It was a good week for Stowe High School employees, with a school counselor honored as the state’s best in her field and the principal awarded a contract extension.

Stowe High counselor Patti Tomashot has been chosen as the Vermont School Counselor of the Year. The accolade, bestowed by the American School Counselor Association, “honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.”

Tomashot was nominated by a colleague, who said “tireless is the word that comes to mind” when describing her.

“Working with her is to keep abreast of issues and current trends, new perspectives in social/emotional development, and vetted ethical protocols,” the colleague’s nomination read. “Patti stays abreast of what is going on in education by being a member of a number of professional groups, teaching at the university, and presenting at conferences.”

Tomashot and the 49 other school counselors of the year in the U.S. are in Washington, D.C., today, Jan. 30, to be formally recognized at a black-tie gala.

• Also last week, Stowe High principal Gretchen Muller was given a contract extension through next school year.

Muller was hired last July as an interim principal, after her predecessor resigned abruptly just a month or so before the end of the school year.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to remain as principal of Stowe High School,” Muller said in a statement. “Our school will continue to be a learning environment that values relationships, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving, equitable learning opportunities and personal growth and development. I look forward to ongoing collaboration with students, faculty, staff and the community to ensure our students become lifelong learners and engaged and contributing citizens.”

Muller, a 2017 Rowland Fellow with 18 years of experience in a variety of education roles, came to Stowe after a stint with the Champlain Valley School District.

“After hearing from faculty, receiving input from the administration and going through the interview process, we are confident that Gretchen Muller is the right candidate to lead SHS,” school board chair David Bickford said in the statement. “She is committed to the school and supports the Lamoille South educational community. Ms. Muller has demonstrated potential and promise for growing and improving support of all students at SHS.

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