2017 School Counselor of the Year, Terri Tchorzynski
By: Karlie Snyder, Class of 2011
“It didn’t matter if you were in the classroom, practicing, at a game, or in her office. She has such enthusiasm for what she does, and she always has something to teach you.”
Terri Tchorzynski has been and continues to be a huge inspiration in my life, five years after I graduated from high school. I met Coach T, which is what we call her, when I was in eighth grade. She had just been hired as the English teacher and varsity coach for the girls’ basketball team. I remember the meeting vividly because she was not in the best mood because the girls were losing their first game.
What I saw that day and have continued to see is Coach T’s passion for everything she does. She is dedicated and 100 percent devoted to her students. She was always a joy to be around. It didn’t matter if you were in the classroom, practicing, at a game, or in her office. She has such enthusiasm for what she does, and she always has something to teach you.
If you ever had the chance to see her teach in a classroom and then go to basketball practice you would understand what I mean. There was never a dull moment because she ran her classroom the same way she ran her basketball team — with drive, determination, lots of hand motions, and hand claps.
Things changed a little during my senior year of high school. Coach T was no longer an English teacher, but the new counselor at the Calhoun Area Career Center. I attended the center during my junior and senior year of high school and participated in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program.
Coach T. continued to support me at the career center. As a new counselor, she wanted to encourage students to make something of their dreams and goals for the future, and she really did help me! She found scholarships that I was eligible for, and it was because of Coach T’s hard work that I managed to attend the Culinary Institute of Michigan in association with Baker College of Muskegon, earning a bachelor’s degree in Food and Beverage Management and an associate’s degree in Applied Science — completely debt free. Thanks to Coach T I was able to get a jumpstart on my career. Her passion for her job as a school counselor inspired me to pursue what I love to do.
I call Terri Tchorzynski “Coach” because that is what she is to me. She is more than my teacher and counselor. She was and is my coach. She helped me begin my future in the culinary world. She taught me the importance of teamwork, dedication, drive, focus, understanding and patience. She is a role model through her words, but mostly through her actions and drive to help her students reach their goals. I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award. She is amazing!
Karlie Snyder is a graduate of Union City High School (Class of 2011) and a former student of Terri Tchorzynski, who was named the 2017 School Counselor of the Year. Ms. Tchorzynski will be joining us at the White House for the School Counselor of the Year Ceremony.