Woodstock MS Counselor Named CCSD 2018 Counselor of the Year!
Principal David Childress, left, talks about what an asset Rod Metcalf is to the school.
Woodstock MS Counselor Rod Metcalf is described by his principal as “the heart and soul” of WMS, where he has supported and guided students since the school opened its doors in 1996. Mr. Metcalf’s dedication to the nurturing and motivating of thousands of students over 22 years led him to be selected as the Cherokee County School District’s Counselor of the Year for 2018.
Mr. Metcalf was surprised during a faculty meeting Tuesday morning with the announcement of his honor, and a plaque presented by Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools. He received a standing ovation from his fellow faculty members, and was also presented with a Kindle and other gifts from sponsor Credit Union of Georgia.
“Throughout the day, there is a constant stream of students to see him, whether the reason being that they need reassurance for that test they are about to take or that they need help with overcoming the obstacles in their way,” Principal David Childress wrote in his nomination letter. “Mr. Metcalf always provides a safe place for our students to get assistance and help that they need.”
“This couldn’t go to a better person– he’s been here 22 years, which means he opened the school,” said Dr. Hightower in making the presentation. “He doesn’t approach it as a point of entitlement. It’s ‘what can I do to make the school better’ each and every day.”
“I’m just one of many counselors in the county working hard to support the students of Cherokee County. This is not a ‘me’ thing, it’s an ‘us’ thing,” he told his peers upon accepting the award. “If we are all working together, our kids can make greater gains.”
Metcalf works the morning and afternoon car-rider and bus lane duties, taking advantage of the time to greet students at the start and end of the day. This helps build relationships with students, he says, which is key to students feeling safe and cared for at school. He established a Rainbows program at WMS for students whose parents are separated or divorcing, or who have experienced loss. These group meetings give him and other teachers and counselors time to focus on students who may be struggling with extra burdens in life.
Metcalf also draws on personal experience to assist him in connecting with students, as he and his wife adopted two teenage boys in 2011.
“This experience helped to shape me as a school counselor,” he wrote in his application. “I have new abilities to relate to students experiencing traumatic family situations. I gained a new found ability to empathize with parents struggling to raise teens who aren’t making good choices. I think it helps me to gain trust and help provide meaningful suggestions.”
Metcalf holds a specialist degree and master’s degree in school counseling from Georgia State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in juvenile justice from Western Michigan University. He will be recognized along with the Innovation Zone Counselors of the Year at the April 19 School Board meeting.
CCSD Zone Counselors of the Year 2018
Cherokee Zone: Mable Ferry, Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy
Creekview Zone: Allison Landreth, Macedonia ES
Etowah Zone: Donna Ratliff, Booth MS
River Ridge Zone: Madonna Mezzanotte, Little River ES
Sequoyah Zone: Lori Waycaster, Indian Knoll ES
Woodstock Zone: Rod Metcalf, Woodstock MS