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Middle School counselor Charlie Black is honored

He grew up and went to school here in Hastings. He is a graduate of Hastings High School. He returned to Hastings Middle School in 2004 as a counselor.

Last week, Black was honored as the Hastings District 200 Employee of the Year at the annual recognition program May 17. All district employees vote for the winner.

Superintendent Tim Collins was the master of ceremonies for the program. He offered comments (shared from other staff members) about Black.

"As a guidance counselor at the Middle School others are in awe of Charlie's kind, soft and understanding demeanor. Charlie treats all students with respect and helps them figure out solutions to their problems rather than simply telling them what they should do.

"He always makes time for the kids, often walking away from his lunch to meet a student in need. Charlie is all about the kids, but has a wonderful work ethic and is so pleasant to work with.

"Charlie spent much of the fall at the high school helping out when they were going through a challenging start to the school year. It was not unusual for a high school student to stop and see Charlie for months afterward. Charlie always makes time for them while balancing his many students at the middle school as well."

Black completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at St. John's University, Collegeville, and then earned a Master's Degree in education counseling at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Black moved back to Hastings and began his career in counseling at the Hastings Middle School in 2004. He coaches football and basketball at the high school. He enjoys camping, fishing, and getting to know the kids and parents in the community.

Black had previously been honored as one of the Employees of the Semester. Six are selected each semester. Others honored were Paul Angell, David Clark, Mary Ellen Fox, Sandra Hisakuni, Carol Howd, Kirk Johnson, Bobbi Seleski, Scott Smallidge, Teri Thompson, Cindy Westlund and Frank Yanz.