Thursday was a day of surprises for Beth Brown.
She wasn’t expecting her husband to show up at her job with a bouquet and sheet cake. She also wasn’t expecting to win the 2015 Outstanding Counselor Award, but the North Myrtle Beach High School senior guidance counselor earned top markings from the S.C. Counselors Association.
“I’m going to be shocked all day long,” Brown said after Principal Trevor Strawderman announced her award over the loudspeakers Thursday morning. Scott Brown, Beth’s husband, presented his wife with flowers and a balloon in front of the guidance staff.
“She’s on a personal level with all the kids, everyone loves her,” Scott Brown said.
Brown has been a guidance counselor at North Myrtle Beach High for 10 years with a total of 18 years experience. She said the long hours and group counseling sessions pay off in the long run.
“You never know what you’re getting into, but it’s always worth it when you see your students walk across the stage,” Brown said. “It’s so rewarding.”
Brown didn’t expect any awards when she was nominated by Eileen Fleming-Patonay, Waccamaw Regional Education Center Coordinator, in November. She didn’t have any idea she won until she heard the announcement at school.
“There’s so many counselors that do such a good job, that do so much more than me,” Brown said. “I wasn’t expecting to win.”
Principal Strawderman said Brown’s ability to connect with high schoolers and nurse personal relationships with all the students is proof of her dedication to the job.
“Part of being a good employee is putting in a lot of time,” Strawderman said. “She really takes these kids under her wing.”
The award includes a plaque and spot at the association’s luncheon in Hilton Head next month. The association will also pay for Brown’s hotel room.
South Carolina Counseling Association (SCCA) is the only state chartered organization of the American Counseling Association (ACA) committed to providing leadership, advocacy, and education that promotes the growth and development of all professional counselors, according to their website. The Outstanding Counselor award is designed to recognize exemplary service as a counselor and reflect contributions and service in the primary role as a counselor.
Brown held back tears as coworkers and her husband congratulated her, but a smile never left her face.
“Working as a counselor for so many years, you hear a lot of stuff so it’s hard to make me cry,” Brown said.
“But I’m gonna cry.”