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Carroll County Public Schools Counselor Named Maryland Elementary School Counselor of the Year

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Renae Butler Named Maryland Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Renae Butler, school counselor at William Winchester Elementary School, has been selected as the Maryland Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Maryland School Counselor Association.

Butler designs and implements a culturally responsive comprehensive school counseling program. Her priority is to create a program that meets all student needs. The academic, career, and social/emotional domains are a driving force behind her thoughtful delivery of individual student support, small group counseling, and schoolwide initiatives that positively promote student growth and success.

Butler consistently stands out as a remarkable leader within the elementary school community. She has recently taken the initiative to volunteer for a groundbreaking pilot program specifically designed to delve deeply into the assessment of her school counseling program. This requires participants to examine every facet of their school counseling program. Her unwavering commitment to innovation in her field was evident as she eagerly embraced the opportunity to serve as a role model, willingly sharing her comprehensive program and openly highlighting her data.

Each year, Butler diligently analyzes her school’s data and meticulously crafts a comprehensive student outcome goal plan. In the previous academic year, she set her sights on addressing the persistent issue of student attendance. Her objective was to reduce the percentage of students with 20 or more absences by June 2023, and she achieved this goal with a remarkable 5% reduction. Her success can be attributed to her thorough planning, collaborative partnerships with stakeholders, and targeted interventions. She made a significant impact on student attendance by personally meeting with identified students facing attendance challenges daily and maintaining open dialogue with families. Additionally, Butler implemented a system of incentives to motivate students to attend school for five consecutive days, fostering a sense of achievement. Lastly, she employed visual aids to empower students to take ownership of their attendance and regain control over their academic success.

In nominating Butler for the award, Nicola Fagan, Supervisor of School Counseling, and Christie McCubbin, Mentor of School Counselors, noted that “Renae is a star in the school counseling profession. Her innovative approach and dedication to improving student outcomes are truly admirable. She is a natural leader, a collaborator, a strong advocate for the role, and truly puts kids first.”

Butler consistently exemplifies professionalism and serves as an advocate for the advancement of the school counseling profession. She recently underwent training in Restorative Approaches (RA) and presented at this year’s school counselor in-service, where she shared her profound insights into her RA initiatives. Her advocacy centered around the implementation of RA within classrooms, fostering inclusivity, promoting cultural sensitivity, and nurturing a sense of camaraderie among both students and staff. Her innovative approach precipitated a profound cultural transformation within the school, significantly enhancing the dynamics and, in turn, creating an environment conducive to students’ comprehensive success in all areas.

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See a post about this from CCPS on X (with photos used above):

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William Winchester Elementary School is located in Westminster, Maryland:

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