Former school counselor awarded outstanding service award

Members of the Walker family and counselors from Marshalltown Schools accept the 2013 Outstanding Service Award on behalf of the late Bruce Walker.

Members of the Walker family and counselors from Marshalltown Schools accept the 2013 Outstanding Service Award on behalf of the late Bruce Walker.

Bruce Walker, former elementary school counselor and district counseling program director, was posthumously given the 2013 Outstanding Service Award from the Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA).

Walker, who passed away in 2008, was a longtime member of ISCA and served on its board for many years. During his tenure as counseling program coordinator, he was key in mentoring school counselors and bringing full-time school counselors to every elementary school.

He was also proactive in meeting the needs of an ever-diversifying student body.

“When Marshalltown became home to many Hispanic families, Bruce took it upon himself to learn Spanish so he could communicate with the students and parents,” said Sue Cleveringa, Fisher Elementary School counselor. “He worked with the community and spearheaded a group that visited Mexico. The effort he made to help everyone feel welcome was a very special gift that benefited the whole community.”

Walker’s wife, Ruth, and sons, Andrew and Aaron, were present during the ISCA Conference Nov. 4-5, 2013, to accept the award in his name.

“It is impossible to capture the essence of Bruce Walker’s contributions to Iowa School Counseling programs and students in words but it is a deep honor to try,” said Jan Kuhl with the Iowa Department of Education. “Bruce exemplified the finest qualities of a school counselor and program director. He was caring, compassionate, hard working, loving, accepting and courageous. His advocacy for the Iowa school counseling requirement before the Iowa State Board of Education brought tears to many eyes.  His advocacy for ALL children has changed many lives. ”

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