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East Allegheny counselors receive national recognition

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Friday, April 18, 2014, 3:51 a.m.

East Allegheny High School's guidance department has received national recognition.

“It was a pretty extensive process,” guidance counselor Emilia Peiffer said, holding a 2-inch thick binder documenting how her school became a “Recognized ASCA Model Program” or RAMP, as designated by the American School Counselor Association.

“(ASCA) believes that the implementation of comprehensive counseling programs in all schools across the nation is a vital step in the transformation of our education system,” association assistant director Jill Cook wrote in a letter announcing East Allegheny's achievement.

Peiffer said East Allegheny scored 55.67 out of a possible 60 on the American School Counselor Association's testing process.

School officials said East Allegheny is one of more than 400 districts that have received Recognized ASCA Model Program recognition since that program's inception in 2004. That includes 11 schools in Pennsylvania including Gateway, Blackhawk and Quaker Valley schools in the Pittsburgh area, Peiffer said.

While Peiffer has been a school counselor for 19 years, she had to go out and learn about the model program. “It took several trainings,” she said.

East Allegheny will have that model program designation through June 2017 and would have to apply by October 2016 for an extension.

Peiffer's achievement will be acknowledged at a recognition dinner on July 1 in Orlando, Fla., as part of the American School Counselor Association national conference.

On the same day, the guidance counselor will get a promotion within the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association, from president-elect to president for the 2014-15 school year.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

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