Northeast’s Peaslee honored as high school counselor of the year

As a student leaves counselor Marilynn Peaslee’s office at Lincoln Northeast High School, you can hear him saying to her, “I’m just so nervous because it’s my senior year.” Peaslee calmly responds, “You’ll be okay, we’ve got your back.”

Her response says a lot about her as a counselor. Peaslee is caring and encouraging. She also knows it takes a team of counselors - the “we” - to work with students and help them succeed.

The Nebraska School Counselor Association recently named Peaslee the 2021 Nebraska High School Counselor of the Year. Because of that, she also was recognized at the Jan. 11 Lincoln Board of Education meeting with a formal resolution.

When addressing the board, she once again stressed the “we” in her work.

“I wish all my colleagues district wide could receive this recognition and especially my team at Northeast,” said Peaslee, who has been at the school for 22 years. “It’s not just one person, we work together as a team. It takes all of us to do the work.”

Board member Kathy Danek - a Northeast graduate who now represents that area of the city - presented Peaslee with the resolution.

“Congratulations not just to you but to your team at Northeast,” Danek said. “You don’t just engage the top students but you engage every student and make sure they’re on track to graduate and find a future.”

Her colleague Malinda Jean Baptiste called Peaslee “the embodiment” of a school counselor, always willing to set aside her task at hand to work with a student - “always putting people before paper.”

“I also appreciate how she encourages the members of her team,” she said. “She is the encouraging word on a hard day, an engaged listener as you process a situation, a knowledgeable resource on ideas of things to try with a student, and a huge advocate of the role of school counselor as both a proactive educator and a reactive support for students.”

Lincoln Public Schools Supervisor of Counseling and School Social Work Brenda Leggiadro can rattle off many attributes that make Peaslee an outstanding school counselor.

“But the one that stands out,” she said, “is her heart for students.”

Published: January 14, 2022, Updated: January 14, 2022