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2012 Counselor of the Year

River Ridge HS Counselor Named 2012 CCSD Counselor of the Year


Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo, right, congratulates CCSD Counselor of the Year Jeff Bennett of River Ridge High School.

River Ridge HS Counselor Bennett was a counseling icon at Etowah High School before he accepted the challenge of opening a new high school, serving as the first (and for two years, the only) counselor at River Ridge High School, where he has been serving the growing student body of Knights since 2009.

He has focused not only on serving the needs of students and staff, but also on growing a culture within the school.

Mr. Bennett, who holds three bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees, plus a specialist degree in guidance and counseling from Georgia State University, created new programs at River Ridge, such as the “Crusading Knights,” for building student character and bully prevention; and the “Knightly Quest for Lifelong Success” evening speaker series for students and parents on college and career choices.

Many know Mr. Bennett as the voice of the River Ridge Knights, as he serves as announcer for football, basketball, soccer and lacrosse events.

“The comprehensive counseling program that I have attempted to start at River Ridge HS starts by holding me accountable as a role model for my students, teachers, administrators and parents,” said Mr. Bennett. “Children may not listen to adults, but they will definitely model how we act and behave.”

2012 Innovation Zone Counselors of the Year

Cherokee Zone: Michael L’Esperance, Teasley MS

Creekview Zone: Shannon Cazier, Macedonia ES

Etowah Zone: Jill Cole, Boston and Oak Grove ES

Sequoyah Zone: Brenda Hall, Mountain Road ES

Woodstock Zone: Lynne Watts, Sixes ES