Roanoke school counselor wins 2022 Yale Educator Award

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:54 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Every year, Yale University recognizes outstanding educators across the country for their work with students. This year, one educator from Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology (RVGS) is among the 77 recipients nationwide.

Kathy Sebolt is a school counselor and administrator at RVGS. For the past 15 years, she’s helped students with their coursework and getting ready for life after graduation.

She explained how she’s passionate about her job working with students.

“I think mostly what I do is just let them know that there’s somebody here who cares about them and that I’m there to support them,” Sebolt said.

Sebolt is one of 29 counselors throughout the country to receive the 2022 Yale Educator award. Students nominate teachers who have supported and inspired their students to perform at high levels. This year, students submitted 339 applications.

One RVGS student explained why she thinks Sebolt is deserving of the award.

“Mrs. Sebolt has been just always available, always easy to talk to, always very understanding and comforting,” senior Natalie Davis said.

Sebolt is one of two educators in Virginia to receive the award. It’s the first year a staff member has won.

“I have an infamous candy bowl in my office where if students are having a hard day, they can come get a piece of chocolate or I’ll make them a cup of tea if they’re struggling,” Sebolt said. “I just want them to know that they’re heard and they’re seen.”

One of Sebolt’s previous students at RVGS sent in the nomination as a current student at Yale University. The RVGS director explained how it’s great to see students thanking their teachers.

“One of the great things about our student body is that they are appreciative,” Mark Levy said. “The fact that they would nominate someone, even after they’ve graduated, is just a tremendous recognition of the quality of character that our students have.”

Levy and the student body at RVGS presented Sebolt with her award at a recognition ceremony Friday morning.