TRAER - Teresa Keefe O'Meara said being honored by the peers she has respected in the school counseling field is an amazing feeling.
O'Meara, who works at North Tama Elementary School, was named Iowa Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Iowa School Counselor Association.
"It's very humbling because there are incredible school counselors out there," O'Meara said.
O'Meara is in her 20th year as a school counselor at North Tama and spent several years before that as a special education teacher in two other districts. She said she felt a calling to work with all students, not just the special needs students, to have a positive impact school-wide.
"I liked that idea," she said.
O'Meara is a native of Mount Pleasant and now lives in Traer. She said a big part of her job is being an advocate for children. She has always appreciated the chance to grow at North Tama.
"I'm very fortunate to be in a district that promotes people trying new things," O'Meara said.
Josh Youel, principal at North Tama Elementary, said they are grateful O'Meara is on staff as she is very dedicated to the students.
"Teresa is the epitome of what a guidance counselor should be," Youel said. "She has that caring heart and takes care of so many people and so many needs here. She makes things happen for us."
O'Meara is happy with the support from her colleagues at the school and the encouragement she has received after being honored with the award.
"They have just been marvelous," she said of fellow staff members. "They are very enthused and very supportive."
O'Meara received the award at the annual ISCA conference in Des Moines earlier this month.