February 24, 2011
Memphis instructor named top school counselor in the nation
Randy McPherson, an adjunct professor at Harding University’s Mid-South Professional Center in Memphis, was recently named Top School Counselor in America.
Out of more than 100,000 nominations by school counselors, education colleagues and the community, the American School Counselor Association asked for responses to a formal application from only 230. Applicants had to prepare statements about their background, beliefs and philosophy. They provided video footage of a comprehensive school-counseling program and a taped interview that gave insight into their personality and creativity in their work.
McPherson teaches National Board for Professional Teaching Standards candidates in the Master of Education Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning Program for Harding’s College of Education through the Memphis campus.
“I had the rare combination of degrees and National Board certifications they sought, plus we all shared a common passion and goal of providing challenging, quality teacher education programming,” said McPherson. “It seemed a natural fit, and I have enjoyed working with the Harding family.”
He was first honored as the Top School Counselor in Tennessee and was then chosen as one of 10 state award winners to go to Washington, D.C., where he received the highest honor, Top School Counselor in America.
“It is always great encouragement to be honored by a colleague in recognition of what you do. But to be selected as one of 10 finalists out of 100,000 is more than anyone could expect. I had no illusions that the recognition would go any further. I was and still am humbled by the selection,” said McPherson.
He has been a school counselor for more than 15 years, and his work at Trezevant Career & Technology Center in Memphis helped earn its distinction as one of 10 Model Alternative Programs in the nation.
McPherson was presented with the award at the Black Tie Gala, which was also the sixth anniversary of his father’s death. He dedicated the award to his late father celebrating the life of the man who motivated him to do what he does.
“My father had been my mentor and taught me about honesty, integrity and to always do the right thing even when the right thing was the hardest,” said McPherson. “I dedicated the award to his memory and with thanks for all that he taught me. I just try to share with my students what my dad gave me because many of them do not have the same privilege.”