LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A holiday sing-along at Roosevelt Elementary turned into a big surprise for a longtime school counselor.
Students and staff from Northside Elementary and Coulee Montessori surprised Melani Fay, a school counselor, by telling her that she's the Wisconsin School Counselor Association's Counselor of the Year.
They celebrated by singing her a song.
Fay has worked for the La Crosse school district for 30 years. In that time, she's created several guidance curricula adopted by the school district and other school districts across the state.
One example is a program called Giraffe Talk, designed to teach children to communicate kindly and solve problems.
"It's a struggle for kids to be able to focus on all the work they have to do when their hearts and minds are full of worries. So that's part of what I do is to alleviate those worries and help support the teachers, and help the kids get what they need," Fay said.
Fay will receive the award from the WSCA at their annual conference in February.
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