Chadron High Counselor Receives Excellence Award From Neb State College System


      Chadron High School Counselor Loni Watson is the 2022 winner of the Counseling Excellence Award from the Nebraska State College System. Watson received the NSCS honor at the recent Nebraska School Counselors Association convention.

     Watson has worked for the Chadron schools for 9 years and calls the recognition humbling. She says she’s honored because Nebraska has “an amazing cohort of counselors who advocate for students of all backgrounds.” It also means a lot because it comes from the state colleges system.  

     Watson holds 3 degrees from Chadron State College. After graduating, she was a math teacher and coach in eastern Nebraska schools including Plattsmouth, Blair, and Seward – an experience she says she adores talking about with others.

      Watson says it became “extremely evident” to her while teaching math “that it is impossible to learn at a high level without feeling good physically and mentally.” She also discovered that while she loved teaching math, she was even more passionate about advocating for all kids academically and emotionally.” 

    Watson says a number of counselors at a recent workshop praised Chadron High School for its work and asked how to implement similar programs in their communities. 

She gives the credit for the success of those programs to both all the employees of the Chadron Public Schools and what she calls the “amazing community support and trust.”

     Watson says she can’t imagine a better place to work and raise her kids than Chadron, adding that she’s “incredibly proud of Chadron Public Schools and the efforts made K-12 in the last five years to advocate for every child.”

     Watson serves on the School Counselors Association board, an experience she says has allowed her to meet and network with counselors across the state. She also used the group’s conference to share her thoughts about affordable higher education.

     She admits being biased toward the Nebraska State Colleges because she’s a product of a mother without a degree, and knows what it feels like to buy groceries with a pink food stamp booklet or EBT card – adding that she’s forever thankful for the affordable education for students in Nebraska.