Anthony Machado Sagastume is spending his final year at Bowie Middle School thriving. He’s president of the school’s National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), volunteers every month at Townley Elementary – his former elementary school – and is a leader among his peers. Once he finishes eighth grade, he’ll begin his high school journey at Nimitz High School, taking business and marketing classes.
Machado Sagastume’s success is derived, in large part, from the impact of his counselors at Bowie Middle School. They saw his potential and encouraged him to take on leadership roles, like joining NJHS and adding advanced coursework to his schedule.
Kelli Frazier, Bowie’s seventh-grade counselor, started off as a sixth-grade social studies teacher. One of her requirements to obtain her counseling degree was recording a counseling session with a student. She asked Machado Sagastume to participate. The session centered around the pandemic and its effect on Machado Sagastume’s learning. Frazier provided him ways he could improve academically to ensure he was ready for eighth grade. It was a win-win. Frazier received the credit she needed for her degree, and Machado Sagastume learned ways he could overcome during a challenging time.
This experience, in addition to all the other ways the counselors have poured into him, made Machado Sagastume realize what an amazing resource they are for students.
“It’s always great to come to school and know there’s an adult with all the resources you need,” says Machado Sagastume. “The counseling office is a welcoming place. I’ve learned a lot from my counselors. They’ve been supportive to me, so I’m supportive of my friends.”
It comes as no surprise that this level of student advocacy has earned national attention.
Earlier today, Bowie Middle School was named the Lone Star Award Bronze Winner by the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA). Bowie’s counselors – Rachel Martinez, Kelli Frazier and Irma Silva – received this prestigious award at the virtual LSSCA Conference.
The LSSCA Award is given to schools with exemplary counseling programs that focus on data, are driven by goal completion and are aligned with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. In addition, the LSSSCA Award System reviews the campus’ vision and mission statement, annual student outcome goals, classroom and group mindsets and other key indicators for student and campus achievement.
“We are excited to celebrate the amazing work our school counselors are doing at Bowie Middle School. They are well-deserving of the Lone Star Bronze award,” says Dr. Tracey Brown, director of guidance, counseling and college readiness. “Their advocacy represents the life-changing work being done for students and families all over Irving ISD. We are truly proud of them and applaud them for being recognized as one of the outstanding school counseling programs in the state of Texas. Job well done!”
For more information about the Lone Star Award, visit LoneStarStateSchoolCounselor.org/LoneStarAward.