Anderson earned an EdS with the School Counseling program in 2006. Originally from Knoxville, she still lives and works in the city. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.
Secondary School Counseling at Knox County Schools
As a facilitator, I am responsible for training, professional development, and program development for middle and high school counselors in the district.
Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student
- Eugene and Mary Sue Akins Graduate Fellowship
- For the most part, I was working full-time at UT Knoxville while getting my EdS. As Director of Undergraduate Academic Services, I was responsible for First Year Studies, National Student Exchange, Undergraduate Academic Appeals Committee, and the academic programming for the Volunteer Living-Learning Community.
- At the end of my studies, I left my full-time job for a graduate assistantship in Career Services to finish my EdS.
- During my internship, I was offered an interim position at Ball Camp Elementary school where I served as M.A.P.S. Counselor for three days a week.
Accomplishments since Graduating
The most touching honor I received was receiving the W. R. Turner Award in 2011. This award was the top award given by students to faculty. When I was honored, it was the first and only time a School Counselor was honored. The fact that it was given by students meant the world to me because, to quote a wise principal (John Bartlett), “It’s about the students.”
The next greatest honor was being in the top 16 semi-finalists and the first cohort of school counselors to be honored at the White House! The recognition that this award ceremony gave school counselors across the country was a pivotal moment for our profession. It was not about the personal honor; but rather about the importance of our work being recognized. I’ve seen conversations shift locally, statewide, regionally, and in the country about the importance of school counseling.
Writing, walking, public speaking, humorous skits. As a mother, I have been an advocate at local, regional, and national fronts to enrich families whose lives have been graced with Down syndrome.
What do you think was the most rewarding/challenging about this program?
Completing the program while working full-time and raising two children was personally rewarding. It was a challenge that seemed extremely difficult, but when sitting in the movie theater with my son during my first “summer” as a secondary educator and hearing Nathan say, “This is awesome!” I knew then that the challenge was worth it.
What was the most memorable experience during your time here?
Joel Diambra’s TMI moment during Group.
How did your experiences as a student help you in your professional/personal life after graduation?
I think the single most significant experience as a student that shaped my professional life after graduation was Jeanine Studer’s encouraging us to become involved in our state organizations. Myself and many of my classmates became and are still active in SMCA, TCA, and TSCA. The connections made across Tennessee have helped shaped me as a professional in ways I would not have grown otherwise.
“If you can keep the well-being of students at the center of your work, most everything else will fall into place.” – Beverly Dickerson Anderson