LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Constance Certion

Position: Social & Transition Specialist
School: Arlington High School
School District: Arlington Community Schools
City, State: Arlington, TN

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Dr. Constance Certion was nominated by her colleague, Rochelle Douglas.

"Dr. Constance Certion is truly a LifeChanger," said Douglas. "Serving as one of our district’s social and transition specialists, she is critical to student and staff success on a daily basis. She is always striving to meet the mental, emotional, and physical needs of our students."

Dr. Certion has 15 years of experience in school and community-based counseling settings. She is a member of the West Tennessee Counseling Association and Tennessee School Counseling Association. Additionally, she was recently appointed to the Governing Council of the Tennessee Counseling Association, where she serves as the Membership Chair.

Dr. Certion earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Rhodes College, her M.S. in Counseling from the University of Memphis, her Ed.S. from Liberty University, and her Ed.D. from Carson-Newman University.

The social and transition specialist position has become a vital asset to the district. Some students have unique needs and require resources to overcome different social and emotional obstacles. Dr. Certion has been able to tap into these issues and help students conquer various problems.

While the main role of the social and transition specialist is to counsel students with mental, social, emotional or physical needs, Dr. Certion also plans district-wide intervention initiatives and partners with local agencies to assist families in need. She also works to give teachers the resources to identify students who may be struggling in school and at home.

She recently established a chapter of Active Minds at the high school of 2,000+ students. This student-led national organization not only supports mental health awareness and education for high school and college students, but works to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.

Dr. Certion has also provided teachers with mindfulness training tools through a nationally-known program. Mindfulness is one of many strategies that promotes self-care and reduces anxiety. She has facilitated teacher training, including Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. This opportunity teaches the warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds an understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

"Dr. Certion helps the whole child grow, not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well," Douglas said.

Comments (32)

Carla Blanchard Posted over a year ago

DR. CERTION IS MOST DESERVING OF THIS AWARD. SHE IS WARM, CARING AND GENUINELY CONCERNED ABOUT OTHERS.She will work to the end of helping her students. She is always open to their needs and concerns. Working tirelessly until the task is completed.I remember one instance in particular when one of our students was in a serious accident that left him paralyzed, as an administrator I got in lunch and fed him daily. I asked Constance to help me on days that i got busy with other tasks, she jumped right in. This student stays in touch with her. This is the characteristic of a life changer. I enthusiastically say that she is the perfect person for this award.

Jennifer Booker Posted over a year ago

I could not think of a better person who is deserving than Dr. Certion. She is passionate about serving and helping others. She is genuine and cares about the well-being of others. Her dedication to her students is a blessing to everyone that knows her. She is AMAZING!!! Well deserved. Thank you for your continued commitment to help those in need and for being a Life Changer that you are.

Joyce Bolden Baugh Posted over a year ago

As the mother of Dr. Certion, I can proudly say that she has shown unimaginable care , concern , guidance and other life changing attributes to others throughout her life. She mastered reading skills and read fluently to her classmates in pre- school. . She was a volunteer buddy to a classmate who was severely disabled. She went beyond expectations to help him with with academic and physical challenges . She even protected him and herself during a physical and verbal attack from two bullies as they visited an off campus middle school event. I will never forget her middle school end of the End Year Program when I could not hold back tears as she was the recipient of several awards in various categories in a highly ranked school. Dr. Certion tutored other who faced math challenges at our home while in high school. As a career employee, it is only natural that she continues to help others change their lives I am aware of how she works with students not just while they are students but some of her students find ways to keep their contacts. Undoubtably, Constance, my daughter, is a one of a kind person who works unyielding and persistently to help change the lives of others as a family and career person.

Shelby Francis Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Certion, I'm so happy for you that you have gotten this far in your career to have earned this amazing opportunity. I'm so excited for you. You have made such an impact in my life and have helped me with so many of my problems. I'm not just being a suck-up; I really mean all of this. You are so influential to the students at AHS and you don't even realize it. I adore you. You are my favorite staff member at our school. <3 I appreciate you, Mrs. Certion. Thank you for all that you do for me and Arlington Community Schools.

Curtis m. Baugh Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion has always been genuine, caring, and true. She genuinely cares about people, starting with her family and extending out to infinity. She is truly a life changer because she continues to impact lives, the way she has always done since elementary school. And I know, because I am her proud father!

