Behavioral Support Professional of the Year

2024 Behavioral Support Professional of the Year

A BHP Award is given to a school employee whose position is health care practitioner or social or human services provider who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health, such as
• School counselors • School social workers • Licensed clinical social workers • school psychologists • School nurses

Courtney Waters

2024 Behavioral Health Professional of the Year
Family Support Therapist, New Castle Elementary School

When Courtney Waters recently walked into the library at New Castle Elementary School and was greeted by cheering students, Colonials Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Menzer, her supervisor Dr. Jon Cooper, and Principal TeRay Ross with flowers in hand, she thought she had interrupted a special celebration. Special it was, but it was all for Waters. She is the  Colonial School District’s (CSD) 2024 Behavioral Health Professional of the Year (BHPOY). Waters will be honored at an awards ceremony hosted by CSD and later the Department of Education (DOE) where one BHPOY will be named to represent the state “I was shocked…I was really happy and very grateful.” Waters wears many hats at New Castle. Along with counseling students, she helps many families who are struggling with homelessness and hunger. She collects clothes for those in need and steps in when students have emotional breakdowns during the school day. “Some days it can be really hard and overwhelming but knowing that I can help in some sort of way with these students and  their families to make it easier for them or help connect them to some sort of resource that they may not have … that’s the satisfaction.” Waters, who hails from Long Island but graduated from Temple and later earned a Master’s degree from Wilmington University has spent the last ten years at New Castle Elementary helping students and families in crisis. She considers her recognition a win for her team of co-workers who also do the same kind of work at the school and applauds DOE for recognizing behavior health professionals saying, “ in the past, there’s mainly been a focus on the teachers and we kind of are like under the radar so I felt really good to just get that acknowledgment of my peers and people seeing I like what I do.” Waters plans to continue doing what she likes to do in CSD and enjoys facilitating professional development programs for staff geared at helping them understand what it’s like to live in poverty through simulation exercises. “ I do want to stay here and I’ve taken advantage of opportunities to get more training to help students, families, and our staff !”