HUNTSVILLE, AL – School counselors make a positive impact in our schools; they often go about their work of helping students with college & career readiness, applications, life decisions, etc.; all in a quiet manner but with life changing impact.

As part of National School Counseling Week, Huntsville City Schools hosted a symposium for district counselors and counselors from Madison County Schools on Thursday, February 6th.

Four area counselors were recognized for their efforts to inspire students to achieve. These counselors gave their reasons on why they chose school counseling as a career path.


Bob Watson, New Century Technology High School

A counselor’s presence in a student’s life is most powerful. Bob Watson knows this fact all too well.

“I like making a difference in people’s lives and student’s lives and trying to help them overcome their issues and to see them reach their goals. When they reach their goals, that’s us reaching our goal.”

Anita Hutchison, Hazel Green High School

The passion a counselor displays with their students influences them to have the same sustaining excitement in their future careers. Anita Hutchison displays this passionate influence with more than 20 years of counseling service.

“I decided I wanted to empower as many students as I could to maximize their potential,” Hutchison said.

“I love my career as a school counselor. It’s my life, it’s who I am and that’s what I want them to feel. We can help them explore their strengths and their weaknesses and point them in the right direction,” she said.

Crystal Wright, S.R. Butler High School

Counselors are often “all things to all people.” Crystal Wright explains the foundation of her inspiration in the career of counseling.

“I didn’t go into education to be a teacher. I went specifically to be a school counselor. When I was in middle school, I ended up being a school counselor’s aide. I spent an hour a day with two counselors and I watched them every day. All I know is that when the students left, they were better than when they came in,” Wright said. “I don’t know what they said behind the doors, but I knew that whatever impact they had on students, I wanted to have on people too. I knew that I wanted to be like these women who made a difference somehow.”

Janell Jagielski, Dawson Elementary

A counselor’s work goes beyond the surface; it’s heartfelt/ in-depth work, not only for the students, but also for parents and teachers. Janell Jagielski explains how she incorporates this concept into her work of service.

“I knew I could do more for these kids. I chose to be able to do something that helped those kids outside of the class so that they would be successful inside the class. And that’s what it was — to get out of the classroom, give up something I love to do something else that I love, which is helping them flourish, seeing them reach their goals, to push them even harder and to get them to do things they never thought they could do or never thought they could go,” she said.


Inspire & Achieve is a Non-Profit Organization promoting higher education, undergraduate scholarships, and Cybersecurity awareness to the community. For additional information, please visit www.inspireandachieve.net.

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