ESC Region 12
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ESC Region 12 Recognizes 2024 Regional Counselors of the Year
Picture of the 2024 Region 12 Counselor of the Year WinnersWACO, TX – Education Service Region 12 honored the 2024 Counselors of the Year and others during Friday's 11th Annual School Counselor Appreciation Luncheon.

This year, the 2024 Elementary Counselor of the Year is Chantel Gunness of Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD. The 2024 Secondary Counselor of the Year is Wanda Riggs of Valley Mills High School in Valley Mills ISD. ESC Region 12 also awards a special category to recognize a school counselor who serves an entire K-12 district. This year’s 2024 “Lone Ranger” School Counselor of the Year is Lara Herd of Frost ISD.

"ESC Region 12 had the privilege of recognizing excellence in school counseling programs in the Heart of Texas on Friday,” said Jeni Janek, the counseling services coordinator at ESC Region 12. “School Counselors take care of campuses for many diverse needs, from school safety to college and career readiness, to mental health programs and guidance lessons. We were very thankful for the chance to lift them up and watch them shine". 

This event, which started at ESC Region 12, has now grown across the state as other regions honor school counselors in similar ways. Partners Cedar Crest Residential Treatment Center, Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College helped recognize the work and dedication of Region 12 school counselors. Recognitions included retiring counselors, Regional Crisis Response Team members, Counselor Advisory Board and Elite School Counselors. 

View more event photos here.