Alumni News

Kelli Kirk (M.Ed. '04) named Elementary School Counselor of the Year for Wake County

Kelli Kirk was recently named Wake County Public School System’s School Counselor of the Year for the elementary level. Kirk works at Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh. In light of this award, Kirk will be considered by the North Carolina School Counselor Association and the American School Counselor Association for state and national awards.

She completed the School of Education’s Master of Education program in School Counseling in 2004, after earning her undergraduate degree in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2003.

“Kelli was one of the hardest working students in our program. She came as a compassionate professional who really connected to kids. She left our program with that same compassion and a vision and competence for leadership in student services. I could not be more proud of her," says Associate Professor Patrick Akos.

Kirk has been a counselor at Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh since it opened in August 2008.  She visits each classroom twice a month to offer guidance to students on topics ranging from building character to dealing with bullies. She also offers one-on-one and group counseling  sessions. Her other duties include planning and implementing school-wide programs such as Career Day, the Tardy Busters Program and a holiday event intended to help students in need. 

Kirk also serves as the student support team coordinator for her school. This group is comprised of Sycamore Creek school leaders who strive to promote success in the classroom.

Recently, Kirk organized Careers on Wheels Day for kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. The event featured an ambulance, a police car, a garbage truck, a cable truck and a fire truck and was intended to promote students’ knowledge about careers in each of these professions. The operators of the vehicles also attended and allowed the students to explore their means of transportation.

Before coming to Sycamore Creek, Kirk worked at Sylvan Elementary in Snow Camp, N.C. and at Hilburn Drive Elementary in Raleigh.

“As a school counselor for four years, Ms. Kirk’s positive attitude and love of teaching and children reflect in the distinguished and exemplary record she has compiled.  The guidance program that she has established at Hilburn Drive Elementary and at Sycamore Creek Elementary is of the highest caliber,” says Sycamore Creek principal Kristen Faircloth.