Susan Beard named Alabaster Counselor of Year
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
Originally born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Susan Puglisi Beard, (Alabaster City Schools Counselor of the Year) was born into a family of four children (Vincent, Connie, Nancy and Alice).
Life was filled with family gatherings and great Italian food with the table running over.
“Great times,” says Beard.
After Riverdale High School in Jefferson, Louisiana, Beard attended Augusta State University in Georgia, then the University of New Orleans.
Beard has a M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling Education and a B.A. in English Education.
Married to high school sweetheart Chuck Beard for 36 years, the Beards have one son Keith and one grandchild.
“I completed my B.A. and began teaching,” she said. “My first job was at L.W. Higgins High School in Jefferson Parish. T.W. Josey Comprehensive High in Augusta, Georgia is where I found my purpose in life – counseling.
“A high school senior kept coming to school late enough to miss my class and jeopardize his chances for graduation,” she said. “I soon found out he was getting his elementary siblings ready for school each morning. This young man could have dropped out, but he didn’t.
“He was willing to do whatever to graduate. After help with course work I got him connected with a trade school, which he attended after a successful high school graduation. I knew then that I had found my true career,” she said.
Beard has been at the Sixth Grade Center for four years and loves being in her “adopted hometown.”
Spending lots of time with her students makes Beard’s day.
The Thompson Sixth Grade Center supports counseling department programs such as Peer Buddies, Career Day and tweak their class plans to integrate counseling initiatives like Red Ribbon Week and Be an Up stander – Not a By stander.
“I try to make my office kid friendly … bean bags on the floor and sparse adult furnishings,” she said. “I keep some toys, dolls and games on hand.”
After work, Beard spends her evenings with her husband and their pets.
Beard loves to read, play music and create art.
Looks like the Student Services Coordinator and the Central Office Committee did another great job in choosing Susan Beard as Alabaster’s Counselor of the Year.