LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dr. Heidi Truax

Position: Executive Director, Office of School Counseling
School: Chicago Public Schools
School District: Chicago Public Schools
City, State: Chicago, IL

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Dr. Heidi Truax was nominated by her colleague, Dr. Vince Walsh-Rock.

Dr. Truax is a true leader at the district, state, and national levels. As a former master counselor for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Dr. Truax helps vet district initiatives, facilitates presentations, and serves as a mentor for school counselors. She has since become the executive director for CPS, leading all work for school counseling in the district. She has led city-wide “RAMP camps” for school counselors who want to learn how to complete the RAMP application. Dr. Truax has earned RAMP three times and most recently earned a RAMP School of Distinction award from the American School Counselor Association.

At her school, Dr. Truax assisted the school with earning an “exemplary" Safe and Supportive School Badge from the Chicago Public Schools. This means that a comprehensive social-emotional learning plan is in place at her school, including strategic planning, social-emotional core curriculum, a menu of options for small group and individual supports, a behavioral health team, and community partnerships. 

Dr. Truax advocated for her school, which serves pregnant and parenting teens, to establish a Career and Technical Education course and a Dual Credit Course. She coordinates all school-wide events for parents and students at Simpson Academy and serves as a lead on multiple initiatives throughout the school. 

At the state and national level, Dr. Truax also uses her collaborative talents. She serves on the board for the Illinois School Counselor Association as the vice-president counselor educator. She regularly earns one of the highest ratings for her presentations at the ISCA state conferences year after year. Dr. Truax has also facilitated presentations for ISCA in the fall on the new 4th edition of the ASCA model. Additionally, she serves as a lead RAMP reviewer for the ASCA and regularly presents on behalf of ASCA at the annual conferences. 

Dr. Truax also serves as a counselor educator at Roosevelt University. She won the Dr. Toni Tollerud School Counselor Educator of the Year award from ISCA for the amazing work that she has done at Roosevelt University to build and improve their school counseling graduate program.

Her knowledge and expertise never goes unnoticed in any platform in which she serves. Her passion for her students and the school counseling profession is evident in all that she does, from developing stellar programs in her school and seeing huge improvements, to serving at the state and national level through ISCA and ASCA, to serving as a counselor educator. Dr. Truax is wise and truly cares about the well-being of others.

Comments (6)

Amanda Szaraz Posted over a year ago

I cannot think of a more fitting award for Dr Truax than Life Changer of the Year. Dr. Truax has a documented record of changing lives for the better, whether it was in her role as a school counselor, as a school counselor educator at Roosevelt University, it as the executive director of the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising for Chicago Public Schools. She is a dedicated educator and a fierce advocate.

Roger Truax Posted over a year ago

Dr. Truax is a hard working and caring person who enjoys what she is doing.

Angela Shanahan Posted over a year ago

Dr. Truax has been a school counselor that I have looked up to for years. She not only sets a high bar for herself, but for everyone around her, students and staff alike. I have seen her advocate for our students to educators across the district in hopes of a better and more equitable future. Dr. Truax is passionate about what she does and it’s contagious! This has become even more evident in her new role in CPS. She makes herself visible and available and I look forward to seeing the impact that she has on all the students in CPS.

Erin galfer Posted over a year ago

Heidi is incredible. She always puts kids first and is so organized. Her resolve is never ending. Thanks. -e

Karen Devine Posted over a year ago

Dr. Heidi Truax has been a true champion of students since the day I met her. She has been a counselor in a few different high schools in Chicago, and is always championing those who don’t have a voice or need a little help with their own. In particular, she was the high school counselor at the Simpson Academy for young woman, a school serving pregnant and parenting teen moms in Chicago. She truly supported her students and their own children, and helped them become independent, as they learned the skills and had the support to thrive. As the district director now, she is able to influence all students in the district. She will not rest until every student is supported in all aspects, and she works as hard or harder than us, always being a team member as she leads.

Michele Howard Posted over a year ago

Dr. Truax is indeed a life changer in every aspect of her life. From the work she has done as school counselor for a vulnerable population of students to leading the entire office now for our district. It has been a pleasure hearing her passion and seeing her bring it to fruition through CPS!