A 24-year veteran of the Milford School District has been selected by his colleagues to be the 2013 School Counselor of the Year.

A 24-year veteran of the Milford School District has been selected by his colleagues to be the 2013 School Counselor of the Year.

Jay Lingo, the counselor at Lulu M. Ross Elementary School, has received the honor within his district and is eligible for nomination of State Counselor of the Year. Lingo is one of 10 counselors within the district.

According to Lingo's colleagues, he is more than qualified for this honor.

"[Lingo] is probably one of the nicest, most caring people that I have ever met, and he certainly goes above and beyond expectations, and he does it without complaining," said Cindy McKenzie, principal of Ross Elementary School.

According to the Ross Elementary School website, Lingo provides guidance for students, including lessons in coping skills, friendship, bullying, respect, responsibility, social skills and manners, among other things. He also provides materials to parents on a variety of topics, including death, divorce, peer relations and depression.

Lingo teaches expressive arts classes, is the advisor to the National Elementary Honor Society, coordinator for the Bank at School program and the Food Backpack program, and plays a large role in the school's mentoring program.

Lingo was the State Counselor of the Year in 2003 and received this same honor, MSD School Counselor of the Year, in 2011.

Q Why did you want to become an elementary school counselor?

A Both of my parents were in the teaching profession, so I kind of followed in their footsteps; but I also wanted to see if I could reach kids on a broader level, so my job is very proactive. I teach five classes per day so I can work with all the students in the school.

Q What's your favorite part about your job?

A Every day is different. I enjoy interacting with the students and the staff and it's very rewarding because, I know this may sound cliché but, you can make a difference in a child's life when they're struggling with something.

Q You were selected for this honor by your colleagues. How does that make you feel?

A It's very humbling, and it's great to know I'm respected because, as someone who has three children in the school district, I know how capable all the other counselors are. They're all great.

Q What sets the Milford School District apart from others?

A Personally, the administration has always been very supportive. To have an elementary school counselor for this many years shows they support counseling at this level, and not all districts have that.