Pecoraro wins School Counselor of the Year award


Kate Schneider, Editor in Chief

Last week, guidance counselor Francesca Pecoraro was named the 2014-2015 Illinois School Counselor of the Year. This award, issued through the Illinois School Counselor Association, recognizes counselors who go above and beyond for their students.

Pecoraro was nominated for this honor by District 214 counselor Dustin Seemann, who is a former recipient of this award. One of Pecoraro’s coworkers, Brian Linhart, wrote a letter of recommendation on her behalf.

“Francesca is the most deserving person of this award,” Linhart said. “What she does behind the scenes for her students is unbelievable. She is compassionate, she motivates her kids, she is so involved at the school and she is always willing to help.”

Last week at a meeting, it was announced that Pecoraro had won the award.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Pecoraro said. “I was very surprised and very humbled. Receiving this award has everything to do with the people I work with, and I am very lucky.”

This is Pecoraro’s fifth year working at BG as a guidance counselor. She is in charge of working with students to figure out classes, fix schedule problems, help with college plans and provide unconditional support.

“Ms. Pecoraro is a good counselor for me, not only because she has been a huge help in picking classes that benefit my future, but also because she is someone I feel like I can come to and trust if I needed to talk to someone,” senior Adam Apel said.

Besides her work in the counselor’s office, Pecoraro is a sponsor for the Junior Class Board and a part of the Freshman Advisory program. Recently, BG received the honor of being the only school in District 214 to earn Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) distinction for the second consecutive time.

“RAMP Is an honor for school counseling programs, and while she will never admit it, Francesca played the biggest role in getting us this honor,” Linhart said. “Her knowledge on what it takes the have an exemplary department is second to none.”

An April 24, Pecoraro will be attending a conference where she will be recognized for this honor.

“I genuinely care about all of my students and my work,” Pecoraro said. “It is so incredible for me to meet my students and watch them grow.”

According to Linhart, Pecoraro possesses all of the qualities it takes to make a perfect guidance counselor.

“Francesca is just awesome,” Linhart said. “It is not uncommon for her to be the first counselor here in the morning and the last one to leave. I have been lucky enough to be right next door to her office and she is the first person I go to for help. She is the kind of counselor that I would want my kid to have.”