Tay­lor-Chad­wick named Guid­ance Coun­selor of Year

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE URSERY murs­ery@ches­pub.com

Robin Tay­lor-Chad­wick, a guid­ance coun­selor at Spar­rows Point Mid­dle School, has been named the 20192020 Guid­ance Coun­selor of the Year.

The award was an­nounced re­cently by Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools. Tay­lor-Chad­wick ac­cepted the award with a look of both shock and hap­pi­ness upon her face. The award pre­sen­ta­tion was part of a sur­prise party, held in Tay­lor-Chad­wick’s honor, at a fac­ulty mem­ber’s home on Millers Is­land.

“This is be­yond more than I ever thought,” Tay­lorChad­wick said about be­ing named BCPS Guid­ance Coun­selor of the Year. “I was here to­day be­cause I am get­ting my sec­ond grader ready, and we were up­stairs tu­tor­ing.”

“It was un­ex­pected. I’m happy. Even if I didn’t have this, I still love my job and I would do it ev­ery day with plea­sure.”

Tay­lor-Chad­wick has been a guid­ance coun­selor at Spar­rows Point Mid­dle School for the past six years. A Mor­gan State Univer­sity alum­nae who also re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree from Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity, Tay­lor-Chad­wick said her in­spi­ra­tion for her ca­reer comes from a high school guid­ance coun­selor she knew as a teenager.

That guid­ance coun­selor’s name is Kather­ine

Wick­man, who was a Bal­ti­more City Pub­lic Schools guid­ance coun­selor at the time Tay­lor-Chad­wick at­tended high school.

“She re­ally pushed me on a path that made sure I would do what I wanted to do, and I could help other peo­ple,” Tay­lor-Chad­wick said. “She re­ally set the plat­form for me, and the bar for me.”

SPMS prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer Gounaris said she named Tay­lor-Chad­wick the guid­ance de­part­ment chair three years ago. The en­tire cli­mate trans­formed af­ter she made that de­ci­sion, she said.

“There is a real need for our stu­dents in the mid­dle school for func­tion­ing, get­ting along with one an­other, be­ing kind, and re­spect­ful and in­clu­sive,” Gounaris said. “She has built an en­tire pro­gram around that, and she has in­spired the teach­ers to re­ally be ‘re­la­tion­ships­first’ with kids and it’s been amaz­ing.”

Tay­lor-Chad­wick said the thing she loves the most about her job is help­ing kids get where they’re sup­posed to be and help­ing them get the most out of their lives. Tay­lor-Chad­wick is one of two guid­ance coun­selors at SPMS. The job was al­ready chal­leng­ing. Throw in a pan­demic that forced BCPS to close down all cam­puses and ev­ery­one to adapt overnight to a vir­tual set­ting, and man­ag­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­comes even more chal­leng­ing.

“[One of the more de­mand­ing parts of this job] is man­ag­ing so­cial and emo­tional needs, and mak­ing sure that we im­pact them aca­dem­i­cally the way we’re sup­posed to, as well,” she said. “Just mak­ing sure we fo­cus on the whole job.”

All pub­lic schools in the county are set to make a vir­tual re­open­ing when the 2020=21 aca­demic year be­gins on Sept. 8. Tay­lorChad­wick said the guid­ance de­part­ment is con­tin­u­ing to adapt to this new vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment.

Ed­u­ca­tors will be head spe­cial ad­vi­sor groups, and each ed­u­ca­tor will serve as a men­tor for an as­signed num­ber of stu­dents. Tay­lor-Chad­wick and Alysha Gor­don, the only other guid­ance coun­selor at SPMS, will serve as copi­lots when the pro­gram be­gins, Tay­lor-Chad­wick said.

BY MIKE URSERY/MURS­ERY@CHES­PUB.COM

Robin Tay­lor-Chad­wick was named the 2019-20 BCPS Guid­ance Coun­selor of the Year. She re­ceived the award dur­ing a sur­prise party on Aug. 25. She is pic­tured here with her son, David Chad­wick.

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