Kathy Bitner is a force for good at Draper Park Middle on two fronts. As head counselor, she knows how to help students, teachers and families overcome problems and find solutions to succeed, and as a member of the community, she hears and knows what issues they are facing.
“She has the ear of the community,” Principal Mary Anderson says. She also has the trust of Draper Park’s students and finds ways to support them in finding and pursuing their purpose and passion. For these reasons and more, she represents the best of her profession and was named Utah Counselor of the Year by the Utah School Counselor Association.
Bitner was honored in October by her peers with a plaque at the Association’s annual statewide conference, and was later recognized by the Canyons Board of Education.
When Bitner became aware of a growing disunity in her school, she initiated “Club Thursday,” where students participate in weekly after-school projects once a week. She brings volunteers, teachers and parents together to teach students how to make stained glass, or draw cartoon characters, or complete Halloween sewing projects.
She also identified populations of students in the school who were academically at-risk, and spearheaded a strategy that's credited with helping them achieve. Her efforts have boosted Draper Park Middle, and gained the attention of her colleagues. To that end, it is no surprise Bitner was recently chosen as the 2019 Utah Counselor of the Year.