Upper Iowa University alumna, Connie Euans ’93, was named the 2013 Iowa High School Counselor of the Year. However, Euans’ journey to become an outstanding counselor was not an expected one.
When Euans was in high school, her guidance counselor had all the sophomores research and write a career paper. She decided to write on school counseling. But, when she found out that a master’s degree is needed for it, she immediately crossed it off of her list. She didn’t think that she wanted to go to college for that long. That’s when she decided to become a teacher.
Euans followed her sister, Kathy (Recker) Miller to UIU. She met her husband, Mike Euans, there and graduated from the Fayette campus in December of 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
After she graduated, Euans was hired as a middle school teacher at St. Malachy Catholic School in Creston, Iowa, and taught there for one year. She found herself drawn to the struggling students – students who were having difficulties with family issues, academic troubles or behavior issues.
Euans then learned of a master’s program that Northwest Missouri State University (NWSMU) through its School of Counseling. She started the program in June of 1995, and decided that since it was set up to be a three-year program, she would resign her teaching position at St. Malachy and accept a graduate assistantship in the psychology department at NWMSU. She worked 20 hours a week and her tuition was waived.
In August 1996, Euans was hired as the K-12 school counselor at Lenox Community Schools on a conditional license. Because she was not working full-time, she was able to take extra classes and graduated a year early in May 1997.
She worked at Lenox Community Schools for an additional year after graduating before her husband’s employment with the Iowa State Patrol took them to northeast Iowa, where she served at Postville as the 7-12 School Counselor for 12 years. For the past four years, Euans has served at South Winnishiek as the 9-12 School Counselor.
Euans was an active student in UIU. She helped to start a peer helping organization, served on the Student Government Association, played intramural sports, and worked in the bookstore.
Euans said, “I loved being part of a small campus where I could be involved in many activities and get to know my professors well. The friendships I formed with my UIU friends and the experiences I had have helped me become the person I am today. I have remained in contact with many of my UIU classmates over the years. It is exciting to hear about the many job promotions and achievements they have earned. I am proud to be a Peacock!”
Euans also said that it is important to love what you do, “Reach for the stars and keep striving until you see those dreams through to reality! I truly love being a school counselor. Not everyone can say they love their job. If you love what you do, it will show.”