Henrico, Va. May 9, 2022 — The Virginia School Counselor Association has named two HCPS school counselors the commonwealth’s best for 2022. Christina Tillery of Highland Springs High School was named Virginia Secondary School Counselor of the Year and Holly Guelig, a school counselor at Greenwood Elementary School, was named Virginia Elementary School Counselor of the Year. The two will be recognized at the association’s annual conference in October.
It is the third straight year that a Henrico County Public Schools elementary school counselor has won the statewide honor. Last year Erin Rettig of Ridge Elementary School won the elementary award, and Cashell Donahoe Elementary School’s Lila Hiltz won in 2020. It is the fifth time since 2014 that an HCPS school counselor has won at the middle and high school level.
The annual awards for elementary and secondary school counselor of the year are based on implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program and the American School Counselor Association’s guiding national model.
“May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a perfect time to reflect on the critical role our school counselors play in the well-being of our schools,” said Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent. “From helping students achieve their academic goals to providing resources for mental health and development, these two honorees embody our school counseling program’s tradition of excellence.”
“I believe it takes a village to uplift young folks, and I am just honored to be a part of the village,” said Tillery. “Highland Springs is a resilient community with deep roots and history. I hope this recognition genuinely shines a light on the genius of our students and the tenacity of our staff and families.”
“This award reflects the incredible school family I get to work with at Greenwood,” Guelig said. “Our ‘dream team’ works so hard to create a learning environment full of love, belonging and fun. It is a labor of love to be a school counselor and I am beyond blessed that I get to serve my Greenwood students and families in this capacity.”
Tillery is from Pinetops, North Carolina and has been a school counselor at Highland Springs since 2017. Before joining HCPS, she was a social studies teacher in Charles City County. Tillery holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a doctoral student at VCU in counselor education and supervision.
Guelig is originally from Fredericksburg and joined Greenwood as a school counselor in 2013. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from VCU. Guelig is also co-host of the “Edspire” podcast, which features conversations with inspirational figures in education.
“Both of these school counselors have made a significant impact on their students’ academic achievement, social and emotional development, mental health, and college- and career-readiness,” says Liz Parker, the school division’s director of school counseling, student support and wellness. “This recognition demonstrates their commitment to their students and school communities, as well as to the values and mission of the HCPS school counseling program.”
Learn more about the school division’s counseling program at https://henricoschools.us/school-counseling/.