2021 Lone Star School Counselor of the Year
Born and raised in Houston, TX, Ashley Wright went through undergraduate studies as an Education Major at Sam Houston State University as well graduate studies as a Professional School Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. She currently serves as an elementary school counselor in Conroe ISD at Lucille J. Bradley Elementary. She has been an educator for the past 13 years and a school counselor for the past 4 years. Ashley Wright teaches students to accept diversity, increase their self-esteem, build character and maintain resilience. Ashley continues to implement a diverse comprehensive counseling program that is dedicated to meeting the needs of her students, staff and the community. From weekly counseling lessons, student leadership opportunities, parent education shows, and student achievement awards, Ashley brings enthusiasm and campus engagement throughout the entire school year. As an advocate for the school counseling profession, Ashley has also presented several national webinars with the national WhyTry program and Region 4 Education Center with counseling program implementation ideas, tools and strategies to increase student attendance and engagement, and school counselor self care. Overall, Ashley continues to influence other professional school counselors in their role and strives to create change in our education system.
2021 SCOY FINALIST
Reynolds Middle School • Prosper, TX
My name is Tiffany Blackwood and I am a school counselor at Reynolds Middle School in Prosper ISD. I am a proud graduate of The University of Oklahoma and I have been a school counselor for 15 years. I have 3 fantastic kids and I have been married to my husband, Michael for 16 years. My passions include advocating for my students and my profession while ensuring our students have access to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school learning environment. Providing a developmental and comprehensive school counseling program to all our students remains at the forefront of my mission. My continual growth and learning is of the utmost importance to me and you will often find me reading a book, article, or engaging via social media with other school counselors throughout the country to stay abreast of school counseling trends. I pride myself on the ability to connect with my students and provide them with the necessary tools to help achieve their goals. In my spare time you will find me at my kids’ football games, track meets, or volunteering in my role as an active athletic booster club board member.
2021 SCOY FINALIST
El Dorado High School • El Paso, TX
Ilka Molina is completing her fifth year as a school counselor at El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas working with predominantly minority students in an advocacy-oriented school counseling program. Having transitioned into counseling after 11 years as a middle/high school teacher, Ilka specializes in Restorative Practices and individualized approaches that prioritize helping students reflect on their choices, learn from their mistakes, and take an active role in their success in and beyond the classroom. Ilka received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1995, an MBA in Human Resource Management and Global Management in 2004, and a master’s degree in Education in 2005 from the University of Phoenix. In addition to promoting student self-efficacy, resilience, and preparedness, Ilka recognizes the importance of securing funding for students who might otherwise not be able to attend college and counts gains in post-secondary funding as a way of achieving systemic change. She has found gratitude and wellness in her own life through her dedicated meditation practice, a love of travel and learning, and her Labrador Retriever, Charlie. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 SCOY FINALIST
Rafael Hernando Middle School • El Paso, TXIris has been an educator since 2001 and in the school counseling profession since 2006. She received her Master’s degree in School Counseling from Sul Ross University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the University of Texas at El Paso. Iris started school counseling at the elementary level and moved to middle school where she her found passion working with adolescents. As a middle school counselor she has worked with students to reach academic excellence and provide support to overcome their social and emotional hurdles. Iris has been an active member of ASCA and Lone Star State School Counselor Association. Her and her team has been awarded with the Bronze, Silver and Gold LSSSCA Award for their school counseling program at SPC. Rafael Hernando Middle School.
2021 SCOY FINALIST
Memorial Park Academy • Richardson, TXKristin is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University! After college, she worked in Richardson ISD as a high school math teacher at the District Alternative Education Program, Christa McAuliffe Learning Center for 4.5 years. This is where her true passion for the at-risk student truly began. After earning a master’s of education from the University of North Texas, she served as a high school counselor at Berkner High School for 10 years. When Richardson ISD created a non-traditional, high school program to help with dropout prevention five years ago, Kristin eagerly became the counselor at Memorial Park Academy from its ground level. Wrapping up year five and over 1,000 graduates later, Kristin works to assist the highly at-risk student find success and earn their high school diploma! Outside of work, Kristin enjoys being outdoors spending time with family, reading, and exercising. She is married to Joe and has two boys, Pierce(13) and Oliver(10).