Strickler named counselor of year

By JENELLE JOHNSON
Family Living Editor

Shelly Strickler

COLONY — Shelly Strickler began her career in education as a teacher and girls basketball coach at Anderson County High School in Garnett.
“So many of my girls would come to me seeking advice about their problems. I didn’t want to give them my opinion, so I would send them to the school counselor,” she said.
After a couple of years of her students continuing to come to her for help, Strickler decided to pursue the field professionally and received a master’s degree in counseling from Emporia State University.
On May 7, Strickler was honored by the Southeast Kansas Counselors Association as Counselor of the Year.
The award came as a surprise to Strickler during a meeting at the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush in Girard.
Strickler was nominated for the award by Teri DeGreer, counselor at Humboldt Elementary Charter School and Humboldt Middle School.
“I did my internship with Terri and worked as counselor at Humboldt High School for a year prior to coming to Crest 11 years ago,” Strickler said of their professional relationship.
Strickler said she sees students enduring more stress in recent years, especially if a parent has suffered a job loss.
Also weighing on students is their futures.
For many, the decision to pursue a higher education depends on qualifying for scholarships. For some, the decision to attend a vocational-technical college would put less of a strain on family finances as opposed to a university.
“I enjoy working with the students. This year’s graduating class was second graders when I started here at Crest. It has been fun watching them grow and mature into young adults,” Strickler said.
Strickler, her husband Garret and daughter Amanda live in rural Colony.

THE KANSAS Counseling Association was chartered in 1959 and is a state branch of the American Counseling Association. As the association for professional counselors in Kansas, its 640 members work in a variety of private practice, community agency and religious institutions, elementary, secondary, and post- secondary schools and colleges and university faculty settings.
Kansas is divided into six regions. Strickler was named Counselor of the Year for the Southeast Kansas Region.