Last item for navigation
Utica Community Schools counselor named Michigan's best
Utica Community Schools counselor named Michigan's best
Posted on 08/27/2021
Picture of Henry Ford the Second counselor, Catherine LivingstonAs a school counselor, Catherine Livingston has dedicated her career to meeting the needs of her students at every level of their academic and emotional needs.

It’s this “whole child approach” that has earned the Henry Ford II High School counselor selection as the 2022 Michigan School Counselor of the Year by the Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA).

“It truly is an honor to receive this award as it not only represents that accomplishments I have made, but it represents the accomplishments and positive things Utica Community Schools is doing regarding our students and their academic, career and especially their social emotional/mental health needs,” Livingston said.  “They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a dedicated united school district to educate the whole child.”

In announcing the award, MSCA cited Livingston for leadership in providing resources and support to counselors for their students’ mental health needs and trauma.

“You lead the way in doing the right thing for students,” said Terri Tchorzynski, MSCA President.

Livingston describes her approach as best reflected by Mandy Savitz-Romer in Fulfilling the Promise, who describes the school counselor office as an “academic home” for students.

“School counselors are the first point of contact for student support, and we as school counselors must have the knowledge and access to be able to coordinate and connect services for our students. Just like a primary physician who coordinates patient care in their medical setting,” she said.

Livingston is certified as a professional counselor, serves on many state and community student mental health boards, and has presented at multiple state conferences on youth mental health and suicide prevention.

She has many accomplishments during her 22 year in school counseling:

·        Transitioning the UCS Crisis Team to a Critical Incident Stress Management Team with an emphasis on being more mental health focused and using a national model approach.

·        Establishing the first KNOWRESOLVE Student Leader Group which promotes youth mental and suicide prevention awareness.

·        Collaborating with Macomb Family Services and offer the Adolescence Outreach Program (AOP) which provides therapy for our students during the school day at no cost to the parents.

·        Collecting data and discovering the positive impact AOP has on academics.

·        Partnering with KNOWRESOVLE to have yearly presentations for our high school students on youth mental health and suicide prevention awareness.

·        Developing Mental Health Cards for parents and staff during the COVID Pandemic.

“None of my accomplishments who have occurred if it wasn’t for the supportive group of individuals that make up the UCS Community,” she said.