Gronau named MSD Behavioral Health Professional of the Year

Terry RogersEducation, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Shannon Gronau has been named MSD Behavioral Specialist of the Year

The Milford School District is proud to announce Shannon Gronau, School Counselor at Mispillion Elementary, as their Behavioral Health Professional of the Year for 2024-2025 School Year. This award highlights Mrs. Gronau’s exceptional commitment to the mental and emotional well-being of students.

This year marks Mrs. Gronau’s third year in the Milford School District and twelfth year as a school counselor!  She has made significant strides in promoting a supportive environment for students. Reflecting on the role, she shared, “The best part of my job is seeing the growth that students make from year to year! I love making positive connections with students and advocating for them when they need it most. Helping students develop tools to navigate their lives and watching them become confident with those tools is incredibly rewarding. One of the best experiences I have as a School Counselor is when a former parent or student reaches out to express how helpful it was to have an adult in school who believed in them and supported them through difficult times.”

The Delaware State Behavioral Health Professional of the Year (BHPOY) program, administered by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), recognizes outstanding service by school employees who are health care practitioners or human service providers aiming to improve individuals’ mental health. Local honorees from Delaware’s districts and the Delaware Charter School Network will be celebrated, with one selected as the state honoree at a statewide event on Monday. Secretary of Education Mark Holodick stated, “Our students arrive at school with mental health needs that can impact their readiness and ability to learn. Behavioral health professionals are critical to the success of our schools and communities, and I am grateful to these professionals for how they support our students and school communities.”

Mrs. Gronau emphasizes the critical role of Behavioral Health Professionals in schools, stating, “Behavioral Health Professionals are trained health and mental health professionals that understand the complexities of child development and learning. Cultivating the skills to live a healthy life is becoming more important as our society changes, so mental health education and awareness need to match the pace. The work that Behavioral Health Professionals do every day is crucial to students’ learning and success because we address the needs of the whole student. We educate students on living healthier lives and provide intervention services that empower students to be their best selves.”

 “Mrs. Gronau embodies the kindness, compassion, and tenacity of an exceptional school counselor,” shares Rosa DiPiazza, School Counselor at Mispillion Elementary and former Behavioral Health Professional of the Year for the State of Delaware.  “She easily builds positive relationships with students and families from diverse backgrounds. She takes time to consult with teachers and other staff members to support children’s behavioral and mental health. She always stands up for what is best for students, even when it is hard.”

Mrs. Gronau provides direct student services including check-ins, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and character education lessons in the classroom. Additionally, Mrs. Gronau supports students and families holistically by coordinating weekend food bags, clothing giveaways, and Christmas gift drives.

One of her passions is teaching leadership development, notably through a peer leadership program that trains older students to mentor younger students, resulting in positive outcomes in learning and behavior.  Additionally, she has implemented the MindUp curriculum, helping students understand brain functions and mindfulness techniques.  She is an active member of the Delaware School Counselors Association (DSCA), serving on the board as the public relations chair, and holds certifications as a Nationally Certified School Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor. This is also her fourth year mentoring and supervising School Counselors and graduate students.  She is also an adjunct faculty member in the psychology department at Delaware Technical Community College.

Milford School District is proud to have her on the Buccaneer Team!  Thank you, Mrs. Gronau!

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