Howard Drive Says Goodbye to Our Beloved School Counselor, Mrs. Valle
Frequently dressed in soft cream, tan and white, Mrs. Valle always wears a smile when she calls gently to summon children to their parents’ cars, in carpool, several times a month. During carpool, Howard Drive Elementary’s school counselor holds a microphone in one hand and touches her lanyard with the other, occasionally feeling for her dangling pens and trinkets. The majority of HDE’s parents have seen her here the most as she walks up and down the sidewalk doling out a kind greeting or word—ever watchful as “her” children are whisked away until the next day…
Children are her passion, and for more than 9 years, HDE has been Mrs. Valle’s home. Devastated upon learning that she’d have to retire within months, due to a rule change and other beyond-control complexities, Mrs. Valle moved forward with grace to help begin the arduous task to find the right person to fill her shoes. When recently asked about her upcoming retirement, she lamented that she didn’t know what she would do with her time and, laughing, said that she might actually have to get a job and work. You see, Mrs. Valle never considered her HDE position a “job” or “work.” She loved her career and labored from the heart.
“She’s wonderful. She just knows how to read kids and how to speak their language,” affirmed Kathy Penney, HDE PTA President. “It’s clearly what she was meant to do as she is so loved.”
When asked, the adjectives to describe Mrs. Valle flow easily from the students—
“supportive,” “loving,” “caring,” “interested,” “kind,” “helpful,” “friendly,” “nice”…
As HDE’s school counselor, Mrs. Valle shared the ups-and-downs of many, working with teachers, students, the administrative staff and parents alike to be an advocate for families and children who would otherwise not have a voice or options. Assistant Principal Diaz and Principal Dalby feel that she offers extraordinary support to their leadership, making even the toughest days easy.
“We agree that she is the ‘child whisperer,’” they offered.
“Her specialty is knowing how to solve the most difficult problems with ease,” explained Mrs. Diaz, and Mrs. Dalby concurred enthusiastically.
Teachers often go to Mrs. Valle first for direction in situations, both professional and private. Mrs. Valle excels at giving advice, not only to children, but to her peers and parents.
“She is a confidant, a great teacher and mediator,” declared Mrs. Diaz.
A counselor who “consistently offers sound guidance,” her colleagues revere her as an admired and respected member of the staff who always has time to deconstruct a problem to arrive at a solution.
“She never says no,” revealed Mrs. Diaz, who explained that Mrs. Valle functions as an integral part of the staff, without boundaries or pretenses.
“She is amazing at what she does,” added Mrs. Dalby, “and will be sorely missed.”
With practicality and understanding, Mrs. Valle conscientiously diffuses bullying and infuses confidence in the HDE student body as she pinpoints issues and acts thoughtfully. She never gives up and always works hard to build a child; not break one, and to heal a child; not foresake one.
“Mrs. Valle is incredible,” exclaimed PTA Legislative Chair Monica Smith, “She knew just how to help my child without making the situation worse. You can’t fake that kind of compassion or wisdom in handling problems.”
Through the years, our children have been her children as Mrs. Valle has counseled thousands and rejoiced in the victories of the students she has followed. We celebrate her because we know that she truly made a positive difference in the lives of so many. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Mrs. Valle. She will be extremely missed by all. We thank her for her selfless devotion to our children and the legacy of her commitment to fostering the success of our next generation.
“She will be remembered,” Mrs. Dalby asserted.
“We will never forget her,” proclaimed Mrs. Diaz.
Mrs. Valle’s last day is September 30th. If you happen to see her at carpool, be sure to thank her for her years of service. On behalf of the Howard Drive PTA, Mrs. Valle, we love you and wish you well and thank you for giving us a piece of your heart.