Kathy Gabrielson ‘73, Story City, Iowa, was named the 2015 Iowa Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA) at the annual ISCA conference in November. Gabrielson serves as school counselor at Roland-Story Elementary School in the Roland-Story Community School District.
“The most impressive attribute and reason Kathy deserves this award is the relationship that she builds with all of her students. Kathy is the teacher who, when students leave a guidance class or a visit with her, they see the very best in themselves and know that they are genuinely valued as a person,” said Jill Johnson, a kindergarten teacher at Roland-Story Elementary School.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University, Gabrielson earned a master’s degree at Iowa State University. A school counselor for the past 27 years, she was named Belmond-Klemme Community School District’s first elementary school counselor in 1988. She has served as the Roland-Story Elementary counselor for the past 16 years.
In addition to helping train and mentor new counselors into the profession, Gabrielson has provided presentations at conferences and workshops, including at-risk programs and the ISCA conference. Kathy began utilizing the program, “Character Counts!,” over 15 years ago. Under her leadership, Roland-Story Elementary was selected as the Character Counts! Elementary School of the Year in 2006.
The UIU alumna is credited by her peers for exhibiting an immense presence in leadership roles at Roland-Story Elementary. Recently, she has been involved in implementing a data collection system for conflict management and other student-led leadership activities and in developing a PLC for district counselors. She has also been an active leader on the Roland-Story MTSS Committee, School Improvement Team, Guidance Parent Advisory Committee, Child Study, Children of Promise (at-risk committee), Character Counts! Committee, and superintendent search team.