LEWISTON, ID - Lewiston's Amy Johannesen has been named Idaho's 2020 School Counselor of the Year. Johannesen is in her 5th year working for the Lewiston Independent School District. For 4 years she served as a counselor at Centennial and McGhee Elementary Schools, both in Lewiston, and she is currently the full time counselor at Centennial.
According to the Idaho School Counselor Association, Johannesen began her career working in community mental health and non-profit agencies as an adult day treatment therapist, outpatient therapist, sexual assault therapist, and triage clinician in Alabama and Washington states. She took a hiatus from professional work while her children were young and her family had multiple military moves. She remained active in community service organizations and routinely volunteered at her children’s schools. It was while assisting in her daughter’s 4th grade classroom that the teacher encouraged her to apply for a substitute teaching position with the Lewiston school district. After working as a substitute teacher for a year, Amy returned to her counseling roots in a position as a therapist with a small counseling agency, but found that she missed working in the collective environment of the schools. In 2015, she accepted a position as an intervention tutor at Sacajawea Junior High School while obtaining the additional educational requirements to be certified as a school counselor through the online School Counseling Program at the University of North Dakota. She was hired as an elementary counselor at Centennial and McGhee Elementary Schools in 2016. The current principal at Centennial is the same 4th grade teacher that encouraged her to try substitute teaching seven years ago.