Release Date: 1/23/2015
Contact: Office of Communications, 410-887-5908

Two BCPS school counselors named semi-finalists for national honor

To be recognized at White House

TOWSON – Wendy Carver, school counselor at Shady Spring Elementary, and Jeremy Goldman, school counseling department chair at Pikesville High, have been named two of 16 national semi-finalists in the National School Counselor of the Year program. They are both headed to Washington, D.C., to be recognized by the American School Counselor Association and the Offices of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

A White House ceremony, to be held on January 30, will be followed by a black tie gala.

Carver, a resident of Belcamp in Harford County, has been a professional school counselor for 24 years, 14 of which have been at Shady Spring Elementary. Prior to that, she was a BCPS classroom teacher for seven years.

Among the school counseling programs championed by Carver are:

  • Guys with Ties & Girls with Pearls, through which students in Grades 4 and 5 learn manners and etiquette;
  • Operation Graduation, in which Carver partners with a Baltimore County Police Officer to lead a group of Grade 5 boys on a path toward graduation;
  • Career Day, during which community members from various industries spend the day at the school and present information about their careers to students; and
  • Community Outreach, through which Carver partners with the school community to provide food, clothing, and holiday gifts for families.

Her other notable activities at Shady Spring include peer mediation, a mentor program, LEGO Club, home visits, parenting classes, and family movie nights.

Goldman, a Lutherville resident, has been a BCPS school counselor since 2002 and now serves as the president of the Maryland School Counselor Association. After counseling at Franklin High School for nine years, he became the department chair at Pikesville High. Using a perception survey process he developed at Franklin, he gave Pikesville students the opportunity to evaluate their school counseling program, and then he set about moving the program from a more reactionary “guidance" model to a more comprehensive and active model to address students’ personal, social, career, and academic needs.

“We began spending more time presenting in classes, running groups, and reaching out to students in hallways instead of waiting for students to come to us," Goldman said. In addition, he began using social media to share information with students and parents. He operates both a twitter account (@PHSCouns) and a blog (www.PikesvilleHSCounseling.blogspot.com) on behalf of his department.

Goldman and his staff also recognized that some students were overloading their schedules with AP classes, while other students, who could probably succeed in AP classes, were not taking any., Students overall were not fully exploring their college and career options. This led to the launch of a PHS Fit campaign to encourage students to do what is right for them academically and in terms of career planning. To support this, Goldman asked the school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students to assist in researching 180 colleges within 6 hours of Baltimore County, and the counseling office began promoting a college of the day every day via tweets and morning announcements. The following year, they did the same thing with 180 careers.

Carver and Goldman, both of whom were 2014 Maryland School Counselors of the Year, will also be feted at the Maryland School Counselor Association gala on February 6 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. Also being honored at that event will be Donna Murphy, school counseling chair at Eastern Technical High School, who was just named 2015 Maryland High School Counselor of the Year; Sarah Fitzsimmons of Carroll Manor Elementary School, who led her school’s successful efforts to earn Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Program status; and National Teacher of the Year, Sean McComb (from BCPS’ own Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts), who will serve as the featured speaker.

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