Past Recipients

2015 – Scott Polson (Fort Washakie High School)

"In plain terms, Scott is one of the best counselors I've ever had the privilege of working with," is just the beginning of some wonderful nominations provided for Scott Polson, the counselor at Fort Washakie High School. All of Scott's nominators commented on the multiple hats that Scott plays in his role as high school counselor, from "the counselor" creating a ‘nurturing and caring environment that helps promote the continued health of the students' to the "go-to-guy" when any systems fail as he serves as the assistant principal, testing coordinator, and certified trainer for Infinite Campus. A true testament to his recognition as WAO Counselor of the Year for 2015 came from one nominator stating that "the greatest optimism that (I) have had while at Fort Washakie High School has been these past three years because of the great guidance and direction from our principal AND our counselor, Scott Polson."

2014 – Angel Bentz (Campbell County High School)

With multiple nominations from her administration, colleagues and students, including her six years as a Guidance Counselor at Campbell County High School, it was clear that WAO would have two recipients of the 2014 Counselor of the Year award. Angel Bentz is also very deserving of this award as clearly defined by one of her nominators: "She was there to help me sort through a world of emotions, put me on track for academic success, and balance a super schedule. Her ability to provide students such as myself with perspective was an invaluable tool that empowered students to make the right decisions."

2014 – Dede Collins (Dubois High School)

"Dede is a master at transitioning from a Kindergartner with friend issues to a High School senior stressed about graduation and college applications, a strong commitment colored with love and understanding is what every student receives from Dede." "Mrs. Collins is loved for her compassion, knowledge of both K-8 and post-secondary education, and above all, her genuine interest in helping everyone to reach their goals." With the above mentioned recommendations from both her colleagues and students, it was clear that Dede Collins from Dubois High School was a very deserving recipient of the WAO Counselor of the Year award for 2014.

2013 – Molly Mulcahy (Pinedale High School)

Counselors wear many hats throughout the school year and based on Molly's nomination letters, she has no problem wearing many of them for the better of Pinedale High School, "she puts her heart into her work and completes many tasks outside of her main area of responsibility just to help the PHS team be successful," Fletcher Turcato, Principal of Pinedale High School.

After hiring a new principal and counselor in the same year, Pinedale was ready to experience some change, but the students have seen Molly playing "a vital role in the tremendous success and growth at PHS in the last two years."

2012 – Sally Craig (Campbell County High School)

"Sally Craig is the Energizer Bunny of School Counselors, and is the epitome of what all school counselors should aspire to become," according to Jay Mahylis, Campbell County High School. Sally was also a recipient of the 2012 Counselor of the Year award as her work at Campbell County clearly exemplifies that of this award.

The students at Campbell County High School have grown to appreciate Sally in the sense that they "enjoy her mentorship and friendship," Sally's relationship with her students has helped so many pursue their passion for the post-secondary world because of her "encouragement on the best and worst of days."

2012 – Gina Sigel (Whiting High School)

With multiple nominations, Gina Sigel was awarded Counselor of the Year for the efforts she has made at Whiting High School, an alternative high school in Laramie. "Gina has helped develop a school where students have the opportunity; to not only prepare for college, but also for the workplace," according to Ursula Harrison, principal of Whiting High School.

Not only has Gina's work been recognized by her colleagues, but she has made a definite difference in the life of the students' at Whiting. One student wrote, "Gina encouraged me to stick with class, and pushed me to stay in the class. I did, and now I am a CNA with the ability to get a good job." Clearly, Gina's efforts were worth the recognition!

2011 – Tawnya Teter (Lovell)

While teachers play an important role in preparing high school students for the "real world," there's one high school employee whose job it is to help give students the help they need to make their career dreams a reality after high school. Lovell High School guidance counselor Tawnya Teter does just that and is this year's Wyoming Counselor of the Year recipient.

"I like the community, I like working with kids and families, I like all aspects of the job" states Teter as she was given a special luncheon surrounded by colleagues and family members. Tawnya was showered with praise and recognition, but was modest about the award and said there are many others within the district who help her succeed.

2010 – Alice Willey (Sundance)

"Thank you to all the students that make my job so great," said a tearful Alice Willey. On Monday, March 8th, Alice was presented with her award package sponsored by: The University of Wyoming Athletics Department, Brown and Gold Outlet, Hampton Inn of Laramie, College Invest Wyoming, and the seven Wyoming community colleges.

Alice was nominated earlier in the fall semester for the Wyoming Counselor of the Year, and was selected from a pool of nominees from across the state. She was chosen based on her tireless efforts to help prepare Sundance's K-12 students for a brighter tomorrow. The Wyoming Admissions Officers (WAO) selection committee also considered Alice based on her efforts helping students with college preparation, relationships, and going above and beyond her job description.

2009 – Bonnie Lane (Douglas)

After collecting nominations this fall, the Wyoming Admissions Officers (WAO) recognized their first annual Counselor of the Year award at the February Principal-Counselor-Student conference. This award is intended to recognize and thank Wyoming high school counselors.

Our first recipient is Bonnie Lane from Douglas High School. She was awarded a prize pack which included a traveling trophy which will be presented to each new Counselor of the Year. According to Adrienne Loveland, Counselor of the Year Co-Chair, "The choice was very difficult because counselors in the State of Wyoming do such a wonderful job. We congratulate all who were nominated and thank those who submitted nominations."