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Bowman counselor earns award

Posted: April 20, 2009 10:42 p.m.
Updated: April 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Suzy Mansfield enjoys a cake during a celebration at Bowman High School. Mansfield, a counselor at Bowman High School, is the recipient of the H.B. McDaniel Award for her efforts in counseling students at the continuation high school.

 
Suzy Mansfield, a counselor at Bowman High School since 1992, was named as a recipient of the H.B. McDaniel Award for her leadership and efforts in counseling students.

Mansfield will accept the H.B. McDaniel Award, named for H.B. McDaniel, known as the father of school counseling and guidance in California, at the Stanford Educational Research Center on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto on June 20.

During her 16 years as a guidance counselor, Mansfield has inspired students to change the destiny of their lives.

"Suzy Mansfield never gives up on kids," Bowman Principal Robin Geissler said. "Due to her tremendous courage and dedication, thousands of at-risk students have graduated from Bowman High School and have gone on to colleges and technical schools, but, more importantly, have gone on to lead successful lives. Suzy leads by example and ‘walks the talk' that failure is not an option at Bowman High School. I have never encountered a more dedicated, gifted and brilliant educator."

Under her guidance, Bowman's Academic Performance Index has risen to 692, higher than many comprehensive high schools in the state.

The school graduated a record 276 students in 2008, and has demonstrated a 97.5 percent average graduation rate for the last four years, with 91 percent of Bowman's graduating seniors enrolling in college.

Mansfield designed a walk-in counseling program at Bowman that is based on the idea that no paperwork, no report or thing is more important than listening to a student. She started a series of guidance lessons in the classrooms aimed at improving communication and study skills, and looked for resources for career development and academic concerns.

As a founding member of the SCV School & Business Alliance, Mansfield helped write the William S. Hart Union High School District's digital high-school grant.

This grant equipped Bowman classrooms with computers and technology and led to upgraded materials in the computer lab.

As Bowman's counseling staff grew, Mansfield was able to add support groups and a peer-counseling class and worked to provide concurrent enrollment opportunities for Bowman students at College of the Canyons.

Mansfield has worked in alternative education since 1984, first as a teacher and for the last 16 years as Bowman's head counselor.

She has been involved in many professional development trainings, workshops and conferences where she has both attended and presented.

She also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of La Verne's counseling credential department.

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