Buffalo Grove High School counselor Francesca Pecoraro has recently been named Illinois High School Counselor of the Year for 2015.
Pecoraro was selected for her outstanding listening skills and advocacy in providing students with the resources, support and encouragement needed to attain success during their high school careers and beyond. She is also a peer leader at Buffalo Grove and throughout High School District 214.
"Francesca is as hard-working a counselor as I have ever worked with in my 24 years in education," said Buffalo Grove's Associate Principal Robert Hartwig, who oversees the school's Student Services department." She always has the student's best interests at the forefront of every decision she makes."
Pecoraro works with Buffalo Grove High School students in the English Language Learners (ELL) program. She has presented numerous times for RAMP (Recognized ASCA—American School Counselor Association-- Model Program) and has twice led her school in receiving the RAMP designation as a comprehensive, data-driven counseling program in a school with an exemplary educational environment.
District Coordinator of Student Services Dustin Seemann cites Pecoraro's "open door" policy with her students and peers as a key element in her effectiveness, building trust with all individuals she encounters in her role as counselor and colleague.
Pecoraro is knowledgeable in topics of depression, social and emotional problems of less-motivated students, and the challenges of those dealing with poverty and academic shortfall.
"(Francesca) is consistently thinking of new, innovative ways to challenge her fellow counselors in her school and others in the District," said Seemann.
Fellow counselor Brian Linhart added that Pecoraro's kindness extends not only beyond her office walls, but also beyond her caseload. Being fluent in Spanish, she is often called upon to help other counselors and specialists.
"She is the epitome of what a school counselor should be, and is the person parents can feel confident with guiding their children on a path of success," said Linhart.
Pecoraro was surprised and "humbled" to learn of her award. "It was really nice to get so much support from everyone in the District. I am very fortunate to work with such wonderful colleagues at BG and in District 214."
Pecoraro will receive this prestigious award on April 24 at the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA) conference in Skokie.