Do you know a rock star school counselor? We’re sure you do! School counselors play a huge role in schools and don’t get enough recognition. We’d like to change that!

Project TEAM focuses on six Social Emotional Learning foundations: Helping Others, Resiliency, Problem Solving, Anti-Bullying, Positive Changes, and Leadership. We believe that teaching these foundations are an important part of building a safe and successful school.

We’d like to hear about school counselors doing a great job in exhibiting, teaching, or using these foundations with students. You can nominate a counselor by filling out the form below! You have all week to nominate as many school counselors as you want. (They do NOT need to be using Project TEAM.)

The winner will receive:

  • Target Gift Card
  • Free 2-hour small-group professional development (virtual)
  • A Project TEAM t-shirt

We had over 40 entries and had to choose 2 winners! Here they are:


-Cristina Manns, a first year counselor in the Clark County School District in Nevada. Here is what her colleague, Ms. Loveall, said about her: 

Our amazing school counselor, Ms. Manns, exhibits the foundations of leadership, helping others, positive change, problem solving, and anti-bullying by willingly taking on projects that aim to improve and enrich the lives of our students and their families each and every day. Ms. Manns fascilitates a variety of groups to promote perseverance, friendship skills, and anti-bullying which assist students with life skills for success. She also manages the student council team to help guide students to create service projects that benefit their peers. On top of all of that she still manages to deliver top notch lessons focusing on kindness, compassion, and self-care. Ms. Manns also schedules and plans special opportunities for our students such as assemblies and Career Day to inspire our students to plan for their futures. She takes time to get to know each and every student at our school and is always finding new ways to connect with our families. Ms. Manns is a true role model and practices what she preaches by always sharing a smile and lending an ear. We are so fortunate to have such an incredibly knowledgeable, compassionate, and talented counselor.



Our second winner is Jess Crowell, a counselor at Kreutz Creek Elementary School in Eastern York School District who uses Project TEAM daily. Here is what her principal, Dr. Walker, said about her: 

Mrs. Crowell has been instrumental in leading project TEAM at our school. She has led and assembled our TEAM ARMOR team throughout our year one integration. In addition to her adult leadership she has led all of our character introduction assemblies. She herself has modeled all of the expected traits of our TEAMology characters. Most specifically through her classroom lessons and small groups where she teaches our students resiliency, how to make positive changes, how to effectively problem solve and how to model anti-bullying type behaviors. She does this by example, teaching other adults, direct instruction and through written communications. She is proactive in communicating with parents to help develop strong school and home relationships. She true champion of the school counselor role and provides greatly needed social and emotional learning experiences. Our school and community is SO lucky to have her as a part of our TEAM!

We chose 10 runner ups that also had amazing nominations from administrators and colleagues. Congratulations to everyone!

Carol Kruskie, Line Mountain Elementary School

She teaches small classes to each grade level and holds large group assemblies introducing each character trait throughout the year. The students love it and make posters to display their knowledge of what TEAMology stands for. Since incorporating this system in our school our behaviors have dropped and there is a TEAM approach to everything we all do! Carol works hard every year and works well to motivate our students to be better versions of themselves every day! Our students know they can go to her about any issue and she will help them through. Carol has the biggest, kindest heart when it comes to helping and nurturing the needs of our students!

-Julie Masser

Scott Entrikin, Ocean Acres Elementary School

Mr. Entrikin is constantly raising awareness of being a good student via the core competencies of self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness and responsible decision making. HE helps to ensure that our school is a safe place where students and staff can engage in culturally responsive and personalized learning. He is an excellent listener and always remembers to listen first and ask questions later. He is also a wonderful communicator who possesses the skills to communicate ideas, thoughts, and feelings verbally. Mr. Entrikin regularly shares ideas with students to help them reach a crucial decision and learning experiences. His ability to be friendly, warm and approachable to his students, parents and faculty members assists in opening the door to trust and the letting go any burdens that need to be worked out. This trust is also strengthened by Mr. Entrikin’s sense of humor. He is able to laugh at himself and offers anecdotes from his personal experiences to show students that he is human. It is without hesitation that I nominate him for this award.

