Hawaii counselor recognized for innovative efforts to combat absenteeism, school conflict

Hawaii counselor recognized for innovative efforts to combat absenteeism, school conflict

WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Keolu Elementary School counselor Bianca Yanuaria was honored this month in Washington D.C. as Hawaii's School counselor of the Year.

For Yanuaria, the recognition comes after only four years of working as a counselor.

"We are honored to endorse Bianca as our Hawai'i School Counselor of the Year," said Gay Kong, Principal of Keolu Elementary, in a news release. "While she is still at an early stage in her career, she has fully embraced her role and this can be seen through her accomplishments at our school," he said.

Yanuaria, who got her master's degree in counseling from California State University, is credited with creating a recess program on conflict resolution, reducing chronic absenteeism by 11 percent, and starting an Aloha committee to build relationships among faculty at Keolu Elementary.

"Bianca's innovative programs are a wonderful example of how our schools are encouraging students to find their voice and promoting teacher collaboration," said superintendent Christina Kishimoto in a news release.

Yanuaria was selected from over 600 public and private school counselors in the state, and attended the American School Counselor Association's 2018 Counselor of the Year ceremony along with the representatives with other states.

The keynote speaker for the awards gala was former First Lady Michelle Obama.

"It's an honor to represent the state as the school counselor of the year," Yanuaria in a news release. "It's humbling to be recognized for doing what I'm passionate about, which is helping students realize their potential and to make sure they are ready to face any challenge life throws their way."

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