Erin Hamilton was nominated by her colleague, Sarah Swanson.
Ms. Hamilton was selected as the Alaska School Counselor of the Year this past year. She is an inspiring leader, not only in her school community, but amongst her school counseling colleagues in her district and across the state.
Ms. Hamilton led her school counseling team in a re-organization of their department and service delivery system. She and her team looked at school data to see where students were struggling, and they designed programs to support students and meet their needs. One of her top priorities was helping incoming freshmen transition more smoothly and successfully to high school. She and her team started a peer mentoring program, training upperclassmen to run a weekly program with freshmen. To be able to deliver this new program, she created a new Friday schedule for the school that built in the needed time. For those not in the mentoring program, the counselors created weekly videos on a variety of topics.
Ms. Hamilton knew incoming freshmen would need more than a weekly program. She created a Freshman Academy, which allowed her to work with teachers to not only have time in classes for ongoing large group learning, but to identify students who might benefit from more targeted small group or individual support.
Ms. Hamilton is always ready to help students and staff. She's always willing to go the extra mile and make sure that everything is handled with efficiency. She genuinely puts a lot of dedication into every endeavor that she participates in. Both students and faculty benefit greatly from her hard work.
"Erin is a LifeChanger," said Swanson. "She has seen the need of her students at a particularly difficult transition time and has not only responded in her own work, but has taken on the challenge of shifting the system in which she works to become more responsive to her students' needs."