The newly named 2018 School Counselor of the Year, Kirsten Perry, was sitting in a school office with some students at Lawndale Community Academy in Chicago, waiting for what she thought would be a phone call from the executive director of the American School Counselor Association. When the phone rang and Perry answered, someone else was on the line.
“Hi, Kirsten, this is Michelle Obama. How are you?”
Perry responded, “Oh my God! . . . This is unbelievable!”
Obama called Perry to congratulate her on her award, and Obama said she would be introducing the counselor at a Feb. 2 gala in Washington, during a meeting of all of the state Counselors of the Year.
Obama became involved with the Counselor of the Year project in 2015 when her husband, Barack Obama, was president. She hosted the ceremony at the White House that year, as well as in 2016 and 2017.
Former student Kyla Evans was quoted by the association as saying:
“I would get in a lot of fights, too. Ms. Perry helped us to work on ourselves. We learned not to react to the small things and that if something was bothering us, we should talk it out. Ms. Perry has done a lot to help us. She makes all the kids at Lawndale feel loved and like we can do anything we dream of.”