Estela Calata named 2020 Guam School Counselor of the Year

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Estela Calata, a GDOE school counselor at Wettengel Elementary School, has been named the 2020 Guam School Counselor of the Year.

Calata holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from Ateneo De Zamboanga University. She entered into a Master of Arts program in Counseling Psychology at Ateneo de Manila University and eventually earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from the University of Guam in 2003.

She has been a school counselor at Wettengel Elementary School (WES) since 2002. Before coming to WES, Calata worked at the Academy of Our Lady of Guam as a theology teacher and school counselor from 1997-2002.

She was also a Jesuit Volunteer Campus Ministry formator at Centro Escolar University and Philippine Normal University from 1986-1990 and served as a teacher, formator, trainer, program officer, and counselor at Ateneo De Manila University’s Center for Family Ministries and Jesuit Volunteers Office from 1992-1997.

Overall, Calata has had a total of 34 years of experience working in the private and public school system.

The School Counselor of the Year award honors professionals who devote their careers to advocating for students and addressing their academic and social/emotional development and college and career readiness needs.

Calata, through her professional pursuits and volunteer work, has shown that she is invested in promoting student success and achievement as well as furthering the advancement of the school counseling profession on Guam.

Not only has she developed and implemented a comprehensive school counseling program at WES for the past 17 years, she has also been a strong advocate for the implementation and adoption of the ASCA model in the GDOE school system.

Calata was also instrumental in the establishment of the Guam Association of School Counselors (GASC), where she served as one of its founding members.

Since GASC’s existence, she has been actively engaged in the organization, serving as Secretary from 2004-2014 and President from 2015 to present. Under her leadership, GASC became the 52nd Division Chapter of the American School Counselors’ Association and the 1st U.S. territory to be granted ASCA affiliate status.

When asked what gives her purpose and provides her with a source of inspiration, Calata replies with “Ad Majorem, Dei Gloriam” or generosity in the service of others.

She truly lives by example, as even in her spare time she teaches CCD or catechism classes for pre-confirmation students at the Blessed Diego San Vitores Parish in Tumon.

She is married to Vicente Winston Calata and resides in the village of Tamuning, Guam. As one who believes in the value of self- care, she is an avid reader of inspirational books about mindfulness, meditation, and alternative healing therapies.

Calata was selected by a panel of four judges who represented the private and public sectors of our community. Their selection was based on Calata’s ability to make lasting change within the profession through leadership,  collaboration, and advocacy. She will be honored and formally recognized at an awards dinner to be held at the Westin Resort Guam on February 8, 2020. As the state representative, Calata will be recommended to take part in the 2021 ASCA School Counselor of the Year awards process.

About the Guam Association of School Counselors

The Guam Association of School Counselors (GASC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) professional organization based in Guam. GASC’s mission is to represent and support the work of school counselors by promoting professionalism and ethical practices. The organization is committed to advancing the professional development of school counseling professionals by sponsoring worthwhile projects that increase counselors’ effectiveness in addressing students’ academic, social/emotional, and college and career readiness needs.

Through comprehensive and data-driven programs, counselors can positively impact the development of students and see them transition to gainful employment and become contributing and productive members of our community.

GASC was founded in 2004 and is the 52nd Division Chapter of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). As an affiliate of ASCA, GASC is able to access an even greater pool of resources and supports for local counselors, as ASCA’s network expands to 50 states and territory associations and boasts a membership of more than 36,000 school counseling professionals.

For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit – www.schoolcounselor.org.

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