Amy Owens, director of counseling at Mount St. Mary Academy, has been chosen as this year’s Central Region High School Counselor of the Year by the Arkansas School Counselor Association (ArSCA). The award honors Mrs. Owens’ outstanding performance, advocacy and leadership in the field of school counseling. She will be recognized as a regional winner at this summer’s ArSCA conference in Hot Springs and is eligible to advance to the state-level Counselor of the Year competition.
Eden Coker, freshman counselor at Mount St. Mary, and Whitney Smotherman, the school’s college counselor, nominated Mrs. Owens for the honor. In their nomination letter, they highlighted their colleague’s many contributions to the school and praised Mrs. Owens’ dedication to her students. “She is the most passionate counselor we have had the pleasure of working with, and after 15+ years in the profession, she continues to advocate for the profession and for all students,” they said. “She has created a culture where counselors are stakeholders in the decisions that guide our school. Serving on major committees [at Mount St. Mary], she is a voice for our students in all that she does.”
During her 10 years at Mount St. Mary, Mrs. Owens has been instrumental in building a comprehensive counseling program that now includes targeted support in freshman transition and postsecondary planning as well as a learning services coordinator and testing center. She has helped spearhead the development of the MSM Wellness Center, Honor Council, Mental Health Club, and Prepare U mental health curriculum at the school. Most recently, Mrs. Owens completed more than two years of outside training through Central Arkansas Pet Partners to be able to incorporate a therapy dog in her work with students. Oliver, a four-year-old Goldendoodle, joined the counseling team this past fall.
In addition to heading the Counseling Department at Mount St. Mary, Mrs. Owens also serves as the 10th-12th grade counselor. Her positive impact on her students and the rapport she has established are illustrated in the following statement a senior student provided for Mrs. Owens’ Counselor of the Year nomination: “Mrs. Owens is the most amazing person in the world! She is the easiest person to talk to and really listens and validates what you feel. Then she gives you options that will make the situation better and puts the ball in your court. Mrs. Owens is not going to fix the problem for you, but lets you take control of your success by giving you the perfect advice for any challenge you are facing.”
Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition, Mrs. Owens, and thank you for all you do for our school and our students!
Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.