Becky Brannock, a faculty member who has achieved the designation of University Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Pittsburg State, has been inducted into the Kansas School Counseling Hall of Fame.
In addition to teaching, Brannock also serves as the director of PSU's School Counseling Program, which prepares candidates for careers as professional school counselors in Pre K-12 settings.
The induction, made official at a recent conference in Emporia, Kansas, was in recognition for her years of distinguished service to the school counseling profession.
Recipients are chosen by a committee consisting of school counselors, school counselor educators and school administrators who base the award on several criteria: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills, and contributions to student advancement.
Brannock, who lives in rural Oronogo, Missouri, said receiving the award was one of the most humbling and proud moments in her 38 years as an educator.
"To be recognized for contributing to a profession that I believe in, truly love, and have a passion for is the greatest feeling ever," she said.
But the best feeling, she added, "is being able to see the student go on to the field to work as school counselors. That's the real reward."
"I believe with my whole heart that what school counselors do does make a tremendous difference and has a lifelong impact on the students with which they work," Brannock said.
She was inspired to become a counselor, she said, by an experience in high school.
"I had a wonderful school counselor, long since deceased, in Willow Springs, Missouri, and he was just phenomenal," she said. "I wanted to graduate from high school in three years; I was ready. He helped me make that happen. His inspiration and attention is what guided me to become a school counselor. I wanted to reach kids like he reached me."
Brannock joined the faculty at PSU in 1995. She's known for her unique approach to lessons: an avid gardener, she uses her fresh produce in recipes she uses for a multicultural food day in her classes, celebrating the ethnic backgrounds of her diverse student population and the diverse populations they'll one day serve. And she shares seeds with them that they may plant in their own gardens.
She has been awarded a sabbatical for the Spring 2018 semester, and has signed with a publishing company to use the time to write a textbook for one of her classes: "The Essential Guide to Effective School Counseling Programs."
"My hope is not only to use it in teaching, but also for it to serve as a how-to manual for school counselors who want to establish comprehensive school counseling programs in their districts," she said.
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