Tolliver is West Virginia School Counselor of the Year
Warm Springs Intermediate School guidance counselor Matthew Tolliver was named West Virginia School Counselor of the Year at a February 24 West Virginia School Counselor Association conference.
Tolliver is in his fourth year as intermediate school counselor. He began the school’s “Getting Outside of the Box” program which encouraged students from different backgrounds to flourish through special activities and a field trip to the nation’s capital.
In the program, kids learned social skills, etiquette, public speaking, drug abuse prevention, anti-bullying tips and other tools and resources for everyday life. Tolliver hoped to get the funding to do the program again next school year.
Last year Tolliver and 15 students worked with John Jay Bonstingl of Bonstingl Leadership Development’s in a two-day intensive “Leaders for the Future” program. Children learned skills to become effective leaders and created several projects to benefit the school.
Tolliver has also been active in county bullying prevention efforts, focusing on teaching
empathy, compassion and kindness and getting students to stand up for others.
He also offers individual and group counseling, classroom guidance and workshops and staff development.
Tolliver had his head shaved at school when students raised over $2,000 for Haiti earthquake victims. He has steered the Pennies for Patients collection for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation. Tolliver also works with the Holiday Helpers program every Christmas.
Tolliver is currently working with the high school mentoring program. Around 10-12 Berkeley Springs High School students go to the intermediate school and read to students and then take them to the gym to
shoot basketball and hang out.
They just received a grant for library books to be used for the mentoring sessions. Berkeley Springs High School English teacher Heather Lorigan applied for the grant, he said.
The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) model provides the framework for
school counseling programs.
His programs represent the guidelines and expectations of that model, Tolliver said.
Tolliver received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He came to Morgan County after finishing his master’s degree in counseling at West Virginia University. He is from
outside of Buckhannon in Upshur County.
Tolliver was very honored and excited to receive the state award.
“It’s rewarding to feel my efforts are being noticed,” he said.
School staff was also proud of Tolliver receiving the award.
“We are honored that Mr. Tolliver was chosen as state Counselor of the Year for the State of West Virginia. He is a valuable team member at Warm Springs Intermediate. He is dedicated to our school and has started many positive and proactive programs. He is a vital part of our school’s success,” Warm Springs Intermediate School Principal Joyce Ott said.