The San Diego County Office of Education recently surprised two counselors at their school sites to let them know they were chosen for the inaugural San Diego County Counselor of the Year Award. Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia of Sweetwater High School in the Sweetwater High School Union School District, who won the high school award, was greeted with balloons and a banner on February 19. Edward Gigliotti of Pepper Drive School in Santee School District won the K-8 award and was celebrated at the start of school on Feb. 25.
“We’re thrilled to recognize these two school counselors,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "They are shining examples of why school counselors are so integral to student success. They provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and remove barriers to ensure children have every opportunity to thrive.”
The awards were sponsored by North Island Credit Union. Chief Executive Officer Steve O’Connell said, “North Island Credit Union is honored to partner with San Diego County Office of Education in this very important recognition of school counselors and their commitment to helping students achieve their potential,” said Steve O’Connell, CEO of North Island Credit Union, a division of California Credit Union. “We are proud to celebrate the inspiring achievements of our educators as part of our credit union’s mission to serve and support the San Diego education community. We congratulate both these honorees for their outstanding work in making an essential difference in their students’ lives and their school communities.”
About Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia
Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia has been a counselor at Sweetwater High School since 2007. She is a co-facilitator for the ASCA RAMP process; webmaster and social media coordinator (teaching other counselors how to use social media to reach students and parents); social/emotional program manager; and SDSU intern supervisor.
Luansing-Garcia served as the district’s Counselor Standards Committee chairperson from 2013 to 2018. She also was a middle and high school English language arts teacher. In her recommendation letter, Luansing-Garcia’s principal commended her on being an “effective communicator who reaches out to all stakeholders in need, including students, parents, staff and community members.”
About Edward Gigliotti
Since 2016, Edward Gigliotti has been a counselor at Pepper Drive School, where he has implemented a comprehensive counseling program aligned with American School Counseling Association national model addressing academic, social-emotional, and career needs of students. His principal said Gigliotti “makes a critical difference in the lives of all the students and their families that he supports.” He leads small groups in the areas of social skills, self-regulation, decision making, leadership development, and academic success skills.
Gigliotti was previously a counselor at PRIDE Academy at Prospect Avenue School, also in Santee, and La Presa Middle School in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. He has also served as a substitute teacher.
“We have more than 900 school counselors across the county but what stood out about Lysabeth and Edward was their passion, leadership, and the above and beyond work they do to positively impact their schools,” said Tanya Bulette, counseling coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education.
Luansing-Garcia and Gigliotti will be honored and officially presented their awards at the 5th Annual School Counselor Conference on March 9.