Alumni News

Nicole Pfleger (M.Ed. ’06) named district-wide Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Photo of Nicole Pfleger

Nicole Pfleger

Nicole Pfleger was recently named the Cobb County School District Elementary School Counselor of the Year.  Since August 2006, Pfleger has been working as a school counselor at Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, Ga.

She has shown exemplary leadership in the community through book drives, adopt-a-soldier projects and food drives. In the classroom, Pfleger holds quarterly “Character Assemblies” where she recognizes students for demonstrating excellent character and academic achievement. She also presents a monthly character word at Smyrna City Council Meetings and hosts parent volunteer awards as a way to honor the work of outstanding parent volunteers and encourage the involvement of more parents.

“Nicole has an uncanny ability to form strong relationships almost immediately with both students and adults no matter how intelligent they are or what their ethnicity or gender is,” says Professor John Galassi. Pfleger served as a graduate assistant to Galassi while she was a master’s student at the School of Education.

Nickajack Elementary School PTA President Lori Rodgers commends Pfleger on her involvement with an after-school group called the DREAM (Demonstrating Respect Everyday to Achieve More) Team. The group was created to help fourth- and fifth-grade boys who needed additional encouragement. The students who participated in the program demonstrated a high level of aggression and anger control issues. Pfleger gave them a safe outlet to express themselves and learn to deal with anger.

“What is most astounding about Ms. Pfleger’s actions was her choice to pick a group of children with such difficult needs,” says Rodgers.

Associate Professor Patrick Akos also taught Pfleger while she was pursuing her master’s degree.

“Nicole was a consummate professional at the school and a hardworking, curious graduate student,” says Akos.  “She really cares about kids. If you combine that with her polish, talent and intelligence, it is no wonder she was named school counselor of the year.”