- Boerne Independent School District
Boerne ISD Administrator, Counselor, Earn Statewide Honors
February 1, 2022- The Boerne Independent School District has announced that two staff members have earned statewide awards from the Texas School Counselor Association. Boerne ISD Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Ashley Stewart was named the Jan Friese Counselor Advocate of the Year, while Cibolo Creek Elementary School Counselor Nelda Zuniga earned the Elementary Counselor of the Year award. Both Stewart and Zuniga will be honored at the TSCA Conference in February. This is the second year in a row that Boerne ISD earned two statewide awards from TSCA.
“Dr. Stewart and Mrs. Zuniga are both very well-deserving of this honor. They are exceptional educators who go above and beyond for the betterment of their students,” Boerne ISD Executive Director of the Whole Child Lesa Pritchard said. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Stewart and Mrs. Zuniga and are grateful for all they do to assist our students. To earn statewide awards shows the positive influence they have on the Boerne ISD community. Boerne ISD’s focus on the whole child has been key to the success of our students’ physical, academic, social, and emotional success,” Pritchard concluded.
COUNSELOR ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Dr. Stewart has spent nearly 30 years as a public school educator, including the last four years as a member of Boerne ISD’s Senior Leadership. She has been an integral part of creating a Texas Model Counseling Program in Boerne ISD. Dr. Stewart helped create clearly defined roles and responsibilities for Boerne ISD Assistant Principals and Counselors, as well as worked to add counseling assistant positions to every district campus. These steps have helped Boerne ISD counselors focus the majority of their time on counseling services.
Comprehensive school counseling cannot take place without the support of school, community, and congressional stakeholders. The Counselor Advocate of the Year award is presented to honor individuals that have supported the role of the professional school counselor through one or more of the following activities: updated campus or district policy aligning the role of the professional school counselor with state statute and/or best practices, have supported and collaborated with the professional school counselor to organize, plan, design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive school counseling program as delineated in the Texas Model for School Counseling Programs (2018), have advocated with school, district, or community stakeholders on behalf of professional school counselors, and have introduced school counselor supported state or federal legislation.
ELEMENTARY COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR
Zuniga is in her fourth year as Counselor at Cibolo Creek Elementary School. She spent 10 years teaching 1st grade in both the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. In 2015, Zuniga pursued her goal of being a school counselor and graduated from the University of Texas-San Antonio with her Masters in School Counseling.
She enjoys counseling children and using different methods to engage in conversation with children. Zuniga’s passion is making people smile and feeling super special when they are around her.
Zuniga is the lead elementary counselor for Boerne ISD. She delivers professional development at the district level for counselors as well as teachers. Zuniga implements the Boerne ISD SEL program with fidelity and creativity, tying everything she does back to the Great 8 Skills. She also created the Kindness Club at Cibolo Creek Elementary School.
According to the TSCA, To qualify for these awards, nominations are made based on letters of recommendation, a rationale statement, and a resume detailing significant contributions to the field of school counseling. Professional school counseling experience and leadership participation in the areas of supervision, professional development, program, implementation, and program advocacy are also considered.