December 9, 2011
The Indiana School Counselor Association recently named Tonya Balch the Exemplary Counselor Educator for 2011.
The award recognizes excellence in preparing school counselors. In selecting Balch, an assistant professor of school counseling in Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education, the association's officials noted, "Tonya's first priority is always the students in the program. As both an instructor and a clinical supervisor, she is very conscientious in meeting their needs."
Balch said she was honored to receive the award in November, but that she viewed the award as recognition of ISU's school counseling program.
"We have wonderful faculty members who are committed to ensuring our students are fully prepared to serve as school counselors. It is a privilege to work with my colleagues and aspiring school counselors," she said. "As an award recipient, I was pleased that my recognition would be based on a strong student-centered commitment."
The master's of school counseling program has students enrolled from across the state who are working in K-12 schools from Terre Haute to Evansville, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
"Unlike many traditional masters' programs, our students are on campus in a limited capacity," she said. "Communication is a top priority to ensure students understand program requirements, have appropriate faculty supervision for their field experiences and facilitate personal growth in a new profession."
Association officials noted that Balch acts as an advocate for her students across the state.
"She works hard on behalf of them and is always willing to go the ‘extra mile' for them," according to officials. "She is readily available to students and is very responsive to their issues and concerns."
Contact: Tonya Balch, Indiana State University, assistant professor of school counseling, at 812-237-3459 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or email@example.com
Tonya Balch received the award from the Indiana School Counselor Association.