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Sarasota Middle Counselor Named 2024 Florida School Counselor of the Year

Sarasota Middle Counselor Named 2024 Florida School Counselor of the Year

Sarasota County, FL, October 27, 2023 – Sarasota County Schools is pleased to announce that Sarasota Middle School’s Dr. Carmen Larson has been named the Florida School Counselor Association’s (FSCA) 2024 Florida School Counselor of the Year. This is the first time a school counselor from Sarasota County Schools has won the award.

The FSCA Professional Recognition Committee reviews applications from school counseling professionals throughout the state to make nominations for the annual School Counselor of the Year (SCOY) award. Nominees must be working as full-time school counselors and have completed three years of service by the application deadline. Created to recognize the life-changing impact that school counselors have on students and school communities, the SCOY award honors school counselors who successfully manage comprehensive school counseling programs; innovatively work to advance the profession; and passionately advocate for the needs of their students, families, and school communities, among other important criteria.

“I am thrilled that FSCA has recognized Carmen with such a distinguished award,” commented Deb Giacolone, Executive Director of Student Services. “Carmen’s work in school counseling spans over two decades, with her most recent work focused on serving the students & families of Sarasota Middle and helping support and train our school counselors and principals on the state’s new school counseling standards. She is a dynamic member of our team and does so much for her students and our district. We are overjoyed to celebrate with Carmen – she embodies the care and expertise of our district’s school counseling program.”

“I am honored to be named the 2024 Florida School Counselor of the Year,” said Larson. “I love engaging with my students and their families to help plan out their future success. Success in school takes on many forms, and school counselors work directly alongside teachers & families to help students navigate all aspects from academics to resiliency, civic engagement to developmental milestones, and beyond. I consider it a great privilege to represent not only my profession, but also Sarasota County Schools in the FSCA’s efforts to uplift the students of today as they become the great leaders of tomorrow.”

The 2024 Florida School Counselor of the Year recognition occurred on Friday, October 27 at the annual FSCA Convention Awards Luncheon. Dr. Carmen Larson will be in the running for the National School Counselor of the Year award from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) for the 2024-2025 school year.


About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, developmental, and civic growth to every student, every day. Our schools offer a variety of engaging programs and rigorous learning pathways to expertly cater to the diverse needs of all our students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004, and have been awarded the Mid-Sized School District of the Year by the University of Cambridge. Sarasota County Schools’ dedicated educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. Our schools actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Learn more by connecting with us on social media (@sarasotaschools on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and LinkedIn) or by visiting


Dr. Carmen Larson and Deb Giacolone

Lto R: Dr. Carmen Larson and Deb Giacolone