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Murrysville woman named Pa. School Counselor Advocate of the Year

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, 7:18 p.m.
CCAC’s Allegheny campus in Pittsburgh’s North Side.
Tribune-Review file photo
CCAC’s Allegheny campus in Pittsburgh’s North Side.

A Murrysville woman has been named the Pennsylvania School Counselor Advocate of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA).

Elizabeth DeChurch Strenkowski of Murrysville, director of admissions at the Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce Campus, was recognized at the 63rd Annual PSCA Conference, held in Hershey in late November.

PSCA members pointed to Strenkowski’s role in developing a college- and career-ready approach at CCAC with numerous high schools in Allegheny County.

Strenkowski was nominated by Colleen Tortorella, school counselor and department chairperson at Gateway High School. Tortorello said Strenkowski “goes above and beyond what is expected” and has long been an advocate for school counselors in Allegheny County.

“She has always made myself as a school counselor, and my students at Gateway High School, an important part of the CCAC community,” Tortorella wrote in her nomination letter. “Over the years, she has become a trusted colleague and a friend. She is not just an employee but a genuine believer in the education community college provides students. Liz has always been a vocal and active supporter of school counselors and the school counseling profession.”

Among her contributions, according to Tortorello, Strenkowski has sponsored and hosted college fairs, hosted the Allegheny County School Counselors Association, collaborated with counselors, organized tours and dual enrollment classes for high school students, attended numerous conferences, visited high schools on a consistent basis, facilitated placement tests, and much more.

“I have always been a true advocate for the leadership role that school counselors have in their school districts,” said Strenkowski. “Their direct communication with students has been an integral part of the school counselor’s job in supporting them in all facets of their growth and development to build a stronger workforce in our future economy.”

Most recently, Strenkowski, who has been with CCAC since 2000, took on the task of hosting the first-ever Pennsylvania School Counselor Symposium, a joint effort between PSCA and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which was held at CCAC Boyce Campus on Nov. 2.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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