Clark-Shawnee high school counselor honored by Clark…


A Clark-Shawnee High School faculty member was recently honored by Clark County Partners in Prevention.

Clark-Shawnee High School Counselor Sherry Akers was one of four community members awarded at the Clark County Partners in Prevention’s Coalition Appreciation event, the school announced in a release.

Akers, who was instrumental in founding and naming the organization, received the Outstanding Contribution award for her work with students at the high school.

“This award is really about the community that has supported our students and the programs they have supported,” Akers said. “The coalition has assisted in implementing programs at Shawnee in relation to mindfulness, alternative to suspension programs, Addiction and the Brain, and youth-led groups. I am very appreciative of their support and partnership for our students.”

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Akers remains involved in the organization during the school year and summer, and has been the school sector representative the past five years to help identify needs affecting local youth, the release stated. She also started the first Clark County youth-led group to focus on substance abuse prevention – Students Talking About Real Stuff (STARS), and she is involved in the district’s Red Ribbon week, Camron’s Crusaders, and the coalitions’ anti-vaping task force.

“Sherry is truly deserving and a champion for youth and prevention in our community,” said Carey McKee, the coalitions’ Drug Free Community Project Coordinator. “She gives insight to the needs of school age youth in our community and utilizes her skills to provide prevention efforts at Shawnee High School.”

Next year, Akers will help lead the coalition efforts in Clark County as a member of the Planning Committee.

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The other three community members who were recognized include: Brett Turner received the Megaphone Award for his work in spreading awareness in the community; David Cotto was honored with the Community Spotlight award for his dedication to Clark County; and Deputy Josh Pacine, Clark-Shawnee’s Resource Officer, accepted the Partner of the Year Award on behalf of the sheriff’s office for their prevention efforts including Get Recovery Options Working (G.R.O.W.), drug takeback collection services, vaping task force, Youth Anti-Vape Calendar Ceremony, and Overdose Awareness Day.

Clark County Partners in Prevention works to address substance abuse in the youth of Clark County with a task force that has representatives from 12 community sectors – youth, parents, business, media, schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement, volunteer organizations, religious organizations, health care professionals, local government, and substance abuse organizations – to inform and prevent substance abuse in the community.

For more information, visit the Clark County Partners in Prevention website or Facebook.

About the Author

Brooke Spurlock covers education and crime in Clark and Champaign counties as a journalist for the Springfield News-Sun. She has been a writer for a few years, which includes her previous work as a breaking news desk investigator. Spurlock has her BA in mass communications with a minor in psychology and her AAS in paralegal.

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