A school counselor since 2014, Meredith Lindsey Draughn is the first national School Counselor of the Year from North Carolina. Draughn’s school, B. Everett Jordan Elementary School is a Recognized American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Model Program school that serves 355 students in grades K–5. 

“As the daughter of a school counselor and someone who is lucky enough to work with incredible colleagues, I have witnessed the positive and life-changing impact that school counselors have on school communities my entire life,” Draughn said. Upon returning to in-person learning after the COVID-19 pandemic, many students at the school were struggling, some more than others, Draughn said. “We were all in the same storm, but we were certainly not all in the same boat.” 

To support students’ needs, Draughn worked with Elon University to become part of the “It Takes a Village” project. The university sends college students to Alamance County elementary schools to work with students after school on targeted educational concepts. Draughn helps facilitate weekly tutoring for the more than 10% of students “who have potential for growth but likely do not meet the criteria for intervention services during the school day.” In 2021-22, more than 97% of students who participated in the program showed or exceeded growth on end-of year assessments. 

“While it is clear that Ms. Draughn is well-versed in school counseling skills and programmatic structures, her true value lies in how she uses those strengths to enhance our community as a whole,” said Terri H. Drummond, the school’s principal. “Although it can be easy to forget about B. Everett Jordan, a small, rural, Title 1 school in a mid-sized district, Ms. Draughn views every day and every action, no matter how small, as an opportunity to make a difference.”

A National Board Certified School Counselor, Draughn received her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her master’s degree from Appalachian State University. She is an ASCA U School Counseling Leadership Specialist; Mental Health Specialist; Anxiety & Stress Management Specialist; Cultural Competency Specialist; and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist.

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Learn more about the 2023 counselor of the year here.