Monett’s Towles named ‘Advisor of the Year’

Samantha Towles, Monett High School academic advisor

Samantha Towles, Monett High School academic advisor, was announced the winner at a special ceremony hosted by rootEd Missouri following a statewide nomination and selection process.
“I am honored beyond words to have received this award,” Towles said. “This year has been such a fantastic experience for me! I have some pretty amazing students who make this position easy and fun. I feel that the support of my administrators and colleagues have contributed tremendously to the success of this program. I am grateful to be here and I am looking forward to another great year.”
rootEd Missouri is a collaborative effort among national organization rootEd Alliance, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC), and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) designed to boost college and career outcomes for students in rural communities by placing dedicated advisors, called rootEd advisors, in rural high schools to provide students with college and career planning support.
Among her notable contributions, Towles combined all local scholarship opportunities into one streamlined application; launched an “Adulting 101” class series designed to teach seniors important skills, ranging from how to change a tire to how to register to vote; organized an event to provide assistance to students and families as they completed the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA); and organized student visits to colleges and career programs.
As a result, 99 percent of the high school’s graduating class created a postsecondary plan, and 64.5 percent completed the FAFSA, up from 45.4 percent in 2022. Moreover, 84 percent of college-bound students from Monett High School said Towles changed their life path in a positive way.
“Without Mrs. Towles, I would not be going to college,” wrote one student in a survey. “Having someone that can assist not only for academics, but for personal life is very helpful.”
“Mrs. Towles has honestly been the biggest blessing to Monett High School,” wrote another student. “She has been able to connect with students like no one else has before. I truly believe that she is the reason most of us [Monett High School] seniors are now so driven to be successful after graduating.”
The awards ceremony took place alongside rootEd Missouri’s statewide advisor training. The training brought together about 130 advisors who will serve students at participating high schools during the 2023-2024 school year.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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