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Superintendent Woods' letter to school counselors during National School Counseling Week 2017

Dear Georgia school counselors,

February 6-10 is National School Counseling Week, so I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the enormous role you play in student success. Not just this week, but every week, I deeply appreciate the work you do to support students’ academic and social/emotional development and guide them toward successful futures.

As we continue to reorient our work toward educating the whole child, your role is more important than it has ever been. At the same time, I know you are juggling large student caseloads, and I know we’re asking more and more of you to help students become college and career ready.

My staff at the Georgia Department of Education is currently working on a Counselor Companion tool that will help you advise students and access records through the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), in one seamless location. Individual Graduation Planning and career exploration and advisement will also be built into the tool. We know every Georgia school counselor has a full plate and wears many hats – so it’s our hope that this tool will enhance the support we’re able to offer you. We’ll continue to send updates about the tool as more information becomes available.

I would also love to hear your ideas. If you have any feedback or suggestions of ways we could offer greater support for your crucial work of preparing students for the future, please share them with me – just send an email to

As a fourteen-year educator and eight-year administrator, I cannot overstate the impact of school counselors on the success of Georgia’s students. At a time when a strong bridge between K-12 and college and/or career is needed, the role of counseling is more important than it has ever been.

Thank you so very much for your work, every single day, on behalf of Georgia’s students – and happy National School Counseling Week!


Richard Woods

​Richard Woods is Georgia's State School Superintendent. This letter was also sent via email to Georgia school counselors.