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Fort Smith Public Schools Counselor Earns Arkansas Middle-Level Counselor of the Year

Fort Smith Public Schools and Darby Middle School counselor Cherri Byford earned the title of Middle-Level Counselor of the Year from the Arkansas School Counselor Association. This recognition reflects her outstanding commitment to supporting her students' academic, social, and emotional development. Ms. Byford was recently named Regional School Counselor of the Year by the Northwest Arkansas School Counselor Association.


I am honored to have been chosen as the Arkansas Middle-Level Counselor of the Year. It is an honor and a privilege to support middle school students as they grow and learn through challenging times. This would not have been possible without the support of our district administrators, Dr. Farrell and Dr. Rathbun, my principal, Jason Meharg, and my amazing co-counselor, Cassidy Hodge,” said Ms. Byford.


Ms. Byford, along with Darby Middle School, was named a Recognized American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Model Program® (RAMP®), demonstrates to administrators, school boards, families, and the community at large that the schools are committed to supporting the mission of the school and district. Ms. Byford was one of the first in Arkansas to receive this recognition.

Colonel Jason Meharg, principal at Darby Middle School, said, "Today, we celebrate not just a counselor but a beacon of inspiration and guidance. Mrs. Byford's dedication, empathy, and unwavering commitment to our students have earned her the prestigious title of Arkansas Middle School Counselor of the Year. Ms Byford is an incredible asset to our students and works tirelessly to meet their academic, physical, and emotional goals. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!”