Position: Coordinator of Counseling Services
School: Bentley Administrative Center
School District: Springfield Public Schools
City, State: Springfield , MO
Music that Describes Robyn
Robyn Fondren was nominated by Becca Jacob, a family member.
Ms. Fondren is a fantastic person both inside and out. She wears many hats in order to help those in need. She is the coordinator and mentor for all public school counselors in Springfield, works for Lost and Found (grief support group), leads the Crisis Team for the school district, and is on the Equity and Diversity Committee.
Ms. Fondren started her career being a counselor for an elementary school. Within the eight years she held this title, she was named Counselor of not just her school, but the whole Southwest Region. Springfield Public Schools is the largest district in the state of Missouri! After receiving this honor, she accepted a position as the coordinator for all of the counselors in her district! Now, her amazing ideas are not only shared within the four walls of her classroom, but amongst an entire district through all of the Professional Development she leads.
She has used her life experiences to promote good. She lost her father and grandma at a young age, so she works at the Lost and Found grief support group to help those in similar situations. She often says, "Losing someone is hard, but so is grief. Why do it alone?" It can be messy, but she is always there to help pick up the pieces and be that listening ear.
Not only is Ms. Fondren on call for all of the counselors in her district, but she is also on call if a crisis happens to a student, staff, or school in the neighboring districts. Ms. Fondren develops a plan for action to help students and staff cope with the unthinkable. These are not easy conversations, but she does so with grace. It's like she always knows the right words to say at the right time.
Being biracial herself, she knows what it's like to look different. Growing up, she always wanted her teachers to look like her. Now she's showing others that school staff can look many different ways. She uses her role as an Equity and Diversity Member to teach staff how to embrace differences and best meet their students' needs.
"As you can see, my sister Robyn is not only a LifeChanger for one particular group, but to many, including me," said Jacob. "I always take her advice, as I'm a teacher with two kids myself. I know her impact is not finished, and she still has more love and kindness to share. It takes a special person to do the kind of work she does. I'm glad to know her, be loved by her, and watch in awe all that she does."