Serving as the immediate past president of the West Virginia School Counselors’ Association (WVSCA), Blackburn was spurred into active leadership when she continued to watch more clerical duties and non-counseling demands be placed on the shoulders of school counselors. She currently serves as the government relations chair for WVSCA. This role allows her to write legislative proposals that would restore the state’s school counselors’ job description and reassign clerical duties to appropriate personnel.
Since joining the staff at Greenbrier East High School in 1985, Blackburn has served in various capacities including the school’s Department Chair, SAP Chair, HIV Team Coordinator, Natural Helper and Conflict Mediation Team Sponsor. As a result of its most recent accreditation process, the Greenbrier East High School counseling department earned an excellent commendation.
Blackburn played a key role in the development of the school’s Advisor/Advisee Program called TAPS (Teachers Assisting Pupil Success). The basic goal for the program is to provide a vehicle for students to develop a close relationship with at least one staff person and hopefully keep students from falling through the cracks in a large school system. It’s the staff’s philosophy that effective school counseling programs must be a school wide effort led by school counselors who utilize all resources available to them which will enable student success.
Blackburn hopes to use her position to transform secondary school counseling nationally and would like to see West Virginia brought to the forefront in school counseling excellence and bring recognition to the state as a national model. She also encourages all school counselors to take an active role in the WVSCA and consider joining the ASCA.