Megen Stair, a school counselor at Park Vista Community High School, was selected as the state’s School Counselor of the Year by the Florida School Counselors Association.
Stair, who has been a school counselor for the past eight years, has proven herself as an invaluable addition to the Cobra family. As the Counseling Advisory Council Chairperson at the school, she develops data-driven goals for teachers, parents, students, and administrators with the goal of advocating for each student and their needs.
“I am so blessed to be a school counselor. I have the opportunity to work with students to help them reach their full potential and prepare them to become independent members of our global community,” Stair says.
Stair has developed a core curriculum for freshmen at the school to help them understand graduation requirements, strategies for high school success and college and career readiness. She also used data analysis to determine that students who had a low GPA their freshman year were less likely to graduate. She and her team are able to target those students and meet with them, to ensure that they receive tutoring and credit recovery to keep them on track for graduation.
Stair manages Park Vista’s school counseling website and posts video and useful materials so that parents and students can access and learn from the material at their convenience.
“Our comprehensive school counseling program is known for its advocacy, leadership, systemic change and collaboration. We are advocates for our students, programs and our profession,” she says.
As students matriculate to their senior year, Stair meets with each senior to discuss graduation and post-secondary goals. In order to keep students excited about college and career readiness, the school holds an on-campus college, military, and vocational education fair. Once students make their commitment, they are then celebrated at a signing day, where they can share where they are headed.
“She has set a very high bar as to what a school counselor should be and continues to elevate it daily,” said student Kai Garel, who Stair has worked with on college admission. “I can’t thank her enough.”
But to Stair, counseling is more than preparing students academically, it’s about their social and emotional development too. Her department has an open door policy before school, at lunch, and after school, and students in crisis can visit with them at any time. “This flexibility means that we can more easily advocate for their individual needs,” Stair explains.
Stair’s positive effect on the campus is felt not only by students but by staff and administrators. “If I could grant one wish to my principal colleagues, it would be to bless them with a staff of counselors identical to Megen Stair,” said principal Reginald Myers. “Her enthusiasm, her innovativeness and her genuine concern for the students is contagious.”
“To be recognized for that work is truly humbling,” Stair said. “I am proud to be a member of a team that so clearly makes a difference for students every day on our campus.”