Supporting social and emotional health

​March is National Social Work Month and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education honored three outstanding student support professionals at its March 12 meeting. School social workers assist students in developing positive peer and teacher relationships, engage families in the educational process and eliminate barriers to student achievement. They also support students and families with basic needs, mental health supports, housing and mentors.

Each year, CMS recognizes a social worker who goes above and beyond in a school. This year's 2019 CMS School Social Worker of the Year recipient is Rose Smith from Hornets Nest Elementary. Smith works diligently at Hornets Nest, taking the initiative to develop programs to increase parent engagement at the school. She is active in the community, serves on many boards and provides resources for struggling individuals in several ways.

The board also recognized school psychologist Rhonda Armistead and Piedmont IB Middle school counselor Marie Delaney.

Armistead received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. She retired in August 2018 after almost 22 years with CMS. She helped thousands of students connect with caring adults. She showed them where to find resources for basic needs. She directed them to mental health supports, to housing and to mentors. In doing this, she helped these students navigate around obstacles that could have been barriers to success.

Delaney received the 2019 Marvin R. Pittman NC Champions for Education award from the North Carolina Department of Instruction. The award is given to recognize individuals who demonstrate "an extraordinary commitment to student success, who exemplify leadership in education, and make significant impact on students in our state." Delaney is a national board-certified counselor who embraces diverse students and supports their individual needs.

"Thank you, Ms. Smith, Ms. Armistead and Ms. Delaney. Thank you for caring about what matters most to all of us – our children," said Mary McCray, chairperson of the Board of Education.