2016 Middle School Counselor of the Year

Tina Chaplin

Indianola Middle School School, Indianola Community School District

Tina Chaplin has spent all 17 years of her school counseling experience at Indianola
Middle School, assisting to create a strong comprehensive counseling program. Utilizing the ASCA Curriculum Crosswalk Tool, Tina and her colleagues were able to identify a gap in the social-emotional learning of their students. To address this gap, they initiated the Second Step Program that utilizes age appropriate strategies for problem solving and has been effective in reducing bullying and harassment at the middle school level. Tina has also been working with students to provide directed interventions to improve attendance in students, and has helped in increasing mental health supports for students.

Four years ago, Tina was introduced to the concept of looping, a strategy in which counselors advance from one grade level to the next with their class. Tina acknowledged that middle school students are characterized by rapid change and found the idea of building rapport with students over a three-year period intriguing. Tina set to work conducting research on the effects that looping would have on the students of Indianola Middle School. Through her research she found that the ability to build strong relationships and trust with student and families as the primary benefit. Last year, Tina completed the looping cycle with her first cohort of students and had this to say;

“Being the constant amidst all the changes of adolescence definitely strengthened my relationships with students and families. Advancing with the students provided me with knowledge that enabled me to advocate more effectively for all [students].”

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