Our school counselors are extraordinary, which is why we’re sharing the stories of our Innovation Zone Counselors of the Year… please help us celebrate River Ridge Innovation Zone 2019 Counselor of the Year Kelly Brangan of River Ridge High School!
For River Ridge High School Counselor Kelly Brangan, the highlight of her day is talking with students.
Sometimes it’s a conversation about how to get back on track in a class or which college would be the best choice to pursue their passion. And sometimes it’s a student in crisis seeking help.
Ms. Brangan’s experience gained over a career as a special education teacher followed by the last 12 years as a counselor, her devotion to caring for each individual student, and her commitment to being the best team player possible, has earned her the respect of students, parents and colleagues and the title of River Ridge Innovation Zone Counselor of the Year.
One of her favorite memories as a counselor began when she met a student, who was crying but wouldn’t open up to her. “You’re a counselor,” he said. “I don’t like counselors, and I don’t trust them. All you do is hand out Chick-fil-A gift cards and punch a time clock.”
They went to her office; she talked, and he mumbled some before heading back to class. This same scene repeated itself again and again as the year progressed. “But each time,” she said, “he was more willing to talk, eye contact increased, and he stayed a little longer.”
Then one day, he came to visit the office… and talked freely for 30 minutes to share his concerns and to seek Ms. Brangan’s guidance!
As another student said: “Ms. Brangan saw things in me that I did not see in myself. She helps students realize they are so much more than their achievements, grades and accolades. I know my life would not be the same had she not been a part of it.”
In her own words: “They key for me is always, ‘What is best for kids?’”
Special thanks to our Counselor of the Year program sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia! #CCSDfam