LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Symone Sylvester

Position: School Counselor
School: CodeRVA Regional High School
School District: CodeRVA Regional High School
City, State: Richmond, VA

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Symone Sylvester was nominated by her principal, Kume Goranson.

Ms. Sylvester started her career at CodeRVA as a part-time special education teacher, but she quickly moved into the role of school counselor in 2019. She serves 77 students in grades 9-12 and is a tremendous champion and advocate for their success.

Ms. Sylvester uses her calm, professional demeanor and excellent listening skills to build relationships with students across a wide variety of demographics.  Her commitment to students is evident in the way she makes social-emotional learning (SEL) a primary focus of her work.  As one of four staff members on the school counseling team, she challenges her colleagues to find creative ways to embed SEL skills in classroom lessons, small group instruction, and other direct services to students.

Ms. Sylvester has assisted the school counseling team in creating a curriculum on organizational skills, time management, and goal-setting that will be implemented with over 90 students during the 2020-21 school year. She's an advocate for improving outreach efforts at CodeRVA, and she knows schools must partner with families to provide the best support for students.

Ms. Sylvester’s signature program at CodeRVA is her leadership of the school-wide Morning Meetings program. She coordinates the content that is delivered to all grade levels, and she differentiates the information provided at each grade level based on those students’ needs.  These Morning Meetings are an opportunity for students and staff to build connections, learn about mindfulness practices, and stay informed about the many events happening at CodeRVA.

Ms. Sylvester goes beyond her role as a school counselor by serving on CodeRVA’s Ninth Grade Academy planning team and the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Team.

"Symone is an enthusiastic team member, a dedicated school counselor, and a true Life Changer for so many students.  It is a privilege to recommend her for this award," said Goranson.



Comments (12)


Theresa Katz Posted 3 months ago

Although Symone is the youngest member of our department, I learn from her example everyday. She is kind, compassionate, empathetic, and creative. She has a passion for SEL and our students benefit as a result. I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for the Lifechanger of the Year. I am so lucky to have her as a colleague and a friend.

Shyana Posted 3 months ago

I love you auntie and I'm super proud of you! The kids are lucky to have someone with a big heart but also stern lol. You are a inspiration!

Rebecca Posted 3 months ago

Symone is an outstanding counselor. I have witnessed her tactfully and patiently have difficult conversations with students. She is thorough and kind when working with students and staff. We are lucky to have her in our school.

Joy Posted 3 months ago

I adore Symone! She is patient, reliable, and empathetic. She has been an asset to our community. I love what Symone stands for and how she relates to her students.

Azia Posted 3 months ago

You can always count on her to listen when you just need someone to talk to. Symone was and is always good at find solutions to any problems that you may have. She’s there whenever you need her to be. One of the top counselors world wide.

Erin Hill Posted 3 months ago

Symone ranks among the most caring, patient, and skillful counselors I have known. Having witnessed her compassion and tact in small group and one-on-one sessions with students experiencing tough situations, I can attest to her strength in calming and comforting everyone around her, including myself. I am grateful for Symone's positive contributions to our team and for our school community.

Angela Posted 3 months ago

Symone is one of those most creative and empathic counselors that I’ve had the privilege to work with. She’s cares deeply about her students and goes above beyond. Our department is so lucky to have her!

Rahmah Johnson Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Sylvester is awesome! She is a caring and compassionate counselor always working towards the betterment of all students. The Life Changer of the Year award couldn’t be given to another person. She is an innovator! She is a game changer! With her teaching background, it was a smooth transition to counseling. She is always teaching no matter the capacity, taking advantage of teachable moments. Ms Sylvester makes a difference in the lives of students. She a TRUE COUNSELOR, always pushing students beyond their limits, always encouraging and always speaking positivity!

Chancye white Posted 3 months ago

Yo rock these children need more people like you awsome job and you deserve this.

Julie Akins Posted 3 months ago

I have known Symone for 25 years. She has always been one of my most favorite and memorable people in my life. She was my rock when I went through family tragedy. She was my biggest cheerleader in grade school. Symone is one of the most kind and genuine souls I’ve ever met in my life. She truly cares about other people and she always has. She has the biggest heart and the most infectious personality. A calm, intelligent, creative, and loving leader hands down. Congratulations on your nomination Symone, you deserve this award and more!

Gwendolyn Ashworth Posted 3 months ago

Symone is an awesome colleague to work with. She has a calm demeanor and is wise beyond her years. She is versatile in her skillset and in her abilities to connect with different students and is always open doing what is needed of her. CodeRVA is lucky to have Symone!

Shandra Posted 3 months ago

Im a proud sister of a wonderful amazing genuine authentic woman.Who is very dedicated to her job,she works hard.she sets goals,and crush easily. Congratulations you always make me proud