Arnold Mill ES Counselor Named CCSD’s 2013 Counselor of the Year
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo, left, congratulates CCSD Counselor of the Year Bob Jordan of Arnold Mill Elementary School.
Bob Jordan wipes away a tear as he talks about why he loves working as a counselor at Arnold Mill Elementary School.
“It’s helping people,” said Mr. Jordan, moments after being surprised with the news on Tuesday morning that he is the Cherokee County School District’s 2013 Counselor of the Year. “A little boy came in yesterday and told me he was taking out the garbage and a white van came up, and the man told him to get in the van. Then the boy said, ‘Thank God for Mr. Jordan,’ because he knew what to do because of Good Touch – Bad Touch [safety lessons].”
Mr. Jordan has so many stories with that same emotional weight from his 35 years as a school counselor, nine of which have been spent at Arnold Mill, like the special care he showed to a 9-year-old student suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after her home was destroyed in a fire.
“He has touched the life of my child and has inspired me in many ways,” the girl’s mother wrote in a letter supporting Mr. Jordan’s nomination for the award. “Robert Jordan is a remarkable man and educator, and I feel that he deserves this award.”
Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo presented Mr. Jordan with a plaque during the surprise award presentation at the school on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 attended by CCSD and Arnold Mill ES administrators; Mr. Jordan’s wife, Karen, who is an educator with the Cartersville City School System; and Becky Pfaff, one of his three daughters and a special education teacher at Arnold Mill ES.
“I can’t think of anybody who would be more deserving,” Dr. Petruzielo said to Mr. Jordan upon presenting the award. “Your work throughout your career, particularly here, has been so impressive. Thank you for all you do on a daily basis – it is appreciated. The leadership you show here on a daily basis really makes a heck of a difference. The kids, the teachers, the community all benefit.”
Mr. Jordan qualified for the award by being nominated as the Counselor of the Year for the River Ridge Innovation Zone, which includes the high school and its feeder middle school and elementary schools. A panel of veteran educators selected Mr. Jordan as the Cherokee County Counselor of the Year from the six eligible Zone winners. He now will compete for the Georgia Counselor of the Year honor, which will be presented this summer. Mr. Jordan will be recognized by the Superintendent and School Board at the School Board meeting on April 18, 2013.
“Meeting the kids every morning,” Mr. Jordan said of the highlight of his day. “If you come in to school in a bad mood, the kids will have you smiling.”
Mr. Jordan’s list of responsibilities at Arnold Mill Elementary is long, ranging from the traditional counseling services and referrals to coordinating all standardized testing to organizing special school-wide events, such as Career Day and the Giving Tree holiday charitable project to benefit needy families.
A native of Cherokee County, N.C., Mr. Jordan earned both his bachelor of science in math education and master of science in school counseling degrees from Western Carolina University. After working for the majority of his career in North Carolina, he and his family moved to Georgia, and he worked for two years at a Cobb County School System transitional learning center program before joining Arnold Mill’s staff.
Arnold Mill ES Principal Kerry Martin said through his actions Mr. Jordan shows how much he cares for students.
“His positive attitude and love of children are reflected in the outstanding quality of the counseling program that he has maintained at Arnold Mill,” she said, noting his concern is for the entire community. “His flexibility in working with students, teachers and the public has earned him an enviable reputation as an excellent counselor who truly cares about people.”
Mr. Jordan in his application wrote about one of the ways he connects with students: three or four times a week, he eats lunch with students in what they call the “bistro” area outside the cafeteria.
He coordinates guest speakers on topics such as self-esteem and time management, organizes role-play scenarios and leads small group counseling sessions.
“This is a special time for me because not all teachable moments come out of my office. These sessions give me an opportunity to talk with some students who would not normally seek me out as a counselor,” Mr. Jordan wrote. “Sometimes you can’t wait for students to come into your office.”
2013 Innovation Zone Counselors of the Year
Cherokee Zone: Whitney Minton, Canton ES STEM Academy
Creekview Zone: Susanna Brooks, Free Home ES
Etowah Zone: Kelly Brangan, Etowah HS
Sequoyah Zone: Colleen DeLosh, Indian Knoll ES
Woodstock Zone: Crista Sycks, Woodstock ES