E. Gordon Poling Administrator Award

Unpublished material – USD Photograph Collection, Series 9, photograph of Dr. Gordon Poling 

The E. Gordon Poling Award was established in 1991. E. Gordon Poling was born to a farm family in Iowa and learned early the need for hard work. he sometimes stated that he started work at age 13 and had never stopped. He spent his early professional career in public school work in Iowa and stated his personal motto as "I have always tried to treat people fairly." Dr. Poling served the University of South Dakota and future counselors for 29 years. He was chairperson of the Division of Educational Psychology and Counseling from 1979-1990. During his tenure at the University and through his active leadership in the profession in the state and region, he never lost his ability to nurture students and fellow professionals. Dr. Poling served as only the second chair of the USD Counseling Department, and is credited by his colleagues with spearheading the development of the counseling program at USD.  He was a true counselor educator. Gordon died on August 30, 1990. As a memorial to Dr. Poling, the SD Counseling Association Board of Directors voted to rename the administrator award in his honor. 

Dr. Joan England of USD, a longtime colleague , observed of him, "Gordon was a humble man. He never knowingly called attention to himself, yet he was a person whose counsel was sought. His opinion was highly valued by students and colleagues who spent time with him. We who knew him are deeply grateful for the opportunity to count Gordon as a friend and colleague."

These winners have demonstrated an understanding of the counseling profession and unqualified support of it. Each individuals is or was in some kind of supervisory position over counselors, counselor-interns, or students of counseling.

Nominate using the google form https://forms.gle/cZVudYe4qJ67D77w8 or Submit the nomination form found HERE. Nominations close on March 1, 2023!

2022 Winner: Phil Schonebaum

Mr. Schonebaum has become an advocate for school counseling and mental health during his time as a K-12 principal in the Henry School District and as a Superintendent in Henry and currently at the Lyman School District. He works toward the creation of a school environment that encourages trusting relationships, adapts to change, and does not fall into the moniker line ‘this is the way we have always done it.’ While Superintendent of the Henry School district, Mr. Schonebaum worked to expand customized learning to all students to develop lifelong learning and foster their intrinsic motivation. At Lyman he worked to bring the elementary schools together to foster an environment of continuity and collaboration. 

His efforts to promote a positive relationship between school counselors and administrators do not go unnoticed. He has presented at school administrator conferences and at the upcoming American School Counselor Association conference in July 2022, on building partnerships between administrators and school counselors. Mr. Schonebaum understands that when we can effectively work together our students benefit from that cohesive relationship. - Ashley Seeklander-Professional School Counselor

Congratulations Phil!


Past Award Winners

  • 2022- Phil Schonebaum
  • 2021- Patti Lake-Torbert
  • 2019 - Dr. Andrea Bjornestad
  • 2018 - Celeste Uthe-Burow
  • 2017 - Dr. Anna Schwan
  • 2016 - Wendy Smith
  • 2015 - Dr. Becky Guffin
  • 2013 - Woody Schrenk
  • 2012 - Mark Britzman
  • 2011 - JC Chambers
  • 2010 - Mark Hedges
  • 2008 - James Korcuska
  • 2007 - Kelly Duncan
  • 2006 - Jay Trenhaile
  • 2005 - Howard Smith
  • 2004 - Roy Conrad
  • 2003 - Belle Fourche Administration
  • 2002 - David Fiedler
  • 2001 - Ruth Johnson
  • 2000 - Jan Nicolay