Owen Middle School counselor receives county-wide recognition

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Owen Middle School Counselor Buffy Weathington has been named the Buncombe County Schools Middle School Counselor of the Year.

An Owen Middle School counselor was named Buncombe County School’s Middle School Counselor of the Year at a Board of Education meeting earlier this year.

Counselor Buffy Weathington started at Owen Middle as a school-based therapist.

She received her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Florida in 1994. Following her graduation, she worked with adolescents and their families.

Weathington said she spent 17 years in the mental health field “supporting kids with emotional, behavioral, and/or substance abuse issues.”

In announcing her as the Middle School Counselor of the Year, Buncombe County Director of Student Services Shane Cassida pointed to this work and how it has informed her work as a school counselor.

“Buffy came to us from the world of mental health which has enhanced her work as a school counselor,” Cassida said. “Especially over the last several years, as the middle school has supported students with increased emotional and mental health needs.”

For the last six years of this part of her career, Weathington has served at Owen Middle as the school-based therapist.

She said she wanted the chance to work with all students and began working on her post-master’s certificate in school counseling. She began working as a school counselor at Owen Middle in 2010 and has been working as such ever since.

As he was announcing her recognition, Cassida said Weathington’s colleagues called her “selfless” and said she had an “extraordinary” way of knowing exactly what a student needs to hear when they need to hear it.

Weathington told Black Mountain News she appreciates being chosen to represent the work middle school counselors do every day.

“I was surprised and honored by the recognition,” Weathington said. “I work with an absolutely amazing group of middle school counselors across the Buncombe County Schools district, and I know I’m not the only counselor who works hard and goes above and beyond for the students we support.”

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Owen Middle School Principal Bradley McMahan told Black Mountain News the school is “thankful, appreciative and proud” to have Weathington as a counselor.

“Mrs. Weathington continually goes above and beyond for the students and staff at OMS,” McMahan said. “Whether it is helping coordinate testing, scheduling, endless social-emotional support, registration or one of the countless other ways she supports our team, she gives all she has to Owen Middle and our community.”