Manz Elementary honors school counselor with Golden Apple award

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:12 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - We wrap up week four with our 20th of 22 Golden Apple visits with a trip to Manz Elementary to recognize a school counselor who has made quite an impression in his first year with Mustangs nation.

“Mr. Szymanski.. you are Manz Elementary’s 2022-23 Golden Apple award winner... okay!”

You can’t blame Jonathan Szymanski for being surprised by the announcement from principal Adam Keeton while the fifth graders showing their appreciation for Jonathan with hugs. Szymanski says he made the switch from classroom teacher to school counselor so he can have a bigger impact in supporting students overall mental health.

“Notice how much students mental health and holistic health in general affected their ability to succeed in a classroom setting and specifically outside as community members,” says Szymanski. “And so not having that access to that mental health service at a school just brings so much more to the overall well-being of our student body and the kiddos that need a little extra. I would like to imagine that this is what it’s all about, people see the importance of mental health services and school counseling for that.”

“Just incredible having him join our staff this year, in just a short period of time, the relationships, the time he spends in classrooms getting to know kids, working with staff, coaching them up and finding great ways to support our students through every journey our kids go on, and they go on many of them here at school,” says Adam Keeton. “So, many of which we don’t get to know about outside of school, he’s a great ear, he listens, he’s thoughtful, he’s a problem-solver and he’s a no quit kind of guy.”

Mr. Szymanski and Manz Elementary School will each receive $500 from the Eau Claire Public Schools and Jonathan will also receive a golden apple crystal at the awards banquet in April.