Past New Jersey State School Counselors of the Year

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) celebrates state representatives for the School Counselor of the Year program.

The School Counselor of the Year program honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.

Nominations for the School Counselor of the Year awards program are submitted by the state school counselor associations. State representatives were selected based on several criteria, including: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student advancement.

“School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well‐being of students and their success,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., executive director, American School Counselor Association. “They have unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address students’ academic achievement, career development and social/emotional needs.”


2017 - Angela Cleveland, M.S.Ed., M.Ed., MA

In the fields of education and school counseling, Ms. Cleveland is a true advocate of the use of technology by both students and colleagues. She is a Google Certified Educator and champions the use of technology not only in the field of counseling but also to expand student learning as well as to collaborate with fellow staff members. She is a strong promoter of equal access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and firmly believes in the critical need to eliminate myths about who can succeed in those fields.

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2016 - Dana Karas

As a New Jersey educator for 25 years, Dana Karas has served in the capacity of French teacher, school counselor, and Director of School Counseling. Within the counseling profession, she takes pride in taking a lead position in advocating for school counselors, both locally and across the state, through her work with the New Jersey School Counselor Evaluation Tool, as well as actively serving as an executive board member of the New Jersey School Counselor Association. She is passionate about continuing education for school counselors and the impactful role that school counselors play on school-wide initiatives.


2015 - Dara Kurilew

Dana Kurilew is a graduate of the Department of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey and has served in the capacity of a counselor as well as a supervisor.  She is currently the Supervisor of Counseling at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.  In 2013-2014, Dana was named both the Hunterdon County High School Counselor of the Year, and High School Counselor of the Year for 2014 by the New Jersey School Counseling Association.  Her professional goal is to continue serving on the NJSCA team and providing advocacy, resources, and leadership for the thousands of Professional School Counselors around the state.