Butler Tech seal

Tracy Donovan – Ohio ACTE Counselor of the Year


As a veteran counselor, Tracy Donovan has served at Butler Tech for over fifteen years. Below is a compiled entry from her colleagues.

“Tracy Donovan has been a counselor mentor, leader, colleague, and friend of mine now for 11 years. We began working together at Madison Jr. / Sr. High School, where she mentored me during my very first year of counseling. From there, we went our separate ways but kept in touch as I would come to Butler Tech meetings, collaborate with students, or consult for advice. Over the years, I have experienced firsthand, Tracy’s strengths and how she embodies the Butler Tech EMPOWER norms. As the counseling department head at DRL, Tracy establishes roles and leads within the office. She takes the lead when needed, but also helps and supports when she sees fit. She has repeatedly jumped in to help me personally with projects (transcript checking or Future Fair planning) and attempts to keep the counseling office running as effectively as possible. Tracy has a mindset of seeing the best in her peers as she concentrates on their strengths. For me personally, she has taken the time to invest in me and teach me over the years how best to react to difficult situations with students and how to empathize with them – yet hold them accountable. Productive Struggle is something that I see as one of Tracy’s biggest strengths because she is always willing to jump in to help with any task. Whether it be planning Career Days, Future Fair, or orienting new employees (myself and Melanie Bryan), she is always willing to lend a helping hand and figure it out! This was played out in 2016 when Madison Jr. / Sr. High School had a school shooting. I was still working as the counselor there and Tracy was at Butler Tech. As difficult as that situation was to handle, one of the first people that reached out to me during that time was Tracy. She wanted to know what I needed and how she could help – so she showed up the next day to help me counsel students and develop a comprehensive plan for helping the students during that incredibly difficult time. Tracy openly speaks her truth when she feels that it is needed – a quality that I admire about her because she doesn’t always say what you want to hear but what you may need to hear. Teachers within the building see Tracy as a leader and someone that can support them as needed. I see the teachers that she works with frequently in her office discussing students, situations, and how to handle issues. This is an example of how they work together as collective thought leaders and ensure collective efficacy. She also works very closely with therapists, social workers, and other community agency leaders to ensure that her students’ needs are being met. As a counselor, Tracy takes risks every day while helping, supporting, coaching, and encouraging her students! She encourages and believes in them, and they know this. One student stops by her office almost every day to get a pep talk and let out frustration. One day, the student told me that she comes in every day to talk to Mrs. Donovan because she does not have a good relationship with her own mom, so Tracy fills that gap for her. Well done, Tracy Donovan! I am thankful and proud to work with such a wonderful counselor and mentor.”

~Rachel Conley, Counselor D. Russel Lee CTC

“Tracy is an amazing candidate for counselor of the year. If you know Tracy, you know she’s a worker. She is someone that “Gets things done”. She consistently establishes agendas and timelines. When Tracy has a deadline, she is the first to get it done. In fact, most of the time she gets things done without asking or ahead of schedule. I always like Tracy to be present when having leadership meetings and planning. She is a true collective thought leader. She has creative ideas that always put students first. When we were planning for changes in our Welding program looking for ways to expand access for students, Tracy was on board with making things work to be able to take on more students. She was able to take ideas for flip-flopping our master schedule and put them into practice. She frequently thinks about ideas and potential obstacles. This is extremely helpful as she can see the big picture and recognizes how changes in one area can impact many others. Finally, I never worry that she will not speak her truth. She is willing to share concerns and unpopular opinions even when she knows she may be criticized for this. I can always count on Tracy for her honesty and commitment to the mission of Butler Tech. I am thankful for her daily!”

~Kristen AbuDakar, Principal Fairfield Township Campus, Butler Tech

“Tracy Donovan exemplifies ALL of the district Norms. Two specific norms that stand out when talking about Mrs. Donovan are Collective Efficacy and Collective Thought Leader. Whenever there is an issue (building level or student level), Mrs. Donovan is always available to assist. She has a tremendous skill set that allows her to be an asset in all aspects of the job. She is willing to go above and beyond and always advocates for what is best for the student. Tracy is a true team player and an asset to our DRL team.”

~Steve Jackson, Assistant Principal D.Russel Lee CTC