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Laurie Tristan Named a Counselor of the Year by OCDE

Laurie Tristan


MacArthur Intermediate School Counselor Laurie Tristan has been selected as a 2021 Orange County School Counselor of the Year by the Orange County Department of Education.

This year, the Orange County School Counselor Recognition Program and School Counselor Advocate Award Program recognized six incredible school counselors and three school counselor advocates, including SAUSD’s very own Laurie Tristan. 

Tristan was nominated for this prestigious award for her amazing efforts and leadership in American School Counselor Association (ASCA) implementation, commitment to students, and her ability to mobilize resources to benefit, not only her school, but the entire SAUSD school community. 

Tristan transformed the existing counseling program at her site into a comprehensive one to ensure all students receive intentional support. She regularly institutes monthly student awareness activities, including suicide prevention, anti-bullying, gratitude month, drug/alcohol and mental health awareness. She builds positive relationships with staff and parents, believing parents are vital to student success. She is committed to parent education, having presented workshops at site and District parent institutes on college and career awareness, teen trends, student anxiety, and social media. 

Tristan serves as the lead counselor at MacArthur and is an integral part of her school’s leadership team.  As lead counselor, she is a liaison between the District and school site.  In addition to focusing on students' college and career preparation, academic, and social/emotional needs, she has led in the development of MacArthur's unique "MacTivities" college/career exploration program and data-driven counseling lessons. She collaborated with site teachers to implement second step social/emotional curriculum. 

Not only has Tristan established positive relationships with staff at MacArthur, she is also viewed by her colleagues as the "go-to" person for intermediate school counseling expertise.  She recently established a District School Counselor Task Force to address issues facing all school counselors and advocate for solutions at the table with union and district officials. 

Tristan has also trained many future school counselors.  She has presented to graduate students, at District and county conferences including Achieving College and OC Counselor Symposium. Most recently, she presented at ASCA 2019 and will be co-presenting at ASCA 2020. 

The Orange County School Counselor Recognition Program was created in 2018 to honor counselors and their contributions to positive school climates and student success. Click here to learn more about the program and this year’s honorees.