amy patonAmy Paton, school counselor at Rice Lake Elementary, has been named 2017 Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Minnesota School Counselors Association.

The award honors counselors who, in addition to holding specific expertise, demonstrate leadership, advocacy and collaboration in their work; support equity and access to opportunities for all students; and promote rigorous education experiences for all students to maximize student achievement. Award winners demonstrate the highest standards of personal conduct and strive to be model citizens of their community and the broader school counselor professional community.

The District 279 employee who nominated Paton for this award said, “When seeing students individually for counseling sessions she creates a very warm, trusting environment that I believe leaves her students feeling safe. On top of this, she also delivers a clear message of goal setting with students that leaves them feeling empowered.”

Margo Kleven, principal at Rice Lake Elementary, also spoke highly of Paton’s contributions to the school community.

“We are so proud of Amy,” Kleven said. “Her passion and commitment to students, families and staff creates a foundation of care that truly permeates our building, making her so deserving of this award.”

Paton is the 15th Osseo Area Schools employee in the past four years to earn his or her state or national professional association’s highest honor.