-Susan D’Alessandro, Principal (also a very nice note from Mrs. Kundrat’s 1st Graders)

Joel Dougan, Ocean City Primary School

Joel Dougan is the epitome of demonstrating leadership, helping others, resiliency, positive change, problem solving and anti- bullying. As guidance counselor, Joel Dougan leads our I&RS process which monitors and advises staff how to better educate students. He also assists in finding effective and innovative strategies for teachers to apply within the classroom setting. His approach is one of charisma, which causes staff to display mutual respect for him and his ideas. Helping others seems to be his main goal in life. Whether students had a bad morning, need an ear to listen or partake in a group session, Mr. Dougan is there to help with the most therapeutic approaches. In addition, Mr. Dougan is the first person staff go to for technology, questions regarding life and/or any type of question imaginable. Mr. Dougan is our man with the answers. His caring and warm smile can deescalate any situation and helps to find solutions as opposed to dwelling on the negatives. He supports resiliency by modeling this trait emphatically. Mr. Dougan’s group sessions promote student engagement and fosters student centered learning by empowering students among their peers to approach skill sets that seem daunting to these small children. By providing a safe, risk-taking environment, students are massaged through the process of becoming the best possible self through the dedication and support of Joel Dougan. Not only does Joel work with small groups, he provides classroom lessons during scheduled times and grade level assemblies on a monthly basis directed towards being a good friend and character education. Students are provided exceptional attention towards positives behaviors, which discourages bullying. Joel Dougan’s efforts and being are second to none. He truly deserves to be named Project TEAM’s Awesome Counselor!

-Cathleen Smith, Principal

Laura Medina, Nicolaus Copernicus School, Jersey City, NJ

Laura Medina is a School Counselor at Nicolaus Copernicus School. The school is a Pre K -5th grade setting. She is our Anti Bullying specialist and Chairs our Intervention Referral team. Ms. Medina exhibits leadership skills. She is a facilitator for the Casper program for children who need after care. She is the Head Teacher for the Summer School Program. As a Guidance Counselor she is always helping others. She works closely with the Administration ,staff,Parents students and the community. She always has a positive attitude, is resilient and is a problem solver. Ms. Medina has strong work ethics and makes sure the culture and environment is a happy and nurturing experience for all. As a member of this faculty she goes over and beyond for everyone. Her passion for education is evident. She is a true asset to Nicolaus Copernicus School. Everyday Ms. Medina exhibits all of the SEL foundations. She is a true model for the children.

-Diane Pistilli, Principal

Thomas Fink, Mapletown Jr Sr High School

Leadership: Mr. Fink is a natural leader. Teachers and students regularly come to him for guidance and advice on a variety of subjects. Helping Others: Mr. Fink has a true open door policy for all students and staff that need assistance in any way. He routinely goes into the classrooms and faculty lounge looking for ways to help others. Resiliency: Mr. Fink has talked many students out of dropping out of school. He has motivated students to work through personal and academic problems so that can attend college and trade schools. He is a strong proponent of labor unions and the military and has pushed students with severe family limitations into vocations where they have succeeded. Positive Change: As a member of our SAP Team Mr. Fink has truly made a positive impact on the lives of at risk students. He has turned around many kids who were in danger of dropping out. Problem Solving: As the testing coordinator at our school Mr. Fink works through challenges involving students and staffing. We are responsible for both PSSA and Keystone Testing, therefore he has to make multiple testing schedules. Anti-Bullying: Mr. Fink teaches students to stand up for themselves and to be observant in resilient in helping others. He is an excellent mediator that teaches students to solve problems independently.

