AWARDS
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Every year, members of AzSCA take the time to nominate exceptional colleagues for professional awards.

Recipients are honored during the Awards Luncheon at our annual conference. The following awards are presented:


Click the links above to learn more about each award.

2022 SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR

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KRISTY MEYERS
SCHOOL COUNSELOR | MINGUS UNION HIGH SCHOOL

Kristy Meyers is a School Counselor at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Arizona. This is her 9th year serving the Verde Valley Community, where she has developed new programs and initiatives. Some of her notable accomplishments have included fostering data-driven practices, implementing her Bitmoji Virtual Counseling Office, and becoming a certified instructor for Youth Mental Health First Aid to train others in supporting students.

On campus, Kristy is involved in a number of school leadership teams. She also is the sponsor for the International Explorers Club. Kristy is bilingual in Spanish, and she is passionate about breaking down barriers to success and helping ALL students see their potential.

Kristy received her bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University Mankato with a double major in psychology and Spanish, in addition to her master's degree in counseling and student personnel. Since then, she has been zealous about professional growth. Kristy is a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), Arizona School Counselors Association (AzSCA) and other professional associations. In 2018, she achieved National Board Certification, a critical step for her advocacy and leadership in the profession. She cares deeply, not only about her school community, but also about advancing the field of education.

2022 SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

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NJ UTTER
DIRECTOR OF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION | SUNNYSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

N.J. Utter coordinates the K-12 counseling program at Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson.  She previously worked as a school counselor in Sunnyside for 17 years and was the AzSCA secondary counselor of the year in 2005.  She credits AzSCA and ASCA for helping her be a better counselor, administrator, and person.

Currently she works as the Director of Career and Technical Education, where she supports students and counselors through CTE exploration.   In addition, N.J. serves as the district coordinator for the AVID college readiness program where she is also a staff developer for school counselors. 

N.J.  has presented to counselors at a number of conferences including the ASCA national conference, the College Board Prepárate Conference and the ACTE/NCLA Best Practices conference where she illustrated the connection between CTE and SEL.

Her message to school counselors was best said by Michelle Obama, “ You see the promise in each of your students. You believe in them even when they can't believe in themselves, and you work tirelessly to help them be who they were truly meant to be.” 

2022 ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

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KATHY HOFFMAN
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Superintendent Kathy Hoffman was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 2018, and assumed office in January 2019. Superintendent Hoffman has spent her entire career working in public education, first as a pre-school teacher and then as a speech-language pathologist. She began her career in the Vail School District in Southern Arizona before joining the Peoria School District.

Her experience as both an educator and advocate for students with disabilities informs her vision for public education. Throughout her career, she has fought tirelessly for equal access to high-quality public education regardless of a student’s race, gender, or zip code.

As State Superintendent, she is focused on growing Arizona's educator workforce through targeted recruitment and retention efforts, increasing funding and access to critical social emotional learning resources, expanding digital connectivity for urban and rural school communities alike, supporting and celebrating Arizona's many multilingual learners, and elevating the voices of our state's phenomenal educators.