‘An incredible honor’: Hanover career counselor receives national recognition

‘An incredible honor’: Hanover career counselor receives national recognition
Shannon Edwards, counselor at Hanover County Public Schools, was recognized with a national award. (Source: Hanover County Public Schools)

HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - A counselor at Hanover County Public Schools has been recognized with a national award.

Shannon Edwards, a career counselor at Atlee and Patrick Henry high schools, won the 2020 Association for Career and Technical Education’s Counseling and Career Development School Counselor of the Year.

“This is an incredible honor to me,” Edwards said. “Every day that I walk into Atlee and Patrick Henry high schools I feel both blessed and tremendous gratitude to have the opportunity to support our wonderful students and families.”

The award recognizes counselors and career development personnel who demonstrate commitment and innovation in their profession.

In her role, Edwards co-facilitates scholarship committees and provides career counseling and job-search coaching for students. She also coordinates higher education and military visits, connects students with internship opportunities and helps students explore career choices.

“As a school counselor/career counselor, I am beyond proud of this recognition,” Edwards said. “I am thankful to be a part of our amazing Hanover School Counseling team and am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues that inspire me to go above and beyond every day for our students.”

Karla Allen, HCPS coordinator of counseling services, said Edward’s dedication and creativity bring her program to the next level.

“Shannon Edwards is a role model for what a school counselor should embody,” Allen said. “I could not be prouder of Shannon for this award that highlights her work and takes Hanover County Public Schools career programs to the national level for recognition.”

Edwards is a graduate of Virginia Tech and VCU, and has worked for Hanover County since 2017. After a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative, she felt drawn to the job and her ability to help others, particularly students.

“School Counseling/Career Counseling is the perfect fit for me. It took me several years to discover this, which is why I feel drawn to helping students explore their interests early on,” Edwards said. “Although, choosing a career field isn’t a perfect science, having information and knowledge about a particular career area allows you to make more well-informed decisions about your future.”

The Virginia Chapter of the Association for Career and Technical Education nominated Edwards for her career counseling work. She also worked to build a Counseling and Career Development Division with Virginia ACTE.

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