LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Jaime Clemens

Position: School Counselor
School: Edison Elementary School
School District: Mesa Public Schools
City, State: Mesa, AZ

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Music that Describes Jaime

Jaime Clemens was nominated by Sarah Skemp, Chair of the Arizona School Counselors Association.

Ms. Clemens has been an educator with Mesa Public Schools (MPS) for 31 years and is going into her 17th year as a school counselor. She's extremely passionate about students and her job as an elementary counselor.

Ms. Clemens fits the bill as an extraordinary counselor by a myriad of factors.  She…

  1. implemented a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program (such as the ASCA National Model)
  2. establishes programs which support students’ academic, career, and personal/social development
  3. collaborates with stakeholders to promote equity and access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students to maximize student achievement
  4. advocates for the school counseling profession
  5. maintains professionalism through high-quality written communication and public-speaking skills
  6. strives to be a model citizen of her community, the school counseling community, and the broader professional community

Ms. Clemens has been the Lead Elementary Counselor for MPS for 11 years. She has been instrumental in working with her Supervisor and Superintendent to improve counselor/student ratios for elementary counseling. For the 2019-2020 school year, Mesa Public Schools added 37 new elementary counselors.  MPS hired American School Counselors Association (ASCA) personnel to train all counselors for two years, so they all are implementing the ASCA national model. Additionally, Ms. Clemens has hosted many college interns who are now working within the district.

Ms. Clemens has been on numerous district committees: Suicide Task Force, Climate/Change Task Force, ECAP, District Crisis Team, Synergy Documentation, Evaluation, and the City of Mesa. She is trained to do Safetalk, ASIST, and Youth Mental Health First Aid. She runs a mentoring program and a game club at her Site. Ms. Clemens is a member of the SEL (Social/Emotional Learning) team and does weekly announcements. She has written curriculum to create a K-6 Framework of monthly classroom lessons. She runs groups, counsels individual students, and is always willing to assist families. Ms. Clemens has been an integral part of making her school a “Trauma Informed School.” She has also worked with Maricopa Community College on their East Valley CTE (Career Technical Education) Symposium.

Ms. Clemens attends countless Professional Development opportunities to be the best school counselor possible. The most important component of her role as a school counselor is to be available to assist as many people as she can: students, staff, parents, administration, other counselors… or any person she meets!  

Due to her influence within her school culture, ability to make a difference for her students and families, leadership, professionalism, and ethical standards, Ms. Clemens was chosen as Arizona School Counselor of the Year 2020.

Comments (1)

Alex Macdonald Posted over a year ago

As Jaime's principal, for the past 10 years, I have been able to see first hand the amazing work that Jaime has done with students and their families. She has been such a support for our students and community and always does what is best for kids. The role of school counselor is not always fun or glamorous. She has helped with crisis intervention needs across our district. She is often helping families that are in desperate need of services and support. Students have grown to trust her as a person that will always be on their side and will help them face challenges that could otherwise be overwhelming. In the past few years, she has been the trainer for our district counselors as the personnel for schools has grown. She helps new staff get acclimated to the role of school counselor and has been a model for her peers. She is always open to helping people and is mentoring our new counselor this year as she grows into her role.