Association honors college counselor

Award recognizes Pivonka’s service, dedication


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Ms. Kathy Pivonka, far right, shows off her award.

Lauren Smith , Culture Co-Editor

Nomination for the Dorothy Cheesman Distinguished Service Award requires dedication, hard work and service.

College counselor Ms. Kathy Pivonka received this award on Feb. 27. She has administered countless hours of dedication to her students as well a committed working association with the Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling organization for many years.

According to the website for the Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling, the Dorothy Cheesman Award is “given annually to a member who has distinguished himself or herself by exemplary service to students in their search for post-secondary education. Dorothy Cheesman Award winners must have a minimum of five years of significant IACAC membership experience as a committee member, a committee chairperson or an officer in IACAC or NACAC.”

Nominations are given by the candidate’s peers. Pivonka said in 2015, counselor Mr. Terry Knaus received this award while he was employed at Indiana University, and this year he presented the award to Pivonka.

Pivonka said, “The Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling is a group of high school counselors, both school and college, as well as college admission people. I have been involved in that organization in some capacity since 1990. I’ve done a number of jobs. I was the president of the state association, I was the chair of the conference that we just attended years ago, and I was on this national assembly for the national association.

“I’ve done a lot of jobs, and I’ve volunteered a lot. It’s a distinguished service award, but it’s kind of a lifetime achievement kind of thing, so you’ve had to be in it for a while. It was a complete surprise.”

She continued, “Dorothy Cheesman passed away, and that’s why this is named in her honor, but she was an admissions counselor at IUPUI a long time ago. I met her once or twice before she retired and then passed away, but at least it’s someone I’ve met because it’s an honor. She was somebody who was about serving kids and giving kids access to college and opportunities.”

Pivonka received this award at a conference accompanied by her parents; her daughter, junior Katelyn; President Mr. Rob Bridges; Principal Mr. Dave Worland and Vice Principal Mr. Dennis Thomas, to name a few.

Pivonka said, “It is one of those things where you always hope to get those awards if you spend that much time in an association doing work for them, but it’s more about doing the work than worrying about whether you get an award or not. It reinstalled in me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and that I love what I do. The biggest thing is that it’s kind of an honor because it is something I love to do and somebody recognized that I’m not bad at it.”