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News Update

Merced County middle school counselor wins national honor

Alma Lopez, a longtime counselor at Livingston Middle School in the Central Valley, is the first Californian to win National Counselor of the Year, the American School Counselor Association announced on Wednesday.

Lopez was recognized for her strong advocacy on behalf of her students, nearly all of whom are low-income and Latino. At her urging, the district more than doubled its counseling staff and expanded services to improve students’ academic and social-emotional development.

“The deep commitment she has to her community and her relentless focus on providing equitable outcomes for her students … were evident throughout her application and interview process,” said Valerie Hardy, a member of the independent judging panel that selects the School Counselor of the Year finalists and the winner of the award. “As a first-generation college attendee, Ms. Lopez serves as an inspiration for her students, her community and the profession.”