MSCA Awards

Congratulations to Our
2022 Montana School Counselor of the Year:
Chad Jackson!

The Montana School Counselor Association is pleased to announce Chad Jackson of Ponderosa Elementary School in Billings
, MT has been selected as the 2022 Montana School Counselor of the Year. 


Nominees are scored on the following criteria:
* Evidence of use of the American School Counselor Association National Model to develop a comprehensive program

* Evidence of characteristics or qualities demonstrating leadership

* Evidence of innovation and originality within school counseling program
Evidence contributing to student achievement and enhancement
* Dedication to the profession and membership to MSCA

Chad Jackson exemplifies this award and we are proud to call him our 2022 MT School Counselor of the Year! Chad is described as a magnificent counselor, educator, colleague, and individual. His work ethic and drive is infectious to those around them. He strives to help students, parents, and colleagues by focusing positively on individual student needs and empowering all parties to be active members in a students’ education. He has a passion for using innovative methods and creativity to support students. Chad’s calm and empathetic demeanor make him easily approachable, even by kids who have never met him before. 

 Montana School Counselor of the Year Award honors the best of the best - counselors who are running a top-notch, comprehensive school counseling program at either the elementary, middle, or high school level. Recipients of this award are nominated for the national ASCA School Counselor of the Year and sent to awards event in Washington, D.C.


Congratulations to
Sara Cole,
our 2022 Montana Advocate of the Year!

Sara is the Director of Special Programs for Kalispell Public Schools.  For the past five years, she has been responsible for managing multiple special education programs, school psychologists, special education staff and the Systems of Support (SOS) initiative (aka MTSS). When Sara was hired, she seemed to make a very conscious effort to support counselors and the Suicide Prevention Task Force in addition to performing her duties in Special Education services. Sara’s presence, professionalism, experience, passion and ability to lead with empathy helped many begin to move beyond the myths and fears of talking about suicide.
Sara developed the space and time for K-12 counselors to collaborate and learn about recommended best practices for school counselors in suicide prevention, response and after care. Sara always approaches situations with kindness, professionalism and a "people/students first" attitude. She brings a "humanness" to the sometimes automatic processes, systems and roles of the school counselor. She consistently advocates for genuine self-care (more than just suggestions for going on a walk or taking a bubble bath). She has provided opportunities for school counselors to explore compassion fatigue, burnout, overwhelm and some of the other tough topics that come with school counseling/education in general. Bottom line--Sara sees us and let's us know. 

The M
ontana Advocate of the Year Award
 recognizes individuals who contribute to the implementation and improvement of school counseling programs. These individuals demonstrate their belief in and support of school counseling programs that impact school counselors and their students at the local, state, and/or national level.
The MSCA Graduate Student Scholarship ($500) is awarded to one outstanding graduate student studying to become a school counselor at a Montana institution of higher education. *The Board of Directors decides from year to year whether budget will allow this to be offered.

Past MSCA Graduate Scholars:
  • 2020 - no scholarship offered this year due to COVID impacts on MSCA budget
  • 2019 - Jordan Helig
  • 2018 - Micall Searles