When she sat down to a luncheon Friday at the Illinois School Counselors Association conference, Anna Marie Yates, Ph.D., was expecting a quiet meal with fellow National Louis University professors.
Instead, she got a a huge surprise.
Leslie Goines, the president-elect of the school counselors association, announced Yates as a winner of the association’s lifetime achievement award.
Helping students become their best selves
“My reaction is grateful appreciation to the hundreds of school counselors across the state who are doing the same tasks that I did – helping students to become their best selves in academics, career choice and social-emotional well being,” Yates said.
Yates, assistant professor in National Louis University’s M.S. in Counseling program, served as a counselor in northwest suburban High School District 214 schools for 20 years. She holds her Ph.D. from Northwestern Univesity.
This is the first time the Illinois School Counselors Association, which is one of 14 divisions of the Illinois Counseling Association, has presented a lifetime achievement award. Yates, who has served as president of three of the ICA’s divisions, was nominated by Vince Walsh-Rock, Ph.D., assistant principal for counseling at Downers Grove South High School.
Earlier, Yates won the Illinois School Counselor’s Association High School Counselor of the Year award twice, in 1995 and 2006.
Here is what Goines read in presenting the lifetime achievement award to Yates:
Anna Marie has been an integral part of ISCA for many years. She served as a past president and worked many years as a school counselor in District 214 where she was way out in front of our field in using a developmental model to help her students. She was very beloved in that role. When she retired she took a counselor education position at National Louis and taught young counselors what she had been doing and advocating for in her role as the school counselor. She has been a tireless member of ICA, ISCA and ICDA, and has served in numerous roles and offices. She has served in the creation of and revisions of the Illinois State Developmental Model, now in its 4th revision.
On a personal note, she is extremely dedicated to the role of the school counselor and to advocating for each and every student to grow and develop in a healthy manner. She has always been a special advocate in the career and college arena to promote post-secondary training for all of her students. She is a mentor to many and a leader in the state of Illinois regarding this work. She is always cheery and friendly and supportive. She is also reliable and committed to a task she takes on. She is great to work with and is a powerful behind-the-scenes person.
School counseling evolved over time
Upon receiving the award, Yates said her thoughts now take her back to the past, surround her with the present and lead her focus to the future.
“In the early ’60’s when I was hired for my first school counseling job, I tried to reach every student–via large counseling curriculum groups, small groups, and individual sessions; I contacted parents, worked with teachers, and did testing,” she wrote.
“These reflective past memories are ever so vivid in the present. I am working with my interns who are right now facing these same challenges that I encountered in the past and also adding new and even more difficult issues and incorporating connections through new technologies and internet access. And, I do think about the future…our world and the kind of problems that lie ahead. Our profession is always on the cutting edge of new theories and interventions that will help our students.”
Learn more about National Louis University’s M.S. in Counseling program