2016 ACTE Career Guidance Award Winner


Sheryl Neely
Professional School Counselor
Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta, Georgia

Sheryl responded to our questions on film at Frederick Douglass High School.

As a high school counselor for Atlanta Public Schools, Sheryl Neely promotes lifelong learning and encourages students to work toward achieving diverse goals, competencies and specialized skills. Neely received her doctorate from Walden University and her counseling degree from the University of West Alabama. She is the founder of the F.R.E.S.H. (Faculty Reaching Every Student with Helping Hands) Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering and developing youth to become model citizens, while preparing them for career and postsecondary options. In addition to these efforts, Neely spearheaded a small learning community design team for large high schools that had been transformed from comprehensive high schools to career academies, and she played an integral part in getting buy-in from faculty and staff to make the transition. She serves on Atlanta Public School’s CTE advisory board, is currently GACTE’s President-Elect for the Guidance and Counseling Division, and Atlanta Public School’s High School Counselor of the Year.

Neely has helped secure over $5 million in scholarships and has cultivated a number of CTE programs and award opportunities for her students, who have a strong track record of success. She led two engineering design teams of students to qualify for a state-wide engineering competition and advance to nationals for a mousetrap car design. Two CTE students recommended and mentored by Neely were named Atlanta Ambassadors for Community Service by Kaseem Reed, mayor of Atlanta. Through Neely’s support and recommendation, another of her students was selected out of 4,000 applicants for the Disney Dreamers Academy. “Sheryl is an ambassador for higher education and an outstanding leader for social change,” says Libra Royster, assistant principal.

Learn more about the 2016 ACTE Excellence Award winners.

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