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Local educators named Colorado counselors of the year

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 21:46:41-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The impact a school counselor can have on a student extends far beyond the classroom. That’s especially true for two local counselors who recently received recognition from the state because of their work.

This week, News5 is shining a spotlight on the two educators: Brooke Morgan, a counselor at Penrose Elementary School, and William Janas, a counselor at Jenkins Middle School. The two counselors both work in Colorado Springs District 11.

They’re representing the community in a big way. The Colorado School Counselor Association recently named them Counselors of the Year in the state.

Videos were taken of the two, and shared to social media, when the school’s principals surprised them with the news last Friday.

“It’s a great honor and very humbling. It was one of the biggest surprises of my life,” said Janas, who’s been a counselor at the middle school for 15 years. "I just find so much joy in what I do and the time that I can spend with our students."

Meanwhile, Morgan has been a counselor at the elementary school for four years and was surrounded by her peers when she got the news.

"I was really excited and honored. We've all just really come together to make the best for students,” said Morgan. “The school counselor role is so important to just meet the needs of your students and where they're at, and this year a lot of the needs have changed,” said Morgan.

Both are helping today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders, and meeting the needs especially during challenging times like the pandemic.

“There are some very difficult things we do as counselors,” said Janas, “And it's just such an honor to be able to walk through those situations with students."

Miles Green is a 7th grade student at Jenkins Middle School and weighed on in the recognition. He said during the pandemic Mr. Janas went beyond the call of duty to make sure students were doing well.

"Mr. Janas is an amazing counselor. He was still there, still checking on people and still just doing that,” said Green. "I think he should win this award like five more times.”

The two Counselors of the year are in the running for a national award. We wish them the best of luck from News5.

“It’s good to know that within our own community, we get to shed a little light on what's going on here, and bring focus to our counselors that work so hard,” said Morgan.