CREST award recognizes excellence in school counseling
Feb. 26, 2018 — Eleven Lewisville ISD (LISD) schools received a CREST (Counselors Reinforcing Excellence in Texas) award for excellence in school counseling — from classroom guidance to college and career readiness to equipping students with the social and emotional skills necessary to be successful in and out of the classroom.
Since its inception in 2005, CREST, which is sponsored by the Texas School Counseling Association (TSCA), has strived to recognize the very best in school counseling. On its website, CREST is described as a “continuous improvement document that school counseling programs can use to demonstrate effective communication and a commitment to obtaining results.” Through CREST, counselors can highlight how their program and campus supports students.
“The criteria to receive the honor is reflective of the standard set by the Texas Counseling Association,” LISD Guidance and Counseling Director Monya Crow said. “It means that a school counseling program is operating at best practice, serving its students, staff and community.”
All Texas schools are eligible to pursue the CREST application process. This year, 69 schools from across the state were honored with a CREST award. Schools are evaluated in seven categories: principal’s comments, school counseling advisory council, school climate and safety, student results, major achievements, community partnerships/resources and parent collaboration.
“The process is extremely rigorous,” LISD Counseling Coordinator Jill Adams said.
Adams, who also served as this year’s committee chair for CREST, said it is a significant accomplishment for 11 LISD schools to receive the award.
“For our campuses who went through the application process, they evaluated every facet of their programs and earned the highest designation in the state,” said Adams, who did not judge any LISD school submission.
For the second-consecutive year, Hebron High School (HHS) has been named a CREST award recipient. HHS counselor Latasha Rayford said the CREST application process gives schools the opportunity to showcase programs that are in place and the support school counseling programs provide.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for the work that we do,” Rayford said. “Not many people understand what we do every day — each day can be very different, and we may have to respond at a moment’s notice to the different events that occur in our students’ lives.”
She added, “We are honored to be selected as a CREST award recipient, and we will continually strive for excellence.”
Prior to joining LISD, Garden Ridge Elementary (GRE) counselor Emily Mennsfield said she served on the TSCA Board of Directors and was familiar with the importance of the CREST award. With the support of her principal Kelly Roden and campus, Mennsfield said she was able collect the data and information necessary to submit an application.
“Being recognized with a CREST (award) will help to promote all of the great things going on at our school to our community, our district and our state,” Mennsfield said. “It is truly an honor to be recognized with the other schools who received the CREST and I’m proud to be one of the campuses in LISD to have received the award.”
In fact, the front office staff at GRE has already submitted a request to display the CREST banner at the entrance of the school.
“I’m hopeful that as current and future families enter the school and see the CREST banner, they will feel like Garden Ridge is a wonderful campus for their child to attend where not just academics, but also social emotional well-being, are of the utmost importance,” Mennsfield said.
Lewisville High School Harmon (LHS Harmon) counselor Claudia Smith said her team was thrilled when they received the email notifying the campus of their award, which is the school’s second-consecutive CREST award.
“The CREST award is not just an honor,” Smith said, “but a means to advocate for our counseling department and demonstrate how we support student success in school. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the importance of the ‘whole child’ — academic, personal and social. The CREST award is just further reinforcement of what we do on a daily basis with students.”
Smith said she and her team are grateful for the support they have received from LHS Harmon’s administration and the district’s guidance and counseling department.
“We are honored and humbled for the recognition,” Smith said. “We will continue to serve our students, staff, parents and community stakeholders to the best of our abilities. We love representing that Farmer Pride.”
CREST winners were recognized at an awards dinner during the TSCA conference on Feb. 18 in Galveston, Texas.
“The application for the award is tough because it shines a light on an existing program,” Crow said. “It was so joyful to watch the counselors grow their program through the experience. As a result of the awards, we have programs that are even better than before.”
LISD CREST Award Winners:
- Castle Hills Elementary
- Coyote Ridge Elementary*
- Garden Ridge Elementary
- Homestead Elementary
- Rockbrook Elementary
- Downing Middle School*
- Lamar Middle School
- Flower Mound High School
- Hebron High School*
- LHS Harmon 9th and 10th Grade Campus*
- Marcus High School*