Chicopee guidance counselor wins Massachusetts counselor of the year award
Tama Lang, a guidance counselor at Sergeant Robert R. Litwin Elementary School in Chicopee, was awarded counselor of the year on Tuesday. The Massachusetts School Counselors Association presented the award.
At the event, Lang wanted to highlight issues counselors in Chicopee were facing, so she sent out a survey asking what counselors in the district need to help their students.
"The number one thing that would help us most is having more counselors," Lang said. "I am the sole counselor to 350 students. Our school counselors feel that the need for more counselors is pertinent. Increased funding for hiring more counselors statewide would certainly help address the increasing social and emotional needs of all of our students."
Lang added that the pandemic has not only affected students, but educators as well.
"If an educator's social emotional well-being is compromised, the effects trickle down into the classroom and it ultimately affects students," she said.
While she has been with the Chicopee School District for many years, Lang was born in New York City and moved to Tokyo, Japan, when she was three-years-old. She attended the International School of the Sacred Heart in Japan from kindergarten through high school and went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for sociology and psychology. She attended Boston University for her master's in psychology and went to Smith College for her master's in social work.
Elizabeth M. Masse, principal at Litwin Elementary, said she is so proud of the work Lang has done in the school and throughout the city. Masse said Lang has been with the school for 20 years and she admires her motto of working together.
Lang will represent Massachusetts at the National Counselor of the Year gala for a chance to be recognized as a one of the top counselors in the country next year.