Nicole Blomberg, who earned an MEd in Counseling and Guidance from the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE), has been named the 2022 Hawaiʽi School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). She has been a school counselor at Pōhākea Elementary School since 2006.
“I am humbled by this award because there are so many hardworking, passionate, innovative counselors in the state of Hawaiʽi,” Blomberg stated. “I am especially thinking of my fellow counselors in the Leeward District, Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area.”
Each year, the ASCA recognizes counseling professionals in the K–12 setting across the nation for their devotion to the academic, career, and social-emotional success of their students. Blomberg was nominated for her outstanding ability to connect with students and their families as well as her continuous effort to reflect on her professional practices.
“She has an immense impact on our school culture and the way that students and teachers interact with each other,” Pohakea Elementary Principal Corey Barton said of Blomberg in a HIDOE press release. “She embodies – models – a kindness that carries into our school community. It begins with her.”
Blomberg’s leadership and innovation has been evident throughout the pandemic during which she began a monthly Virtual Read Aloud Book Nook. The program, which utilizes bibliocounseling, reminds student and community members of the importance of kindness and perseverance. She also developed Pōhākea’s Check and Connect, an attendance intervention program in which struggling students are assigned a mentor who conducts daily check-ins and provides guidance.
After graduating from Mililani High School, Blomberg earned a degree in psychology. Not sure what to do next, she says she knew that she wanted to help others and came upon the COE’s school counseling program.
“When I think about my teachers, it was the time I spent with them that made a difference,” Blomberg stated. “They believed in me before I even knew what my strengths were and were a valuable part of shaping who I am. I hope I can be another trusted adult in the lives of my students.”
Blomberg is a member of ASCA and serves on the Hawai‘i School Counsel. She was recognized in February at the 2022 School Counselor of the Year ceremony in Washington, D.C.