|Nancy Karpowitz at work at Canyon View Junior High.|
On June 29, Nancy Karpowitz put the final touches on the Canyon View Junior High School schedule for the 2005-06 school year. Although the Canyon View counselor has been involved in scheduling for nearly 10 years, this particular project was special since it was her final task for the school and for the school district she has served since 1990.
In a whirlwind of activity that began last spring, Mrs. Karpowitz learned that her husband Jim had been named director of the Division of Wildlife Resources, that a move to the Salt Lake City area was imminent, that she had been named the 2004-05 Guidance Counselor of the Year and that she had been offered a counseling position at Riverton High School for the 2005-06 school year.
In the eye of this hurricane were her final days at Canyon View where she not only wrapped up next year's scheduling, but where she also trained her successor, Doug Mecham.
In June, Mrs. Karpowitz was honored by the Utah School Counselors' Association as an outstanding counselor for the 2004-05 school year. Among 60 nominees from around the state, Mrs. Karpowitz joined just two other counselors as award winners.
At the annual Comprehensive Guidance Summer Conference held at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Mrs. Karpowitz received the distinguished award from Susan Burns, organization president, and Stephanie Killpack, chairperson of the award selection committee. Joining Mrs. Karpowitz at the ceremony were Mr. Mecham and Adele Huntington, counselor at Emery High School.
Canyon View Principal Larry Davis submitted the nomination for Mrs. Karpowitz. In his letter of nomination, Mr. Davis wrote, "When I became principal at Canyon View Jr. High School five years ago, my world was turned upside down. There was one constant, however, and that was our school's counselor Nancy Karpowitz. Because of the professionalism she brings to her position, her advocacy for kids, her innovative and progressing thinking, and the kindness and friendship she shows to so many, she is worthy of consideration for the Counselor of the Year award."
Mrs. Karpowitz' career began in the Emery School District with the 1990-91 school year where she taught English, speech and drama at San Rafael Junior High School. In 1997 she became a counselor at Canyon View Junior High School for half a day and at Emery High School for half a day. She served in that capacity until her recent resignation.
"The many people and kids I've been associated with over the years have been the most memorable things to me," she said. "It has been very rewarding seeing the kids accomplish their goals and to also see troubled kids turn things around and find success in school and life."
Throughout her career, Mrs. Karpowitz has seen a lot of changes in education, especially recently. "The first few years of my career pretty much stayed the same," she said. "Then a lot of changes and new challenges came into play."
The accountability measures brought on by No Child Left Behind have added numerous responsibilities to guidance counselors who typically deal with criterion-referenced and core testing. In addition, Mrs. Karpowitz has been involved in scheduling, SEOPs, accreditation, staffings, student intervention, Peer Helpers, TLC, Community Council, Local Inter-agency Council, Comprehensive Guidance and numerous other responsibilities at the two secondary schools.
Mrs. Karpowitz said that she has had a very unique perspective as counselor at the junior high and high school. "I've been able to see kids from start to finish," she said. "For the most part, I've been able to see kids make good choices that have given them greater opportunities to succeed."
As a new counselor at Riverton High School, Mrs. Karpowitz will use this unique perspective to help sophomores make the transition from junior high to high school. In addition, she will administer the PLAN test, serve on the school's Gifted and Talented Committee, and put the final touches on numerous year-end reports.
Although the change has been difficult, Mrs. Karpowitz is looking forward to the new challenges and new environment. "I very much appreciate the support and help I've had from everyone in the Emery School District," she said.
Mr. Mecham, who has been a full-time social science teacher at Canyon View, will now be the school's counselor. He will also continue to teach geography and coach at the school.