Tiffany Roberson Farmer Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is a blessing to my students not only the school. She is always in tune with the students needs and goes above and beyond to provide anything my students my need in school and outside of school. Just recently she has blessed the special education program at my school with providing a work based learning sight at one of the local churches here at Arlington, and she was a first line of defense when there was a medical emergency with one of my students families. If anyone deserves this award it is Dr. Certion, I can go on and on about how wonderful she is and how she just does things from the kindness of her heart.

Faye Werner Posted over a year ago

Having previously worked with Dr. Certion for several years, I have observed her genuine dedication and hard work for students in order to meet their individual needs. Many examples can be given for the numerous ways in which she is truly a LifeChanger. Dr. Certion quietly worked with the school’s Social Worker to acquire clothes and glasses for students who could not afford them, and she managed that in a way to maintain each student’s dignity and confidence. She helped low income students find scholarships and assisted them with their FAFSA application so they could attend college, searched relentlessly to find a college or vocational school that would admit students with no green cards, as well as helped special needs students find a college or vocational school with programs to meet their skills and interests. She provided counseling for students who had various problems from home issues to self-esteem to peer conflict, as well as for students who just needed someone to listen. She has always diligently sought to know her students as individuals, to be present for them, and to support and encourage them in any way possible, regardless of the time involved or the difficulty of the situation. Anyone who has worked with Dr. Certion knows the extraordinary influence and commitment she has for her students and has clearly seen the many ways she has been instrumental in changing students’ lives.

Kristen Kellum Posted over a year ago

Simply put, she is an outstanding counselor and a genuinely good person! I am better for knowing her.

Terra (Miller) Sayer Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion was my college and career counselor at MCHS, and she was always very sweet, patient, and supportive. I grew up with a rough family background that affect my daily life, but Dr. Certion was always available to provide me with a safe haven full of undivided attention, reassurance, and motivation to keep going even when I felt like giving up. She is such an amazing person and just a breath of fresh air who brightens the lives of everyone she meets!

Arlisa H. Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion has been a motivation for me since I met her in high school! Dr. Certion played a pivotal role for me during my junior and senior year of high school. She is the reason I am now a social worker and I to want to follow in her foot steps. Dr. Certion has continued to support me and encourage me well after I graduated high school in 2009. Dr. Certion truly cares about the community in which she serves! I cannot think of anyone more deserving! Dr. Certion is a selfless giver and her light shines bright wherever she goes!

NaToya Douglas Posted over a year ago

I met Dr. Certion my 9th grade year of high school where she served as a school counselor. Over the years, she has become so much more than that to me. She has an amazing spirit and always goes over and beyond. Dr. Certion's hard work makes a huge impact in each person's life that she comes in contact with. Her genuine care and compassion make her more than deserving of this award.

Julie Allgyer Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion was quick to come to my rescue when I had two boxes of food that I needed to get to the Arlington Free Pantry.I had missed a deadline to get the food where it needed to be. I wasn't sure how to get it to the community members in need, and I was told to email her. She was quick to make arrangements to have it collected directly from my room. She makes helping our community so easy.

Anna Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is amazing! So proud to have her in our school system. She is a wonderful child advocate.

Martha Grammer Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion was my youngest child’s School Counselor and always made sure he felt important, encouraged and challenged. She is not only an excellent practitioner, but a truly kind and compassionate person. She is a blessing to Arlington Community schools.

Dana Viox Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion has made a huge impact on the whole child in our community. She has been instrumental in getting valuable information to our community along with partnering with local businesses to help better our community. She is responsible for bringing in training tools for school staff and promotes self care.

Jeffrey Chipman Posted over a year ago

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Certion for six years. In that time I have seen many instances where her direct support and intervention have become turning points for positive change with students. She truly cares about each student in our school and works diligently to ensure they have the supports they need to overcome the challenges they face. As a faculty sponsor of our school's Straight/Gay Alliance, I have had several instances where students have come to me in crisis. I have always been able to go to her and get critical assistance for students in this vulnerable population. Her support is unconditional, thoughtful and reasoned, and always compassionate. She is a consummate professional and has truly changed the lives of many students I have known. The nomination for this award is certainly deserved. I am proud to call Dr. Certion a friend and colleague.

