2016 Middle School Counselor of the Year

Paula Baumann

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Dubuque Community School District

Paula Baumann has been a counselor for 26 years, spending the past 9 years at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Dubuque, Iowa. Throughout her career, Paula has worked to helped to advocate for the school counseling profession by providing education opportunities to new and experienced school counselors. Paula has taught graduate and recertification courses for counselors, been a lead counselor, and became one of five PBIS state trainers, working with various AEAs to help educate and train staff.

Through collaboration with her partner in the counseling office, small group counseling sessions were implemented to reduce student’s office referrals for behavior issues. These small groups utilize tools such as Zones of Regulation, mindfulness/stress management, and social skills instruction to help students gain insight and skill development. Paula also brought vocabulary and concepts of growth mindset to colleagues and students through classroom lessons and staff professional development. Paula believes an important part of her role is to contribute to the warm, supportive, and fun culture for her school.

At Jefferson, she organizes a “Celebration of Community Day” as well as spirit days and a talent show. Paula strives to model on
a daily basis positive regard and patience for her student. Additionally, Paula has had an important role in implementing PBIS at Jefferson helping students and staff celebrate their successes.

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