Position: School Counselor
School: CodeRVA Regional High School
School District: CodeRVA Regional High School
City, State: Richmond, VA
Music that Describes Symone
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.