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Butler takes spotlight for Martin, Dickerson’s winning essays

Published 7:30pm Friday, March 22, 2013

Erin Martin (left) and Bonnie Dickerson wrote essays about Melissa Butler to win top places in the National School Counseling Week Essay Contest. (CONTRIBUTED)
Erin Martin (left) and Bonnie Dickerson wrote essays about Melissa Butler to win top places in the National School Counseling Week Essay Contest. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Two Discovery Middle School students appreciate the diligence of their counselor and wrote winning essays to prove their belief.

Bonnie Dickerson earned third place and Erin Martin took second-place honors in the 2013 National School Counseling Week Essay Contest. They won in the category for grades 6-8 for the state of Alabama. Both girls are seventh-graders.

Their essays documented the work of Melissa Butler, who has achieved the level of professional school counselor. Butler plans to retire at the end of this school year after 25 years of service, with 13 of those years at Discovery.

Dickerson and Martin wrote one-page papers that told detailed information on the impact their school counselor has had upon them.

“One of the best parts about our school counselor is that she knows us personally and the things in our lives,” Dickerson said in her essay. Dickerson believes her essay won because “I put a lot of thought into what I was writing. Ms. Butler does so much for our school, and I wanted to be sure (the essay) was special.”

At Discovery, Dickerson is a member of the yearbook staff and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). She also won honors in the DAR essay contest and for photography in the Reflections fine art program. Her parents are Russ and Carrie Dickerson.

Butler “always has a positive attitude and has taught us so much,” Martin said. “She taught us how to have manners and not bully.”

Martin believes her essay was selected because “I wanted to show how great our counselor really was and that our school appreciates her.” Her parents are Christian and Kathy Martin.

Dickerson and Martin received cash prizes for their efforts. The contest was held in conjunction with National School Counseling Week in February.

The 2013 theme for National School Counseling Week was “Liberty and Learning for All.” The project focused public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems.

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