District Five Counselor NaKendra Kinard Receives Prestigious Award

NaKendra Kinard, Clinical Counselor at Lexington-Richland School District Five, has been honored with the title of South Carolina’s Outstanding Counselor of the Year by the South Carolina Counseling Association (SCCA).

Expressing her gratitude for the recognition, Kinard stated, “I am so honored to be selected for this award and have my peers recognize my passion for helping others and changing lives. I truly believe taking care of your mental health is equally as important as taking care of your physical health.”

With a wealth of experience in counseling and therapy since 2011, Kinard holds multiple licenses and certifications, including Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), and Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) among others. Her dedication to supporting mental health is evident in her work, and her impact has been felt deeply within the Lexington-Richland School District Five community since joining in the middle of the 2021-2022 school year.

Paula Wright, Director of Adult Education, commended Kinard’s contributions, stating, “We are very privileged to work with NaKendra Kinard as the Clinical Counselor assigned to Adult Education. She has made a significant impact on the lives of our students. She participates in our student and staff events and conducts regular check-ins with students. Most importantly, she has normalized seeking help for mental health, and for that, we are forever grateful. We are so proud of her!”

The South Carolina Counseling Association, an organization dedicated to serving the diverse helping professions in South Carolina, recognized Kinard’s exemplary work. With a membership of over 1000 counselors, SCCA operates exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, supporting counselors throughout the state. As a proud state branch of the American Counseling Association (ACA), SCCA celebrates professionals like NaKendra Kinard who demonstrate outstanding commitment to their field and their communities.

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