Counselor wins award for impact on others

Briana Underwood


Photo contributed by Briana Underwood

Briana Underwood (second from left) holds her counselor of the year award. She stands with coworkers Lamant Rascoe, Amy Boone and Julie Fierce (left to right).

Lyndsay Valadez, News Editor

Crying in her chair, counselor Briana Underwood expressed her love for her daughter, her students and her job with tears of joy. She never thought it was possible to become a high school counselor.

Recently, Underwood was awarded high school counselor of the year by the Indiana School Counseling Association. Assistant principal Amy Boone nominated Underwood for this award because of her constant hard work in all situations expected of a guidance counselor.  

“I’m very passionate about my job,” Underwood said. “I love what I do.”

She says that the main driving force that pushes her throughout the day at work is her 7-year-old daughter McKinley Underwood. As a single mother, she wants to make sure her daughter knows that she can do anything that she wants to do. She says she pushes this same belief to her students.  Underwood also says she wishes her students would have received her award, because they are the “ones who really deserve it.”

Still, she is glad to be recognized, although rather humble, according to herself and Boone. Underwood believes that the major reason she won this award was because of her dedication and her passion in doing her job. Department head Julie Fierce agrees that she always does what she thinks best in every situation.

Fierce says that Underwood prepares students for the future rather than just the now, she does her job every single day and she does a large variety of on-the-side activities for the department and SHS. She even shows her dedication when she isn’t at school, according to Boone. Boone described Friday, Dec. 1, when Underwood took a sick day but was still getting information out for her department on social media.

“I think (SHS is) very privileged to have her and have her as part of the community,” Boone said.

Agreeing with Boone is Fierce, who believes the school and the counseling department celebrates this award with her. Not only has Underwood been involved in this community for the 13 years she’s worked at SHS, but she grew up in Southport and graduated from SHS as well. According to Fierce, it’s just another bonus of having her at SHS.

“(Underwood’s) whole heart is here,” Fierce said.