Alumni News

Rebecca Atkins (M.Ed. ’03) named North Carolina’s elementary school counselor of the year

Rebecca Atkins (left) receives her award from an NCSCA representative at the NCSCA Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C., Nov. 5.

Rebecca Atkins and Paula Trantham, principal of Millbrook Elementary School

(Left to right) Marvin Connelly, Wake County’s assistant superintendent of student services, High School Counselor of the Year, Middle School Counselor of the Year, Rebecca Atkins, Principal Paula Trantham

(Left to right) Principal Paula Trantham, Rebecca Atkins, Jessica Wells, Atkins’ co-counselor who nominated her for the award

Wake County’s Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Marvin Connelly and Rebecca Atkins

Rebecca Atkins of Millbrook Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C., was named North Carolina’s 2009-2010 Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). Atkins is a graduate of the UNC School of Education’s Master of Education in School Counseling program, which has been ranked in the top 20 school counseling programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Previously recognized as Wake County’s 2007 Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Atkins has made significant improvements to her school’s counseling program. Due in part to her efforts, Millbrook Elementary was one of just 60 school counseling programs from 14 states to receive the Recognized ASCA Model Program ( RAMP ) designation in 2008.  The RAMP award is given by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to school counseling programs that are, according to ASCA, “committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program.”

Atkins also has implemented a school-wide bullying intervention plan at Millbrook. As a result, student referrals to the office have decreased by 65 percent.

In addition to strengthening the counseling program at her own school, Atkins is committed to helping other programs become more successful. She has provided workshops and made presentations at several conferences including the ASCA conference, and has volunteered her time to assist other school counselors in applying for the RAMP award.

Moreover, she gives of her time to mentor and supervise school counseling interns from UNC-Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University. At the district level, she serves on the Superintendent’s Task Force for the Wake County Public School System and serves as coordinator for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) Grant.

Atkins is highly regarded by both her colleagues and her students for the outstanding work she has done as an advocate for children. She has helped students and families receive needed supplies in their homes and has taught parents new skills to help their children succeed in school.

In a handwritten note, one of her students wrote, “I like you because you helped me become friends with other people. You made me feel special because you took good care of me.”