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Lab School 55 counselor is the best in the state/El consejero de Lab Escuela 55 es el mejor del estado

Aaron Munson (center) poses with his 2022 Indiana Elementary School Counselor of the Year award. He is flanked by Principal Sarah Clark and Becky Tarnowski, instructional coach who nominated him for the award.

Regularly working late into the night, meeting students at home for one-on-one sessions, and developing a robust school counseling program at Butler Lab School 55 are just a few reasons Aaron Munson is one of the best in his field. 

Munson, 38, was recently named the Indiana Elementary School Counselor of the Year for 2022 by the Indiana School Counselor Association Conference. He will be formally honored on Nov. 12 during the organization’s annual conference.

In his four years at Butler Lab School 55, Munson has set the tone for classrooms and hallways being a place where everyone is loved, cared for, respected, valued, and seen for who they truly are, said Becky Tarnowski, an instructional coach at the school.

“To say Mr. Munson goes above and beyond is an understatement,” Tarnowski wrote in her nomination letter. “During full virtual learning when our district transitioned to 1-to-1 technology for the first time during the pandemic, Mr. Munson drove all over Indianapolis doing home visits to ensure students were able to access virtual learning. 

“The week before we returned to in-person school for the first time since the pandemic, Mr. Munson created a social story for students to proactively prepare them for the many changes to expect at school. His social story ended by reminding students that while many things have changed this year, one thing that will never change is how much we love and care about our students.”

Munson is still reeling from the announcement about his honor but feels his students are the ones who should share in the celebration.

“I do my best every day because of my love for my students, and because they deserve the best—the best teachers, the best counselors, the best principals, the best chances. I am honored and humbled to accept this award on their behalf.”

Munson has been in education for the past 16 years starting at Kingsway Christian School in Avon, Indiana, and then at Webb Elementary School in Franklin, Indiana. He also worked as a school counselor between Sawmill Woods Elementary and Break-O-Day Elementary Schools in Whiteland, Indiana. 

He then joined IPS, teaching music at William McKinley #39, and then taught music for two years at CFI #84. 

Munson earned his bachelor’s degree in music education and his master’s in school counseling from Butler University, where he also received his LMHC certification. He is married to a fellow Butler graduate, Liz, and has two children, both of whom attend IPS/Butler Lab #55.