-Mr. Donley, Principal

Keli DeCarlo, Friendship Hill Elementary School

Keli takes on leadership roles within our district through her active involvement in developing the District 339 Guidance Plan. She helps others in a variety of ways throughout the school building. From counseling our students (and sometimes parents too) to mentoring counselor interns, to helping a student wash his/her face and comb their hair. Keli demonstrates resiliency and positive change not only in her work life but also her personal life. She doesn’t give up – She just received her doctorate degree after seven years! She is an avid runner and participates in marathons both locally and nationally. This speaks volumes about her will power and willingness to never give up! Specifically, she helps me with problem solving by brainstorming ideas and strategies to use when dealing with difficult and sensitive situations regarding student safety. Finally, she promotes anti-bullying through teaching monthly classroom lessons with our students in grades kindergarten through five as well as discussing specific topics with groups of students when needed. Keli DeCarlo is an exemplary School Counselor and deserves to be honored for it.

Ms. Przbylinski, Principal

Colleen DeBerry, Uniontown Area School District

Helping others-Mrs. DeBerry is always willing to help others. She works with students, parents, and teachers. She conducts weekly counseling sessions, small group lessons and check ins with students to name a few. She takes time to build relationships with students and gains their trust. She works with parents through numerous phone calls, attending meetings, KDG registration, student registration, PAC meetings and much more. She is always a professional. She works closely with teachers planning the best way to help students whether adjusting schedules or making goals to help improve a struggling student’s GPA. Problem Solving- Mrs. DeBerry is very strategic when solving students’ problems. She gathers information about the problem and makes a plan of action that always ends with good results. Anti-bulling-Mrs. DeBerry is a member of AJ McMullen’s anti bullying team. Contributing from the very beginning. I can’t say enough about how much Mrs. DeBerry has helped me personally. I would never have made it through my first several years as a new principal if it wasn’t for her. That’s why I am nominating Mrs. DeBerry… she deserves to be recognized for all her efforts and the behind the scenes work she does.

-Tracy Holesapple, Principal

Kristin Fink, Canadochly Elementary School

Mrs. Fink is the team leader for the Teamology team as well as for Positive Behavior Support Team. She serves on several committees at the school and district levels such as Data Team, Student Support Team, Career/Work Standards implementation planning team and Attendance Improvement. Mrs. Fink has led professional development opportunities for the staff on topics such as data collection and Functional Behavior Assessments. She conducts lessons with every classroom on making goals, positive changes, anti-bullying as well as meeting with small groups of students and individual students on building resiliency and overcoming challenges they face. Mrs. Fink is present every morning greeting students, giving them a positive affirmation to help them get through the day and at the end of the day checking in with them to see how their day was. She helps parents find needed resources to help their children. Mrs. Fink has developed a relationship with community resources which help the school and families overcome obstacles.

-Ms. Moczulski, Principal

Katie Sleasman, Greene County CTC

Katie Sleasman has been a phenomenal asset to the Greene county Career and Technology Center (GCCTC) in many ways. She has created a safe and productive environment for all students, and her positive and resilient attitude produces incentives and opportunities for our students that very few students have outside the county. Even if the tasks that she undertakes fail, she is quick refine the solution and solve the problem. Katie has taken on bullying here at the GCCTC through proactive counseling, student communication initiatives, and student assemblies. Katie has positively changed our school by creating and facilitating student interviews, job training seminars, soft skill trainings and career fairs. Furthermore, Katie has created relationships with community leaders and community organizations that help our students and will continue to help our students long into the future. Katie exhibits and teaches leadership, the importance of helping others, resiliency, positive change, problem solving, and respect for others through her everyday interactions not only with the students but with the teachers and administration of this educational facility as well. Katie has made a positive chance not only to the CTC but to all the students in Greene County.

-Mr. Krupa, Principal

Pam Parman, Bowmar Elementary, Vicksburg Warren School District

Mrs. Parman is an awesome lady and school counselor. She gets into classrooms and teaches Leader in Me lessons. She also works with students one-on-one that are having issues. Whether it be issues at home or issues at school with academics or their peers. She is always willing to go the extra mile. She started a program called Scatter Kindness here at Bowmar. Which fits her to a tee. She is the picture of a kind, loving, and caring person and school counselor. Ms. Parman is always such a happy person as well. She loves her job, school, and most importantly her students. She’s the best!

-From her principal, Mr. Bennett, and multiple colleagues

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