2021 PNACAC Professional Awards

PNACAC strives to honor exemplary professionals among our membership and the professional community. Please congratulate our 2021 award winners!

Sister Shawn Marie Barry Distinguished Service to Youth Award: Robert “Bob” McClory; Ketchikan High School, Ketchikan, Alaska
This award is given to a PNACAC member who serves as a secondary school counselor, independent counselor, or a college level admission officer currently engaged in counseling, recognizing them as one "who have given outstanding and faithful service to youth."

Throughout Bob's years in education, he has helped numerous students with setting up summer internships, meetings with potential employers, and other various recognitions and experiences! He is passionate about creating opportunities and maintaining programs in his state that will provide students with the necessary skills to enter today’s workforce, specifically within skilled trades (CTE). Bob is a counselor who cares deeply about his students and continues to maintain contact with his students during their adult lives. Retiring this year, Bob plans to continue his involvement in education in various ways.

Exemplary Service Award: Kathleen Barnes Grant; Minds Matter Portland, Portland, Oregon
This award is for individuals who have provided longstanding, exemplary service to students and to the PNACAC organization throughout their career.

Kate has been helping students from all walks of life and helping them achieve academic and personal goals for decades. She is a founding “Mother” of Minds Matter that helps change lives in the Portland area and set the bar and climate for what counselors should be doing for their students. Her entire staff stated: “We are all indebted to her empathy, support, and enduring commitment to the organization and its mission.” Not only does Kate serve students, but she also mentors and trains colleagues and supports volunteers. “She is a true inspiration and serves others with kindness, integrity, and enthusiasm.”

Rising Star Award: Miranda Stiles; Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon
This recognition is given to secondary school or college admission counselors who have been in the profession for five (5) years or fewer and possess exceptional promise.

Miranda is known to the local high school counselor community as someone dependable, accessible, and passionate about the success of their students. Not only is she known throughout the community but also on the campus she graduated and now works for. She is personally requested to do tours, presentations, and workshops by various athletic coaches. She is also deeply involved in a Pledge Program at SOU which helps students with discounted tuition, specialized advising, and a quicker path to graduation.

Excellence in Admissions Award: Cassy Esparza; University of Portland, Portland, Oregon
This award recognizes an outstanding professional who has worked in a college advocacy, counseling, or admission capacity for at least five (5) years.

Cassy is warm and deeply cares about helping students and being transparent about the admission process. She specifically enjoys helping underrepresented students wanting to fulfill their dreams of going to college. She is keenly aware of the external and internal pressure students experience regularly and works to ensure they understand that balance, along with academic excellence and community engagement are important in the admission process. Cassy truly strives to make every individual feel validated, valued, and informed. Throughout her career she has stayed committed to advocating for equity and inclusion; one colleague noted “Cassy motivates us to increase our commitment to equity and inclusion.”

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