Raychelle Lohmann plays a crucial role in the lives of students at Hilton Head Island High School, but her work as a school counselor often is behind the scenes.
That's why she was so surprised about her recent recognition as South Carolina's Counselor of the Year.
Lohmann received the honor during the S.C. Counselor Association's annual conference last week on Hilton Head. She has been a school counselor for more than 15 years and has worked at Hilton Head High since 2008.
"Ms. Lohmann is a champion for students," Hilton Head High principal Amanda O'Nan said in a news release. "She works with faculty, staff, students and parents to provide first-rate professional service."
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Lohmann has done extensive research on anger-management and is a leader in the district's anti-bullying projects, according to superintendent Jeff Moss.
She also has written a book about how teens should work through anger and is the blogger of "Teen Angst" for Psychology Today.
What makes school counselors different from others in the counseling profession is the day-to-day relationships and interactions they build with students, Lohmann said. Her most rewarding moments have been when students bring her a card, when they celebrate a victory or when they have gotten through a tough time.
Lohmann said she has kept many of those cards or notes of appreciation over the years in a blue folder. When she is having a rough day -- what she calls a "code blue" -- she will look back through that folder to remind her of those positive outcomes.
"Those times when students go through challenges or hurdles, you experience that with them," Lohmann said. "But when they get through those tough times or achieve something they worked for, you experience that with them as well."
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