr. High School and Loni Watson of Chadron High School. The semi-finalists were Carla Brauer from Sidney Public Schools, Fran Hassler from Ponca Public Schools and Jerry Wiggins from Gothenburg Public Schools.

To begin the day with advocacy, the NSCA Governing Board members and the three finalists for school counselor of the year converged on the state capitol in the morning. The finalists were recognized on the unicameral floor before meeting with their state senators to advocate for the important role school counselors play in the academic success, social/emotional development and career and college readiness of Nebraska students. The NSCA Governing Board members each met with several state senators, including their own legislator. In the course of the day, nearly all Nebraska state senators were able to hear about the value of school counselors.

Senator Tony Vargas (far right) gathers with school counselor of the year finalists, NSCA board members and NSCA staff.