Casey Sandlin-Rogers Posted over a year ago

Dr. Constance Certion is a viable asset to our school and and school system, as a whole. She is patient, compassionate, involved and most importantly makes a difference in our students' lives. Dr. Certion makes herself available to each of our students, as well as, making strides to help our students transition from alternative learning settings back into main stream classrooms. She provides guidance and a listening ear to those (students and faculty) who are grieving, depressed, anxious or just need a place as a sounding board. Our school is blessed to have an individual who is so unselfish and driven to change the lives around her in a positive manner.

Lindsey Davis Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion deserves this award for many reasons. She genuinely cares for every student she meets. She is so compassionate, caring and has a smile on her face always. She is such a joy to work with. I always feel so comfortable going to her with any issues that may need to be addressed. Her love for the students is another reason she deserves this award! She is an amazing life changer.

Tiffany Roberson Farmer Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is a blessing to my students not only the school. She is always in tune with the students needs and goes above and beyond to provide anything my students my need in school and outside of school. Just recently she has blessed the special education program at my school with providing a work based learning sight at one of the local churches here at Arlington, and she was a first line of defense when there was a medical emergency with one of my students families. If anyone deserves this award it is Dr. Certion, I can go on and on about how wonderful she is and how she just does things from the kindness of her heart.

Melissa Owen Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is one of the best counselors I have known in my 30 years of teaching. She has always been willing to help a student; and any time I refer a student to her, she almost immediately calls them to her office to check on them and provides them with assistance of all kinds. She has also implemented a program so that teachers can evaluate all the students on campus several times a year so that we can track any concerning behaviors or changes. And, when a family member of mine was having some mental health issues, she was kind enough to help me find resources to use to help that family member. She is deserving of this award!!

Erin Williams Posted over a year ago

Constance Certion is consistent, kind, and generous. She "shows up" for students, staff, and the community. Constance comes alongside others and helps to restore dignity and self-worth not only by providing support and practical solutions, but by being able to listen and be fully present with the individual. I cannot express how deserving Constance is of this Life changer Award.

Felicia Turner Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion constantly seeks opportunities to instill hope, motivation and confidence in the students with whom she works. Our teachers, students and their parents know that she genuinely cares, and she possesses the passion to seek out solutions that may help our students become the best version of themselves now and in the future. She truly deserves this nomination.

Pamela Burt Posted over a year ago

This award is so well-deserved! Constance is such a tremendous resource for our schools and her compassion for people is genuine. Thank you Dr. Constance Certion for being a valuable asset to our schools and community.

Danielle Studdard Posted over a year ago

Dr.Certion deserves this reward! I graduated last year and she helped me tremendously during a time of need. She was always there for support and to talk to me whenever I needed her. I am still in contact with her and she still helps me. My mom and I was very blessed to have her help us when we needed it the most! We love Dr.Certion! She absolutely deserves this award with all of her hard work!

Tonya Hawkins Posted over a year ago

It’s an honor to work with Dr. Certion. She is such a caring person who truly wants to help and serve others! Congrats!

Sonjralynn Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Certion always exceeds expectations in the work that she does!

Latisha King Posted over a year ago

You are well deserving of this award you touch so many children’s lives at Arlington Community that need it the most.

Trassey Evans Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is very compassionate about the students, parents, and teachers of Arlington Community Schools. She pushes you out of your comfort zone to be more accountable and committed to the "real" needs of the community. She is truly the essence of what a life changer should be!

Shamaron Slaughter Posted over a year ago

Constance is such a beautiful person and her spirit matches. She is compassionate and has so much gratitude in helping others. When I’ve needed to know different things she always had an answer for me. This award is worthy of her unlimited success doing what she loves.

Cari Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion is one of the best! She is always so friendly, willing to help and always remembers my oldest who has since graduated and is off to college.

Tyler Hill Posted over a year ago

Dr. Certion's passion for student success is undeniable. Her goal is simple: ensuring that each child, to the best of her ability, is equipped for any social, emotional or physical obstacles they may face at home or in school, and she approaches the job with a level of expertise that guarantees comfort for all those she interacts with. To be a true life-changer, a person has to selflessly make personal sacrifices for the betterment of someone else, and Dr. Certion has shown this commitment for hundreds of children and teenagers throughout her career. From working after-hours and weekends to her endless and ever-evolving mission to develop a healthier community, Dr. Certion has truly given her heart to those who need it most in Arlington Community Schools. There's no greater LifeChanger than Dr. Certion.

Jeremy Yow Posted over a year ago

I agree. Dr. Certion is a valuable asset to Arlington Community Schools. She helps a lot of kids through a variety of things. Her work never stops!