Kreifels Named Counselor of the Year

Pictured Left to Right: Laura Lea Fossenbarger, Assistant Director – Admissions at Peru State College, Laurel Kreifels, and Michael Apple, Superintendent at Conestoga Public Schools.

The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) proudly announces Laurel Kreifels, School Counselor at Conestoga Public Schools in Murray, Nebraska, as the recipient of the 2023 NSCS Counseling Excellence Award. This annual accolade, instituted to applaud counselors for their service and unwavering commitment to student success, reflects the NSCS's deep appreciation for professionals who play a pivotal role in supporting students.

Paul Turman, Chancellor of the NSCS, underscored the crucial contribution of high school counselors in the college exploration journey. "High school counselors play a vital role in the college search process," said Turman. "We are thankful to have counselors like Ms. Kreifels helping students explore opportunities after high school and identifying the best fit for their future."

The NSCS Counseling Excellence Award is a testament to the dedication and impact of counselors like Ms. Kreifels, who go above and beyond to empower students at Conestoga Public Schools. Students at Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges actively participate in the nomination process, recognizing the instrumental role counselors play in shaping their educational paths.

Ms. Kreifels, originally an educator specializing in business and computer classes, discovered her true passion lay in fostering positive relationships with students as they navigate life's journey. As a school counselor, her focus extends to college and career readiness, academic success, and, most importantly, equipping students with the skills to advocate for themselves. Ms. Kreifels believes that when students become advocates for their own needs, the possibilities for personal and academic achievement are boundless.

Her transformative influence extends beyond the school doors, positively impacting the wider community. Through her unwavering commitment, Ms. Kreifels has become a beacon of student-centered success, embodying the values and vision of the Nebraska State College System.

"Ms. Kreifels is an advocate for higher education and for her students, and she truly embodies the spirit of the Nebraska State College System's 2023 Counseling Excellence Award," remarked Chancellor Turman. The award not only recognizes Ms. Kreifels' outstanding achievements but also serves as an inspiration for educators and counselors statewide.

The Nebraska State College System extends its congratulations to Laurel Kreifels, celebrating her as an exemplary role model, mentor, and catalyst for positive impact in the lives of students. 

"I am a first-generation student, and it was a really hard decision for me to attend college or not. Then, I found Peru State College. With the scholarships and affordable living expenses here, Peru made the decision a lot less difficult."

Photo of Carlene Riley

Carlene Riley

Peru State College